The Local List

Ten top tips to avoid looking like a guiri when in Spain

Ten top tips to avoid looking like a guiri when in Spain
Tan touch this: You'll regret not whacking on some suncream when you're walking around looking like a lobster. Photo: PropagandalfFlickr
If you're an expat who doesn't want to be singled out as a guiri (foreigner) by your Spanish mates, check out The Local's list on how to dodge the stereotypes and become as Spanish as jamón serrano and Julio Iglesias.

Guiri: ( Urban Dictionary def.) a somewhat pejorative term for a foreigner, usually a tourist, who happens to be in Spain and stands out as being pretty obviously not a local. The term is usually used to refer to fairer-skinned people from the likes of Great Britain or Germany, but can be extended to any foreigner that is in Spain.

Whether it’s the first time you’ve heard of this word or you’re more than familiar with it thanks to your Spanish friends, rest assured, guiri is not a bad word or an insult — despite the definition above.  

You could even call it a term of endearment or light mocking that you’ll hear from anyone who’s picked up on something particularly un-Spanish about you.

Some of you may say: “So what? It makes perfect sense to speak a different language and have different habits if you’re foreign. I’m proud to be a guiri!”

Others might think: “What more can I do? I’ve ditched the sandals and socks look, I don’t get sunburnt anymore and I don’t carry a large map with me everywhere!”

But if you’re one of those expats who really wants to blend in and be seen as an hijo adoptivo de España, then we have it covered.

GALLERY: How to avoid looking like a guiri.

You've ditched the sandals and socks…So what next? Photo: Francis Bourgouin / AFP

This list by Alex Dunham was originally published in May, 2013.

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