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Most Spaniards live in harmony with the foreign population, although many foreigners (colloquially dubbed guiris, from the word guirigay meaning gibberish) live separate lives in tourist ‘ghettos’, a million miles away from the ‘real’ Spain.The Spanish don’t consider the concrete jungles of the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca, Majorca and parts of the Canaries to be part of Spain, but a plastic paradise created for and by foreigners so that pasty-faced tourists can fry in the sun and get drunk on cheap booze.These are followed by assorted foreigners, a few of whom have been elevated to the status of ‘honorary’ Spaniards (usually after around 100 years’ residence).
Apart from the differences in character between the inhabitants of different regions, such as Andalusia, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia and Madrid, the population also includes a potpourri of foreigners from all corners of the globe. A typical Spaniard is courteous, proud, enthusiastic, undisciplined, tardy, temperamental, independent, gregarious, noisy, honest, noble, individualistic, boisterous, jealous, possessive, colourful, passionate, spontaneous, sympathetic, fun-loving, creative, sociable, demonstrative, irritating, generous, cheerful, polite, unreliable, honourable, optimistic, impetuous, flamboyant, idiosyncratic, quick-tempered, arrogant, elegant, irresponsible, an aficionado, hedonistic, contradictory, an anarchist, informal, self-opinionated, corrupt, indolent, frustrating, vulgar, voluble, helpful, friendly, sensitive, a traditionalist, insolent, humorous, fiery, warm-hearted, chauvinistic, bureaucratic, dignified, kind, loyal, extroverted, tolerant, macho, frugal, self-possessed, unabashed, quarrelsome, partisan, a procrastinator, scandal-loving, articulate, a bon viveur, inefficient, conservative, nocturnal, hospitable, spirited, urbanised, lazy, confident, sophisticated, political, handsome, chaotic and a football fanatic. Let’s take a candid and totally prejudiced look at the Spanish people, tongue firmly in cheek, and hope they forgive my flippancy or that they don’t read this bit.Gypsies are treated as lepers by many Spaniards (except when they’re celebrated flamenco artists or bullfighters) and are even less desirable as neighbours than the Moros (Moroccans).Spaniards are often disparaging about their compatriots from other regions.
It’s an honour for a foreigner to be invited to a Spaniard’s home, although it’s one rarely granted.