Colindres (EFE).- At the age of 22, Aaron Schweitzer was clear that he had to leave his home in Maryland (USA) and live for a while in a Spanish-speaking country if he wanted to perfect the language of Cervantes, what he did not imagine is that In Cantabria I was going to discover part of the cultural topics of the Spaniards that do not appear in books.
“The tortilla? It’s tasty, but I didn’t think it was eaten all the time, for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and even dinner,” jokes Aaron in an interview with EFE, in which he also acknowledges that he still has a hard time planning laundry and leaving clothes wet on the clothesline, because in the United States the usual thing is to use a dryer to put it on as soon as possible.
This young man in love with the Spanish language, with which he expresses himself perfectly, is one of the 164 language assistants who arrived in Cantabria in October to teach, where appropriate, the English language and American culture to the students of the Valentín Turienzo Institute , from Colindres, during the educational course.
His flirtations with Spanish began as a “hobby” in the coronavirus pandemic, when he used the eternal free hours to learn the language through digital platforms, series and reading novels.
However, at the university, in addition to obtaining a degree in Economics and Political Science, he enrolled in subjects taught in Spanish to achieve a more academic knowledge of the language.
Differences between English and Spanish
«It’s funny because there we talk to the teachers about you and previously we used ‘Mr. or Mrs.’ to address them, but in the institute here that treatment is different, “explains Aaron, who detects an abuse of “swearing” among young Spaniards when they talk outside of class, within the daily environment.
Contact as part of the communication between people also draws his attention from Spanish culture, including the two kisses that we give each other to say hello, since, for him, this type of practice in the United States is limited to the family circle.
Within the range of possibilities, he selected Cantabria as the destination for his first adventure abroad because he was looking for “quiet” regions, similar to the lifestyle he likes to lead.
In addition to the gastronomy and products, he is amazed by its people, the nature of the environment, the countless historical heritage that they lack or the climate, which was expected to be “rainier and greyer” until the first storm arrived this week. of winter.
Although he likes to go jogging to play sports, Aaron finds significant the habit that locals have of taking walks “aimlessly”, simply for the fact of enjoying the activity itself.
“In my town there is a green park more or less nearby, but we have to take the car to get there, between 15 or 20 minutes, so you must plan what you want to do beforehand,” he admitted.
The philosophy of “nothing happens”
The opening hours of stores and supermarkets have also shocked him, but above all, the fact that banks only open in the morning.
Likewise, he likes the Spanish attitude when it comes to facing problems with his “nothing happens” philosophy, trusting that everything has a solution.
Aaron will not forget the good relationship with his classmates at the institute either and recounts that the head of the English department herself went to pick him up when he arrived at the airport. “Having that warm reception has been amazing and helps you get used to a completely new place,” she stresses.
At the beginning of June, he will return to the east coast of the United States to spend a few months at his family’s home. Meanwhile, Aaron will try to travel around Spain to learn about other cultural particulars and make the most of everything this country can offer him in its mission to deepen the language.