In a lot of ways, I keep finding similarities between Andalusia, the southern part of Spain, and the southern part of the United States. The region definitely has a more rural feel than what I've seen of the north, and a lot of the other things that people say about the south of Spain can also be said for the 'South' as we Americans know it. For example, the accent here is notoriously difficult to understand, a fact that I can attest to firsthand: not only do I have a ton of trouble understanding my VERY Andalusian host-family, but they also have a lot of trouble understanding me! In this particular accent, the standard and very common 'st' sound (pronounced exactly how it is in English), becomes a 'ch' sound, and that's about the only concrete change I can pick out. However, it is so much more than that: it seems that most people here also pronounce all consonants less distinctly, half-mumbling all the time. The famous example is the phrase 'mas o menos,' which means 'more or less.' It gets used a lot here in Spain, but here in Sevilla you'll hear it more like 'ma meno.' The famous motto of Sevilla shows the same lack of enunciation: it is written all over the city as 'no8do,' which if read as intended, cleverly replacing the 8 with the word for skein, says 'no madeja do.' However, the motto itself is technically 'no me ha dejado.' As you can see, a syllable was dropped from the phrase to fit the motto, but it makes sense: 'no ma dejado' is exactly how a Sevillan would say the phrase, which, incidentally, means "She (Sevilla) has not left me.
The list of comparisons between the South of Spain and the South of US could go on and on. I've heard it said that people are friendlier in Andalusia, that people are less worried and uptight, and, more negatively, that there's too much space and nothing to do here. All of these comments could have come straight out of the mouth of a United States citizen, referring to the South. And, as a Southern girl, I will say I feel right at home!