Do you like animals? Do you have any pets? I had a goldfish in Japan but after I came here my dad accidentally let it go to heaven. (Actually it was not the first time that my dad did it though…)
Alright, apart from my fish, today let’s talk about animals. Actually I am not a super mega animal lover, so what I want to talk about is not something like cute little cats’ videos all over the Internet. (I like cats though.) I would like to share the differences of animals between Spain and Japan, from very personal point of view. (Not based on any official analysis at all, but feel free to refer for your thesis, biology students. I can’t take any responsibility for your thesis though.)
First, dogs. When you walk around in Spain, you may see a lot of people walking their dogs in a street. Also in a train or even in some stores. (In Spain people can get on a train with their dog, and once I saw a person who were shopping around in ZARA with his dog. I hope that dog didn’t take a shit inside the store.) A surprising thing is not that fact itself, it is that many people walk their dog without a leash. I still can’t believe that it works well, because in Japan most of the people use a leash when walk their dog. I haven’t seen a lot of people who walk their dog without a leash in Japan. If people don’t use leash for dogs in Japan, I think there will be mini dog panics all over the country. (I think dogs will be glad though.) Dogs in Spain seem very well trained, or, I guess they simply love their owners and don’t want to be apart from them. Sometimes even it looks like dogs walk first and wait for their owners. (Kinda like dogs are walking their owners though.)
Second, birds. I mean, pigeons. Their appearance is almost same as the Japanese one. (Well, sometimes seems a bit chubbier than the Japanese one but basically same.) The first impression of Spanish pigeons for me was, they are too confident. Yes, too confident. For example, if I clap my hands or walk up to Japanese pigeons, normally they fly away. They are nervous and afraid of human. However the Spanish pigeons, oh hell, they don’t care about us and still stay there. (Actually I did walked up to some pigeons and clapped my hands to them one day, but they were like “heya, what’s wrong human?”) Also, Spanish ones fly much lower than the Japanese one and sometimes I feel like they are even trying to attack in my face. In Spain, I, human, am afraid of pigeons.
I have been having some suppositions for this difference of animals between two countries since earlier time when I started to live here. I guess, it is because of difference between human beings. I mean, difference of culture, behavior, lifestyle and ideas of people in each countries. Living here and I noticed that Spanish people like to do something with others more than Japanese do. They always go to bar, cafe or party with their friends, and few people enjoy something alone, I guess. When I was in Japan, I was quite okay about eating or drinking in restaurant alone, or even I went to some events alone. But here in Spain, I don’t see as many people who enjoy something alone as Japanese do. (You can also refer my previous article, here you can see how I was like when I went to a festival alone in Spain : Ni-hao Attack) In my opinion, a lot of Spanish people like to be with someone and do something with others more than Japanese people.
Another thing. I think difference between a size of “personal space” is also could be a one of a reason for the difference of animals.
Proxemics – Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxemics
I think the size of “personal space” of Spanish (or also some people who live here but came from other countries) is smaller than the Japanese one. For example, one of my professors in my Spanish language school comes very close to me when she talks and sometimes it makes my eyes sting, because her face is too close to me and I can’t even capture her face well. (Which is obvious that it’s easy for her to invade my big “personal space” circle. But it doesn’t mean I don’t like her.) I think that’s one of the reason (or it is also interpretative in the other way around but) that “besos” habit can exist in Spain.
All right, so what I want to say anyway?
I think animals are quite influenced by the behavior or the character of human in that country. I think dogs in Spain don’t run away from their owners even without a leash, because they like to be with someone, as people do the same in their life. Pigeons in Spain don’t fly away even I walk up to 1 meter close to them, meanwhile Japanese ones fly away if I clap my hands from 3 meters away, because they also have different “personal space” depend on where they live.
These are my theories. So, what do you think?
…Or you just thought I am weird?