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Mañana, mañana, mañana

SPAIN | Thursday, 17 October 2013 | Views [308]

The siesta mentality rules in southern Spain. Almost everything closes at 1pm for the two-hour siesta, except for banks, which close at 2pm... and just don't reopen. People stay up late, wake up late, eat out often and avoid stress at all costs. Jennifer and I have talked often of how the Spanish are above all concerned with living. Not getting ahead, or consuming or promoting or excelling, but simply enjoying themselves. They are a very self-concerned people which results in a remarkably inclusive, fun and relaxed culture.

Which is all well and good until you're trying to get something done, like fixing a leak, or having mold removed from your ceiling, or renting a new house because old one is leaky and moldy. When a Spanish person tells you they'll do it tomorrow, they mean they <em>might</em> do it in the next two weeks. Manana, manana, manana. It's a cultural adjustment and I'm trying to roll with it - in fact, I haven't had anything urgent to deal with here, so it's been fine (Jennifer has bared the brunt of it with her house search) - but the day will come when somebody tells me they'll do it "manana" and I'm probably going to go crazy-up-tight-American-drama-queen on their ass. Or maybe I'm more Spanish than I think. We'll see.

There is beautiful irony in the fact that what I love about a place and people is also what I dislike. The Spanish ease of living and relaxation is a magical thing I aspire to, but it's also made me appreciate the quick service you can get consistently in the States.

Tags: culture, patience, siesta, spain, spanish culture, tomorrow


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