Well after 7 weeks here in Spain, I think its finally rubbing off on me. When I first got here I felt that I was so American that I stuck out like a sore thumb (and I probably did). I’m sure I had the dumb-struck-tourist look all over my face and I definitely didn’t know how to fit into the Spanish social life. However, now that I’ve been living here for a while and have gotten accustomed to certain things about the day to day life I think I’m gonna be in for a shock when I go back home.
Before I got to Spain, I had heard some stories about how different people behave here than they do back in the States. One of the most common things that I has heard about was how everyone loved to take siestas(naps) and people were always late to everything they did. What I didn’t expect was how absolutely accurate they were about being late. For literally everything. And I’m not just saying that they’re running a little late cause of traffic or something else they had to take care of before they got to the place they were supposed to be either. Everyone is intentionally late. Its actually socially acceptable here.
Being the kind of punctual person I am, this came as very odd to me at first. Back home I had the mindset that if I wasn’t fifteen minutes early that I was already late and would have to rush to make it to my destination on time. That continued to be how I was for about the first month I was here too. I would wake up early, get ready for my day and leave at a set time that I knew would get me to school with plenty of time to get my things settled before the class started. Boy, was I surprised when I ended up a good 20-30 minutes early. I remember sitting in class thinking that either I was in the wrong place or something has gone wrong with the scheduling somewhere, but no, it was just a normal Monday for the teacher.
Also, the tardiness isn’t just in regards to class time either, it goes for homework assignments, projects, activities, lunch and dinner, and pretty much everything else too. This is what is going to give me a bit of a shock when I go back to America. At this point the being acceptably late thing is part of my daily routine too. Getting to class 5 minutes late, being late to meet my friends or wake up in the morning, and anything else that was a time frame attached to it. I have almost lost all sense of punctuality from being here cause of how relaxed everyone is about time. And while I love having some wiggle room on one hand, having an entirely new sense of time isn’t very practical for the life I live back at home. My level of productivity has had quite the rearrangement after being in a “go with the flow” type culture. Its a good thing I’ll have some time before fall semester starts to get back into the flow of the hustle and bustle of life in the U.S.
Until next time!