No, I’m Not Spanish, Pero Gracias

So close, yet so far

Maria Garcia
Published in
5 min readApr 9, 2024


A set of steps running between terraced houses in an old Spanish town, painted in the red and yellow stripes of the Spanish flag
Photo by Sam Williams on Unsplash

“Oh, Portugal! Do they speak Spanish there?” was a lovely tired chorus that sounded around me when I was young and living abroad.

I was under the age of eight at the time, but still found it in me to muster up my kindest, most polite smile and return with, “no, actually we speak Portuguese in Portugal.”