Monday, 04 April 2016 21:20

6 Reasons Canarians Often Look At Tourists Like They Are Aliens

Tourists get confused by some things Canarians do Tourists get confused by some things Canarians do

With over three million tourists visiting Gran Canaria every year and less than a million locals, you'd think Canarians would be used to the crazy things their guests do.

But sometimes, tourists do things that make the locals stare. Here're some of them...

And here are 5 things that Canarians do that make the tourists stare back.

When guiris knock back the booze

It's not that Canarians don't drink. Watch them at carnival and weekend romerias and they sink cubatas and red wine like water. But they don't drink lots of alcohol all that often and when they do it's in a big crowd. Most Canarians are not big social drinkers and don't get drunk in public. 

The locals watch British and Northern Europeans, both visitors and residents, knocking back the booze at 7pm in a bar with bemusement. Canarians go to bars to flirt and talk and to clubs to dance. You can't salsa if you're sloshed and most guiris' Spanish doesn't improve after six pints of Tropical. 

You can't salsa if you're sloshed and most guiris' Spanish doesn't improve after six pints of Tropical. 

When guiris take the piss

The Canarian sense of humour is gentle and based on telling jokes. They appreciate irony but sarcasm is often taken at face value and considered rude.

The British habit of taking the piss out of friends to show intimacy causes all sorts of misunderstandings. Insulting someone who isn't present is a big no-no, even if they are a mutual friend. Mickey-taking only happens between close friends and even then, it is gentle. 

Lex says: It's best to hold back on the mickey-taking until your Canarian friends have insulted your mother. Then it's fine.

When guiris make dinner party invitations

Canarians rarely entertain anyone in their homes except their own families. Expect odd looks and awkwardness if you invite your local friends around, especially for a formal sit-down evening meal. 

It's much easier to meet in a restaurant or tapas bar, or arrange a weekend asadero. 

Alex Says: When you're invited to an asadero, don't take something you made as it'll get ignored next to all the meat. Just take a pile of meat. 

When guiris forget to say hello

Canarians say hello every time they walk into a room, lift or even a sauna. It's the polite thing to do even if you don't know anyone around you. 

Guiris who ignore this come across as aloof and unfriendly.

In Gran Canaria say hello to everyone at every opportunity. Women must kiss all men and women that they meet once on the cheek, (or is it both cheeks nowadays?). Men shake hands with other men, but kiss women on the cheek (or cheeks). 

Lex says: Canarians always kiss once, but Spanish habits are creeping in and some people now go for the second kiss. It's all quite confusing. A third kiss is just wanton unless you've had a few cubatas. 

When guiris don't understand that the cold is dangerous

Most Canarians have no concept of cold weather and are convinced that even a slight draught is a dangerous thing. They wrap up warm even when the sun is shining in winter and shroud their children with layers in a slight breeze.

Most foreigners come from colder places and believe in the health benefits of fresh air, This causes stares and all sorts of confusion.

Walking around in a t-shirt and flip-flops when the temperature is below 20ºC is bad enough, but parents who let their kids do it can expect tuts, friendly advice and even dire health warnings from the locals. 

When guiris get angry

Rule number one of Canarian life is to never lose your temper. Whether your neighbour's dog has been barking all night, or the man behind the desk has just asked for another bit of paper, freaking out rarely helps. 

Canarians are a relaxed bunch and believe that they've got life's balance about right. If they have to wait another day for a document or talk to the pesky neighbour again in the morning, then so be it.

When foreigners get angry, Canarians just ignore them. 


Published in Guide

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