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  #1  
Old 28th February 2016, 22:11
hollowone hollowone is offline
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Default Some advantages of Spanish tapas bars

Just feel like I need to share this.

I have never felt so comfortable going out alone. The vibe down here in Granada is totally different from at home. As some of you may know, the city is famous for tapas. In tapas bars, if you order a drink, you get food for free (often very good) with each one.

Now, as far as going out alone is concerned, it's far more socially-conducive, not just in the sense of moderate drinking, but also in the sense that you have a reason to be there. The fact that you haven't had dinner and are there to eat (in the very unlikely event of that ever coming up). In fact, here, people don't even care who you're with or why you go out alone, they don't have such a ****ing chip on their shoulder.

On another note, I can't believe how friendly and sociable the Spanish people are, how readily they'll strike-up conversation with people outside their social circles (good opportunity to practice my limited Spanish). They are so much more warm and polite, don't give a shit about people who go out alone. It's a lot more socially-acceptable.

Another thing, if people don't want the tapas food, they can fobb it off onto someone else. This in itself can be a way to start conversations with new people.

Another thing to note is far lower rates of lonerism; that is, if you go out alone, you don't get dirty looks from randoms like you do in the UK (the prejudice towards people who are not with an established clique). As a result, it's far, far more relaxing. Many people from my hostel who I've had this conversation feel the same way. I've met a cool Canadian guy through a German girl, who I met at breakfast in the hostel who invited me to come and join her for exploring the city. He was actually a friend of hers who she met. We all hung out together for the past three days. Anyway, that's another story which I must share. The main point is that, he lived in the UK for a few years, and he describes the brits as aggressive and miserable in comparison to both Canada and Spain. I couldn't agree more. It's not so much traditional British politeness we're knocking, but this modern, anti-social, judgemental, chip-on-shoulder, chav culture that's taken over the UK.

The great advantage is, there is no catch 22 in needing friends to find friends. Going out alone does not always equal staying alone.

Also, there are the tourists. Hearing people with American or British accents, that in itself is a reasons to get talking to people. Thought I'd mention that because there's so much you can bring-up.

In just over a week, I've met more new people, had more deep, interesting conversations and more meaningful social experiences than an entire year in Weymouth. I've had a better social life than I could have ever imagined. I have not been lonely, I have not been forced against my will to be cooped-up in my room with no social life. Here, loneliness is a CHOICE. The degree to which loneliness is a choice is just that, one of DEGREE, which VARIES from place to place. I don't face the stark choice of enduring solitary confinement or being subjected to a horrible, high-stress clubbing type environments. There's such a myriad of social opportunities; folks in my hostel, couchsurfing groups, language exchange groups, tapas bars, tons of dance classes. I'm ****ing spoilt for choice! Here, there are nice social situations to be in. Ones that are readily accessible. Socialising is not limited to Saturday night drunken nights out as it is in working-class towns in the UK. From a point of overcoming SA, I've made more progress in this past week than I have in months at home; where practice consists either of EXTREMELY DEEP WATER (Saturday nights in UK towns) or social isolation (my blog is full of rants and raves about my home social environment, if you check it out and click on the tab 'loneliness').

It goes to show, my loneliness was largely the result of a shit social environment, with a paucity of social opportunities. Maybe 30% social anxiety, 70% social environment. At home, the likes of the sorts of people that I've met here, and the new friends I've made are nigh-impossible to gain-access to socially.

Also, people here are so much more kind. They don't get uppity if you are quite (well, the folks I've been hanging out with anyway). Was hanging out with a nice Mexican woman today from the hostel who took me out to see a jazz band in a local bar. Had a very nice evening.

RE people I meet in the hostel, it's nice to have deeper conversations not limited to trivial rubbish and how drunk people got at the weekend. It's nice to met people that are interested in things of a slightly more intellectual nature, like philosophy, economics, the environment and many other things. The people I've met here are far more on my wavelength.

Anyway, to round off, I hope my main points about tapas bars are helpful and offer food for thought. I'm having a bloody brilliant time down here. I haven't had a social life like this since... I can't remember. Going travelling and doing things like this, you certainly don't regret. It definitely helps you to develop as a person and to get to know yourself. It also brings many people together of like mind.

I'm realising that the word is not so bland and bleak. I'm no longer feeling at a social dead-end. The fear that I will never find love is losing it's potency. I'm getting a great sense, by what I've done, that I have so much control over the social opportunities I pursue and the people I might. I'm realising that the world isn't so bleak after-all, just the little bubble I've been living in is. I'm seeing less grounds to believe that I'll never experience love. My hope is returning, I have things to believe in. I don't feel trapped, I have less grounds to believe that I'm doomed to loneliness.

I hope this helps and inspires some folks (there's more to come).
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  #2  
Old 29th February 2016, 09:24
affluenza affluenza is offline
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Default Re: Some advantages of Spanish tapas bars

Always do think it's to do with the UK culture. But I don't know.
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