Spending a night out enjoying a drink, a dinner or some entertainment is always a delight in Spain but there is an overwhelming feeling of safety that seems to be very distinct about Spain and Spanish life.
I recall many years ago, walking through streets in the UK when bars were closing and it was a fairly common scene to see Police patrolling on the lookout for trouble makers as well as seeing youngsters out of control after a heavy night of drinking, fights taking place and that uncomfortable feeling you get in a kebab shop waiting for some food before you go home and worrying about looking in the wrong direction in case you upset someone.
Customers often comment that Spain is, by contrast completely different and in general most people feel very safe when out and about at any time of the day and night but what is it about Spain that makes things so different to many other European countries in this way?
A few weeks ago, I took a trip for a few days to a small town close to Barcelona and after a dinner and a rather late and pleasant night visiting several bars I found myself waiting for a taxi in the small hours of the morning. There were not many people around just a few here and there making their way home. There were groups of friends, mostly young people walking home and some of them had clearly had a few drinks but their whole mannerism very distinct – they were talking, laughing, generally enjoying themselves but not interfering with anyone else, not “looking for trouble”, just making their way home after enjoying a night out.
As I stood there a group of four or five young lads walked directly towards me and for a moment I thought “what do they want?” but to my surprise (and after all of these years living in Spain it still did surprise me) one of them said (in Spanish) “are you waiting for a taxi?” I confirmed their question – rather than mugging me he explained that in this area very few taxis come at this time and I could be waiting for some time but offered to give me the phone number for the local taxi company who would then come to collect me much quicker than waiting. During this conversation, his friends were there just joining in the chat and asking if I had enjoyed the evening. After giving me the phone number they shook my hand, wished me well for the rest of my stay and wandered off home. I still had my belongings, I was not injured, I had just been pleasantly helped by a group of lads who could not have been more than 19/20 years old.
I think in Spain there is a lot more respect in general. Families tend to be, in general, much closer and children are taught the fundamentals of respect, especially for their elders form a very young age.
Alcohol is seen as a social thing but not as a challenge to see how much you can consume before the pubs close which is certainly the feeling I get often when visiting other places. People go out to enjoy themselves which is a wonderful thing but that is exactly what they do – enjoy themselves without disrespecting others along their way.
Of course, this article is not to say that one country is distinctly worse than another but time and time again clients comment on these exact same experiences and the clear differences between what they are sometimes used to and what they experience every time they come to Spain.
Spain is clearly a country where people live a good life and enjoy whether that it with family and friends at home or going out and as well as the wonderful safe feeling that so many comment on, Spanish people are generally very accepting to everyone so people of all ages from all backgrounds and nationalities enjoy the wonders of this country in harmony together.
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