Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Observations on a Cultural Distinction, or, stay ON my bloody car!

Reading Kevin’s new post about cultural distinctions, I was suddenly reminded of some photos I took earlier this year. I was sitting at my computer, working, and  regularly glancing through the window in front of me… I love to work and simultaneously keep an eye on what is going on in the world around me… but NO , I am not one of these women who are spying their neighbours from behind the curtains… no curtains anyway, the view is too beautiful!

That day I couldn’t believe what I saw. Judge for yourself

In the background of the picture you can see our lovely toy car by the way, the one which was mishandled by the other Spanish child this morning…

As you can see on the following photo, the Dad is not bothered at all!

I watched the scene for a little while, thinking that the Dad eventually would get the child down from the car, but no… then I went back to my work, but 10 minutes later I looked up again and this is what I then saw

In fact the little boy had been joined up there by an older girl! Unfortunately I was too slow, and only made a photo as she was about to leave the top of the car. But I swear to you that she was standing up there with the boy some seconds before!

And when you look at this last photo you really think that the whole company would probably end up on the top of the car and have a picnic up there!

All this (and many more things I have observed here in Spain in these last 53 years) leads me to think that Spanish people don’t care at all for property, neither others or their own. Meaning that the cultural difference is perhaps much deeper than Kevin thinks….



May 22, 2010 - Posted by | Art, children, culture, travel, writing


  1. Miki! HI! One of the most frightening times in my life was when I was visiting Anne Frank’s Home in Amsterdam. I had just gone in and It was very quiet. When the doors burst open and people were running upstairs Where I had been seated for the video intro. This flood of people – Adult and Teenagers came in like Storm Troopers. All of a sudden someone has a handful of my hair! I stood up and whirled at the person! It was a Teenage boy trying to snatch my headset off! I grabbed His little “Pinky” and twisted as My Dad had taught me. There was a flurry of Spanish Words. I just stood with my hands relaxed at my side. The room was quiet! The Adults from that point on took some control. The worst group of people I ever met in my life. I guess that is why I have never been to keen on getting to Spain. Horrible manners those people. I do not have curtains either on the front of my Ocean view of the Great Pond! Your Toy Car is wonderful!!!

    Comment by Sherrie Roberts | May 22, 2010

  2. Hi Sherrie, nice to see you!
    This is really an amazing story which you tell us here! I am not sure though if I should be happy or sad that your experience with Spanish people core ponds to our own. I wished so much they were more polite and respectful and kinder… for me the most important thing in the world is to have kind people around me…
    But don’t give up on Spain, it is really a wonderful country, so full of history, of contrast, of incredible monuments, towns and architecture, of wonderful nature, etc… I still hope that the Spanish people will become again how they were when I first went to Spain, more than 53 years ago: kind and welcoming and generous!

    And thanks for the compliments about our toy car! We do love it, it is tiny and looks funny, but really runs great like a “real car”.

    Comment by Miki | May 22, 2010

  3. Since you want – I can understand that and wish the same – to have kind people around, Miki, you will probably like Aldous Huxley`s answer (when he was at the end of his life) to the question What`s the ultimate wisdom you`ll teach to young people. He answered: TO BE KIND. No more, no less. I thought he was great… No wonder it was him the one with Philosophia perennis…

    Comment by iondanu | May 22, 2010

  4. Wonderful comment, Danu! I am so glad that such great guys like you and Huxley share my point of view. TO BE KIND is exactly what I would teach to everybody! If that can be taught… ?

    Comment by Miki | May 23, 2010

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