It feels like yesterday that I was flying in on my redeye flight from San Francisco to the city of Barcelona. It has been exactly one month since I have been in Europe, and about 3 weeks in Barcelona. I´d like to start off saying that these 3 weeks have already exceeded my expectations for this trip. The people on our program are great and so is this city. But with all its greatness it does come with some cultural shock and different lifestyles.
In general I would say that the people in Spain are much more relaxed and laid back compared to most Americans. Around here it does not matter if you are five to ten minutes late for something. When that happens in American people get upset. Day to day life is definatly the most different. For example my usual day consists of getting to work on a train by 930 and leaving at 2. At my work people stay until 5 but a lot of my friends employers all eave at 2 for siesta, or nap time. This is tough for me to do but I have come accustomed to napping. The nightlife out here was a big help with that. Coming home at 5am is nothing crazy out here. I have been here 3 weeks and I still don’t know how they do it.
Another thing that I have noticed to be quite different out here is the food. In America I am used to having three big meals a day, sometimes skipping breakfast. Also at least for myself and room mates in Arizona we eat fast maybe 20 minutes tops. In Spain meals are more important to people. Having a sit down lunch somewhere takes a solid hour,eveytime. Service is slower and the portions are much smaller, but that’s just how life is out here. People sip their drinks and coffee and take lunch as more than just a reason to eat, but to socialize. At first this really bothered me. I wanted to get food quick and get on with my day, but after sometime here I have started to enjoy the long lunches and conversations with my coworkers and friends.
Overall, this trip has been great so far and I look forward to what comes next!