I've been thinking lately.
Neil's recent post plus all of the constant touching, bumping, and close-talking of the Spanish populace as a whole have me thinking about personal space issues in foreign contexts. And here are my thoughts:
Get. The. Fuck. Off. Of. Me.
There are some people that can get away with unreasonable proximity due to their obvious standards of beauty as defined by me and standards of hygiene as defined by 21st century Western culture (the vast majority anyway). In all honesty, there are certain people I don't mind rubbing against me on the bus, ok?
But, as a general rule, most humans fall into the category of People I'd Rather Not Have Skin-On-Skin Contact With At The Fucking Panaderia.
Maybe this isn't a cultural thing. Maybe it has to do with different types of urban cities. Maybe if I had spent my youth hopping in and out of subway cars in New York City, or avoiding accidents in the 'bicycle kingdom' in a bustling Chinese metropolis, maybe I'd feel differently. Maybe it's the fact that I grew up in a place where there is always a parking space available and if the Quiznos you just walked into is too crowded, there's another one just down the road to get your lunch from.
Whatever it is, I find myself screaming internally, "MOVE IT DUDE" on way too many occasions.
This feeling is intensified when waiting in line for anything when you realize that if lines were formed with seats all in a column, most people joining the line would just come sit on your lap.
Just for the record, I am a fervent supporter of the social norm of queue-forming with every ounce my being and believe it to be an essential component of harmonious social interaction and/or me not losin' my shit while I'm buying bread.
Unfortunately though, queue-forming is a fuzzy phenomenon in Spain, and, well, let's just say they cross the line in this regard. Constantly.
Disrespecting the queue-forming social norm + some idiot breathing down my neck and bumping shoulders with me when it is clearly not necessary = me wanting to give Spain the most gigantic kick in the cojones I've ever given it.
And this makes me realize that there are certain things I'll never get used to here. I'm not one of those foreigners that likes to point out to Spanish people how everything in my country is better, or wave my flag around, for obvious reasons.
But I feel like the older I get, the more stubborn I'm becoming with the line-cutting, close-talking violators of personal space and sometimes I just want to say:
We do it better over there. Now GET OFF ME and mind the queue.