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Marta del Valle Pérez

A Party Night in León (Spain)

Who had said that the Spanish people are boring? If you really think that we
are, you are wrong. Read this essay very carefully and take some notes about
how the Spanish people have fun dancing and partying at night and how you
have to act with the society without feeling out of place.

First of all, I want to start talking about how a foreign person should behave
here in León (situated in the northwest of Spain) when it is the moment of going
out at night. The place where we go to have fun is the famous “Barrio Húmedo”
which can be usually translated as “the wet district”, a clear reference to the big
number of bars, restaurants and clubs packed all together into a small area and
also because there is always a huge amount of drunken people walking around.
This district is located in the old part of the city and it can be found within the
amazing Roman city walls. One of most repeated activities for the Leonese
people is “tapear” which consists in going to the tapas bars in which you can
order very cheap drinks such as: a “chato”, “corto”, a small glass of wine,
“canei” or a “butano”. Furthermore, the waiter will serve you a “tapa” (a free
snack served with each drink you order) in which you can sample the different
delicacies with the very typical Leonese food. The most common practice of the
Leonese people when they go to the tapas bars is called “to pub crawl” which
consists of having a drink in a bar and then moving to the next bar.

We cannot forget that when we go out with our friends in order “to pub crawl”
the first thing that we do is putting all our money together but with a certain limit.
Therefore, if you want to go out one night with us, do not forget that what the
young people do is called “poner bote” what you can know it as “a kitty”.
However, it is essential to know that it is regarded as a wrong behaviour that
one person buys a drink for himself; because people can think that you are a
cold and solitary guy.

Around midnight, the activity of “tapear” finishes and most of people start
partying around the “Barrio Húmedo”. Here in León, there are a lot of bars and
clubs for all tastes, from all kinds of heavy metal and rock & roll bars and clubs
to Irish-style pubs. For example, there is a very famous Irish pub called “Molly
Malone’s” which it is always crowded of young and drunk people. One essential
thing that you have to bear in mind is that if you are partying at a club with your
friends and you want to drink something at midnight, you cannot order a glass
of wine, a “corto” (a small glass of beer) or a “butano” ( a small glass of fizzy
drink). The reason why you cannot order these kinds of drinks is because
probably the waiter can think that you are a hick or something like that. What
you should order is a “cubata” which is a mixture of an alcoholic drink with a soft
drink or a bottle of beer.

Another pub that it is very popular in the “Barrio Húmedo” is called “El Palacio
de la Salsa” in which everyone is invited to drink a “mojito” and to dance “salsa”.
When the foreigners come to this place, they usually feel an admiration for this
kind of dance. Moreover, it will be very difficult to get bored with the Leonese
people because when we get some alcoholic drinks, we are very good at

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Marta del Valle Pérez

communication and this is what we call “tener mucha labia”. Do not forget that
most of Spanish people drink for getting fun and above all for flirting. We also
become more generous and easy-going with the rest of people at nights.
Therefore, it is important to know that our drinking behaviour is largely more
peaceful and harmonious that for example, the rest of the other Scandinavian
cultures.

Finally, I hope that this information had helped you a little bit and when you
came here in León, you will be able to manage yourself in order to fit with us.
Do not be shy and remember that apart from practising your Spanish with us
you will “taste” our Mediterranean culture.

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