The Spanish Life

The Spanish culture is full of food, drinks, friends and family along with a stress free lifestyle. Some customs I am getting used to more than others such as the siesta in the afternoon. A normal Spainaird will wake up before work or school and have a little meal with coffee and not eat again until the afternoon (2:00-5:00pm). They relax during this time and close all of the shops except some grocery stores and cafes. The shops open back up again after siesta and close around 8 or 9:00pm when they eat dinner. I have surprisingly adjusted to this schedule really well. I especially like coming home eating lunch and then taking a nice nap during siesta. It is aggravating sometimes when I plan on doing some errands during siesta, but them remember all of the shops are closed. This even occurred today when I was going to get my bus pass. I was about one block away and remembered they close at 2:00 for siesta!

The stress free lifestyle is something I am also trying to embrace. I have quickly realized that Spaniards are late most of the time and very seldom worry. I have never seen anyone in a rush or trying to get somewhere fast unless they are running to the bus. Whenever I got to Spain I was worried because my class schedule was all messed up and I had only four days to find Wifi and fix it before classes began on Monday. It is Friday and I have yet to attend a class because they take the first month to try out classes and see which ones they are interested in. My schedule is almost finalized however so I will be attending classes next week. I was not able to try out different classes because I have specific ones I need to take to get credit for at Butler.

Some Spanish customs I am not used to is their nightlife. Since people eat dinner here between 8:00-10:00pm they do not start getting ready to go out until 11:00pm or 12:00am and finally go to the bars around 1:00 or 2:00am. Then they proceed to stay out until the sun comes up. I do not think I will ever get used to this since I value my sleep so much. It is not just younger people on the streets at night either. Fifty to sixty year olds can be seen strolling around with friends at 12:30 or 1:00am which I find rather funny.

Something I was not prepared for was the constant sound of American music. It is everywhere: cars, cafes, the bus, bars. There is no getting away from America’s top 40. I have heard a few Spanish songs, but that is a random occurrence. My roommate Ashley and I went to a bar about a week ago called Parron because a friend had recommended it to us. It was an American version of a lively dive bar. Instead of having peanuts they provided sunflower seeds with your drink to counter many of the sweet drinks such as a Calemocho (red wine and coke). Anyways, the special thing about this bar is that they play throwback American music with an occasional Spanish song. For example they played: “Walking on Sunshine”, “Gotta Have Faith”, Bob Marley, Jackson 5, Grease Lightning and other songs found on oldies stations. Then they proceeded to play the” Star Spangled Banner” followed by “American Woman.” This previous song selection might have had something to do with the fact that I told the bartender I was from America, but regardless they played our national anthem. I’m sure this will be the first of many strange experiences here is Spain.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the last couple of days:

Almeria's train station

Dog hanging out by the beach

La Rambla- the main street of Almeria



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