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Alejandro Fernández García

How do you behave as “Spanish” in a


Spanish situation?

This question is easy to answer because when you are here for a few days you
get used to behaving in every situation very soon. I am going to focus my
ethnographical description of my town, León. It is a small city and for this reason I like
it very much. The situation that I have chosen is the typical one because is very special
for me.

This situation is called “ir de tapas” or also known “ir de cortos”. I really like it
because in my opinion is the best way to eat and at the same time for a small amount of
money. The usual things to drink when you do this are: a small glass of beer, a glass of
wine, a glass of bright orange and grape juice.

I consider that it is also a kind of visiting the city. Here in León, there are
different areas to do this, for example: “Eras”, “Burgo Nuevo” but the best one is the
“Barrio Húmedo”. When I go out to do this, my friends and me put a kitty of 5 or 10
Euros to spend during all the night, afternoon and so on. One person of the group has
the responsibility of keeping the amount of money and he /she also has the “obligation”
of ordering our drinks and our “tapas”.

On the one hand, I consider it is very important to have one “leader” but for this
person is a big burden because he/she has to be the owner of everybody’s money.

On the other hand, I think that this person( the owner)is the most important one
in the group because if everybody have their own money and in every bar everybody
put one Euro, it could be a “chaos”. So, I consider that the most comfortable way to do
that is to put a kitty also known in Spain “poner bote”.

Now, I am going you explain you what happens when you order your
drinks. If you are in a bar, when you order your drinks, the waiter asks you: what do you
want to eat? or in Spanish: ¿qué quieres de tapa?. And in this precise moment you have
to decide what you and the rest of your group want to eat. I say that because there is a
wide variety of “tapas” and when you do this for the first time you choose one among
all the “tapas” by chance. But when you have done it more than one time you choose
your favourite. And then, you go to this bar only to taste your favourite “tapa” and
instead of calling this bar by its name you associate it with its “tapa”. As I have already
said, there is a great variety of them and the vast majority are typical products of this
area. You can eat highly-seasoned pork sausage, blood sausage, cured meat and so on.
These are the usual ones because they are our products. But if you don’t like them you
can order: croquettes, potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce, fried chicken, mushrooms,
squids, our best known Spanish omelette and so on. The typical presentation of “tapas”
is the following: you get your food in a small dish only for you but when you go with a
group of people the dish is bigger.

But for example, in another bar called “Seaki” the “tapa” is extremely big. I say
that because you can have a dish full of potatoes with garlic mayonnaise, a portion of
omelette, one sandwich for only one short of beer or a glass of wine. So you receive
three or four different “tapas” for only one consumption. Sometimes in “ Seaki ”if you
just take four or five drinks, you may have enough food to be full and you may not to be
hungry to have dinner or lunch..

In a nutshell, I wish that this essay can help you in your trip around our
country and specially our small town. I assure you that you will have a good time and
you will enjoy yourselves a lot. I promise you that “tapas” are not going to disappoint
you because “ir de cortos” is the best thing of the world.