I can’t believe we have already been in Spain for two weeks! So far, I think the biggest adjustment has been adopting the Spanish schedule, especially the eating schedule. Compared to meals in the US, breakfast happens at about the same time, lunch is late, and dinner is REALLY late. Spaniards don’t eat dinner until after 10pm (a time when many of their non-European counterparts are getting ready for bed). It works here because lunch starts at 2pm and lasts up to 2 hours, so you don’t really need to eat dinner before 10pm.
I am enjoying learning how to linger and slowly pace my meals to make them last as long as they typically do in Spain. I feel like we don’t have the luxury of extended meals in the US. Restaurants seem to want customers in and out as soon as possible so waiters can turn tables over quickly and serve as many customers as possible every hour. This makes sense in the US because waiters start with a low base pay and have to earn enough tips every hour to make minimum wage. In Spain, waiters are on salary and customers are not expected to tip, so there is no rushing through meals. In fact, sometimes you have to flag down a waiter several times if you want to get your check and head out. I’m looking forward to experiencing even more Spanish culture in the next 6 weeks!