The generosity of Galician people
The other day I got out of school early, and on the 50 minute ride down the mountain, I asked the special education teacher what she was going to eat for lunch that day, just to make conversation. (We are close enough for that question not to be totally stupid). Her response was:
“I’m going out for lunch with a friend. Do you want to come?”
I was so flabbergasted that I stammered something (true) about having leftovers from last night for lunch because I didn’t want to be an annoying foreigner on their friend get-together. Because in my world, if I go out to lunch with a friend and she brings some stranger I’m like “uh, what the fuck, I wanted to talk to you, who is this?”
Spanish people are more generous than the people I’m used to/the person I am, although sometimes the generosity comes with weird psychological conditions. For example: one English teacher has invited me over his house for lunch one day, but we haven’t set a date for it, he just told me to let him know at some point when I wanted to come over. I know for a fact that he is totally serious and wants me to come over, but I cannot call someone and invite myself over their house for them to feed me. So I haven’t asked him at all, and he probably thinks it’s because I don’t want to go, but I do! This is an issue that can be pretty easily resolved through communication.
Another English teacher was showing me pictures of her furry-ass Persian cat yesterday and said something like “you have never seen my cat because you have never been to my house”. And I was like what the hell! You have never invited me to your house!But apparently she was nevertheless offended that I had never been there.
And the family that I tutor for has already invited me over to have lunch, after having worked there only a few weeks. They are being much more methodical about setting dates, though, which I appreciate.
I think it might be because Galician people tend to be kind of timid, not wanting to invite you over in case you say no. This is a problem because I am the same way. I don’t want to invite myself somewhere and have someone say no. I’ve been told that Galician people in general have a kind of inferiority complex. Everyone in Spain looks down on them for being hillbillies, and people in South America use the term “Galician person”, or “Gallego” as a slur for anyone from Spain. (I was told that this is because many Galician people immigrated to South America, made a bunch of money, then went back home to Galicia, pissing the South Americans off).
Obviously those statements about Galician people and the way others react to them are generalizations, but I’ve spent a whole lot of time around Galicians lately, and the generalization holds for many of them.