“Sleep all day and party all night”

13/10/2014

Said every Spanish person ever. Not really, but almost!

Today’s post is about how the Spanish way of life is so much later than the way of life in England. I mean this in more ways than one! But I am going to start with the way that the title alludes to…in that life is lived so much later in the day than it is at home.

The first thing you will notice, if you ever come to Spain, is that even though the Spanish start the day at the same time as we do in England, everything else throughout the rest of the day is done at least a few hours later than ‘normal’. And by this I mean that lunch is at 3pm, mid-‘afternoon’ snack or merienda is at 6 or 7pm and dinner is eaten around 9 or 10pm. Shops don’t close until 9pm and restaurants are still serving until midnight! This also affects the timings of a night out – pre-drinks don’t start until 11pm or midnight and you don’t get to the club or discoteca until 2am…meaning you don’t get home until 6 or 7am! The Spanish sure know how to party!
Although not the traditional reason for a siesta, a.k.a. a nap, this living later into the night sure does call for a quick recharge of the body’s batteries after lunch, during the time when all the shops close. This ensures that you’re able to keep going late into the night…or early into the morning as the case may be!

The second way in which the Spanish live later than we live in England is that barely anything happens on time. I have noticed that it is completely normal and acceptable for a lecture to start fifteen minutes later than stated on the timetable (but still finish at the right time, meaning the lecture is cut short by a quarter of an hour…result!), but not because of late students, but a late lecturer!! I haven’t seen this translated into other areas of life quite yet, but I’m sure I will notice it at some point.
Now I don’t have an issue with this aspect of the manera de vida here at all, but I realise that for some people this is a bit annoying. I have never been very good at time-keeping and am generally a very relaxed, chilled-out person. You will never find me early for something, and if I am it’s probably because I thought it started an hour earlier than it actually starts… So I think it’s safe to say that this part of the culture suits me quite well!

These are all just observations that I have made personally. Other people may find it’s different, and in a work environment instead of a study environment it might not apply, but I comment on what I myself have experienced here.

It seems relatively carefree here, something that I like. Life feels easy and comfortable…and the relaxed approach to timings really helps with this!

What kind of person are you? Would you like this? If you’re living in Spain right now, what do you think? Have you experienced this? Let me know in a comment or send me a tweet at @hlou14.

‘Til next time!

H x

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