Friday, March 18, 2011

On Spanish Time

On one of my first days here in El Campello I found a nice little bakery with fresh bread and lovely pastries. We were going for a walk and decided to stop in on the way back to pick something up. Unfortunately we never found it on the way back . . . .  or the next day . . . . or the next day The little bakery just disappeared.. I thought I knew approximately  where it was, but it was not there.

I then found another bakery down on the waterfront, and this time I noted where it was – and I bought my bread even though I had to carry it on my walk. On my way back I was able to find the bakery, but it was now shuttered and closed in the middle of the day?

I  found one of the many grocery stores in the town (I don't know how a quaint little town like this manages to support five grocery stores, and saw some sheep cheese behind the butcher counter. I waited patiently leaning up against the counter thinking someone would come and wait on me. No such luck, staff walked by ignoring me until I finally flagged someone down who wagged her finger at me pointing out the sign with hours on it. It seemed that the grocery store was open, but the butcher was closed for three hours  and would open up again at 5:00.

It seems that many shops and services here run on a very different schedule than I was used to. They open at about 9:00 or 10:00, and close in the middle of the afternoon for a “siesta”. They then open again late in the afternoon, and stay open into the evening. Even paces that stay open, sort of go into ”siesta mode” during the afternoon. One afternoon I was across the street at the bar checking my e-mail and working on this blog, when suddenly all the staff stopped working, pushed tables together and had lunch in the middle of the bar. All the staff were involved in this meal, and a couple sitting at the bar were as confused as I was. They finished their drinks and looked around for a waiter to reorder. Finally after it became obvious they wanted something, the waiter got up from his lunch, went over, waited on them, and went back to his lunch

There is construction going on below the apartment, and although it it not terribly noisy, we know they are there, and have become accustomed to their hours. They start work at about 10:00, work until about 3:00, stop for a siesta, and then start again, sometimes working into the evening.

It is difficult to adjust to the Spanish time routine, but since I am trying to actually “Live” here, I have taken to working this three hour “siesta” break into my busy day. It is hard, but it is important to adapt to the local customs – life is hard . . . . . Oh, I did finally find that little bakery; it was right where I thought it was, the shutters were just closed up tightly . I now try to get there in the morning.

Sorry that this blog entry is a bit shorter than normal . . . . . . it's time for siesta . . .

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