I realize I've posted things that I now know more about. A chronicle of the progression of my discovery of norms here, as it were. Plus I will add some new stuff that's come up as I haven't been blogging as often because of my terrible cold.
Dogs aren't unleashed because they are well behaved. Dogs are not on leashes because their owned don't give a fig about leash laws.
Or really most Spaniards don't care too much about laws in general. I found this out because in a practice for Spanish class, I noted that it surprised me how no one waits for a green to cross the street. The professor responded by asking me if I'd seen Pirates of the Carribean. Say what? She was getting at the great pirate line "they're more like guidelines than actual rules" because that's how it is here. It's easy, as an American to forget that democracy is new here. Spain was under Franco's dictatorship until his death in 1975. And yes, he is still dead. I know, I visited his tomb. Everything was prohibited under Franco so when he died, everything was more or less permitted. They didn't want to be reminded of anything Francoist.
Can't really blame them. Many, many people here have some kind of memory/experience of Franco times. Here in the Basque Country we don't talk about him a lot because he was especially loathed here for his ban on all things Basque. The Franco regime is also the reason why Spaniards eat bread with every meal. There wasn't ever enough bread, and what their was was black or yellow and not at all appetizing. Without Franco, the Spaniards now consume enough bread to make up for missing out during all those years of dictatorship. I've also heard that the reason why more women than men smoke in this country is because they were banned from smoking under Franco. Crazy.
On a completely different note, it's nasty hot here and over dinner I was chatting with my host mom. She said she was going to sleep on top of the covers with the window open. She asked if I did that and I told her I don't sleep with the window open because of the mosquitos. She was horrified that I get mosquitos in my room and plugged in a mosquito deterring device. This being the first time I've lived where there are mosquitos, I am unfamiliar with this device. I figured it just made a noise at a frequency I can't hear but mosquitos can and it drives them away. Nope. As I was writing this blog, I naturally got a mosquito in my room because I have my window open. I was just like, "really?" And then it went toward where the mosquito deterrent was and then I understood how it worked. It attracts the mosquitos and then they get to close to the device and zap! They are incinerated. I am slightly horrified by this...