For outsiders visiting or learning about Spain, the system of surname inheritance in Spain may seem very strange and foreign. Not surprisingly, all non-Spanish systems seem pretty weird to Spaniards. Humans have a tendency to think “We know what we know and we assume that our way of doing things is the best!” That’s one of the most eye-opening things about traveling and learning about other cultures; you learn that the way you and your country have always done things is not the only way. To be a contented expatriate, you have to become very accustomed to saying, “Huh! That’s different! It’s not necessarily better or worse, but different from what I’m used to.” Everything has pros and cons. In this post, I will attempt to explain the Spanish system of last names to non-Spaniards.