Language and Local Customs, Jerez de la Frontera
In the Cadiz province no one pronounces the any S in any word. So for example Despues becomes Depue and Estoy becomes Etoy or even toy. This is very useful when you are trying to understand what people are saying.
The other thing you should watch out for is the way they 'eat' certain words and past participle endings. For example. Estado become estao or etao, or the word pescado (which means fish) becomes pecao (remembering they don't pronounce the S either).
They eat lots of things really, for example the whole endings of words!!!
All the things mentioned above also happen when they try and speak English as well as pronouncing all vowel sounds separately so coat (kowt) becomes ko-at or importantly for Jerez, cream sherry is pronounced KRr-E-AM. Not everyone of course, but those who only learnt English at school and have no real direct exposure to it. Be prepared for some people who work in other areas than hotels and car hire places not to speak English. In Jerez you will be OK in the bodegas and such like but maybe not in the local bars that are not aimed at tourists.
In Jerez and Andalucia at least you pay for your drinks and food AFTERWARDS. So you sit down they ask you what you want, after a while (don't expect quick service) they bring you what you ordered, even if it is just a coffee or a few beers and at the end you ask for the bill (la cuenta).
I think this is quite trusting as it would be easy enough to walk away without paying, especially if you aren't used to this way or paying for your drinks.
If it is more of a bar you go at night maybe you have to go and ask for your drink, but in most places it is still normal to pay afterwards. In this way the round system works differently, your friends go up and ask for the drink, but at the end you can pay for what you have drunk.
Tipping isn't normal for bars or cafe's but if you want to leave something I'm sure they wouldn't be offended!!!!!!!
In Restaurants it is normal to leave the loose change but it is not assumed that you will leave a tip at all and it certainly isn't expected that you pay up to 15%. My advice is leave a good tip if the service has been great, if it hasn't been satisfactory then you don't have to leave anything.
I spent the new year of 2001 here in Jerez, it was my first New year in Spain so as you can imagine I was in for a few cultural surprises.
After dinner we headed out to find a good bar to celebrate the New year only to discover everything was closed. Shocked and worried we wondered the streets, but the streets were empty. What was going on, where were everyone? What time was it???? Well finally we finally came across a street party and concert in Plaza Arenal (the one with the large horse statue in the middle). There weren't that many people there at that point, but at least we didn't have to celebrate the 12 o'clock bells along wondering the streets!!! Then after 12 the streets filled, bars opened many people wearing ball gowns and tux's appeared!
I later learned that the reason that there were so many people dressed for a ball was that many people pay up to 100€ to celebrate the New Year in a Cotillon. A Cotillon is basically a new year ball and many people ring in the New year here in Spain that way.
Of course not everyone can afford to go to the ball, so what do the rest do if no bars are open? Well, they stay at home with their families. It is traditional here in the south to celebrate the New Year with family then meet up with your friends at about 12:30 to go out to a bar.
Though of course, bars put up their prices and often charge you to go in.
For those of you who are planning to Spend New year here don't forget your grapes! A great Spanish custom is to shove 12 grapes into your mouth before the bells finish ringing at 12! Don't laugh it is serious! You have to eat them all at once!!! They even spend time pealing the grapes before hand! I never thought it was possible to peal grapes until I saw it done!
By the way the Spanish TV for the run up to 12 is pretty shocking!
Here in Jerez breakfast is very important. People usually just take a coffee before leaving their homes in the morning, and then at 10-11am they stop to have breakfast in one of the many bars in the city. If you are walking down Calle Larga, you can see terraces full with people having their breakfast while looking at the people pass by.
Typical breakfast is coffee and toast, but it is not as simple as that, let me try to explain it to you. For example lets start with the coffee ... it is served in a glass, and depending on the ammount of milk you want it has different names ... solo (no milk), cortado (coffee with just a bit of milk), con leche (more coffee than milk) or manchado (more milk than coffee).
Toast also can be "entera" if you want both halves of the bread, or "media" if you only want half. And depending on the kind of bread, you can ask for normal bread, mollete or tostada campesina.
On top of the toast you can spread mantequilla (butter), mantequilla salada (salted butter), aceite de oliva y sal (olive oil and salt), mantequilla colorá ( this is some kind of red fat typical from here), zurrapa (fat from roast beef), foei gras, or con jamón (with cured ham).
This way, when you want to order your breakfast in one of these terraces in downtown you would ask for .... Un manchado con medio mollete con jamón ( a coffee with more milk than coffee, half toast and cured ham).
Hope this helps you :)
When you go to a bar there are different ways to order, depending on the size of the dish you want to ask for.
- Tapa: It is a sample size, a degustation of the dish. For example if you ask a "tapa" of meatballs, they will serve you two units for example.
- Media: This is half ration. Half portion ... bigger than a tapa but less than a racion.
-Ración: This is the whole ration, full dish.
Why there are these distinctions? Well, we prefer to eat a little bit of many things, rather than just only one dish. Depending on the number of people that is going to eat, we ask for tapas, medias or raciones.
Hope this helps you :)
This is a great beverage, refreshing and sweet, it is perfect for the hot weather. It is made of sherry and seven up (1/4 of dry sherry and 3/4 of seven up).
You can drink it alone, or while eating "tapas" or fried fish. You can ask for it in any bar in the city.