I was sat in French class, where I am the only foreigner, amidst 20 Basque people, and we were chatting about a recent piece of news, involving a woman being asked to cover her baby while breast feeding in a high end London restaurant. We then started to talk about places in Bilbao where you can breast feed, and places where you can’t.

One chap was explaining how women don’t tend to breast feed on the metro, and I asked him “Is that because you can’t eat on the metro?”.

Everyone laughed, as if I had made a joke, but it really, really wasn’t intentional. Many foreigners (in Madrid) remarked on the strict eating habits in Spain. People have at least sixty minutes for lunch, they always eat sitting down, and if you eat in public, walking along and thinking you are minding your own business, you might as well have turned on a neon sign that says “FOREIGNER!”. It’s one aspect that the anglo world has almost completely lost that really affects health of the population.

It’s experiences like that that, no matter how long you live in one country, state, or region, pull you up short, slap you in the face, and remind you that your point of view, your “normality”, is not that of those that surround you.

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