By Cyrus Afkhami
It has been two weeks since I arrived here in beautiful Barcelona and I have not been disappointed. Everything the about this city is great and the culture here is very unique. Everything is much more laid back then I was expecting. Everything starts much later here. Lunch starts at 2 and dinner starts around 9. People show up late everywhere, but no one seems to be bothered by that. I find that especially strange in the work place. Work starts at 9 and usually I’ll be there right on time, but I cannot say that about the rest of the employes. One day I arrived a little early and the doors were not open yet. Most of my coworkers arrive closer to 10. I’m adjusting to the laid back culture here, that was pretty easy to get used to.
Other aspects of Barcelona culture is a little more difficult to get used to. The biggest cultural aspect I am having difficulty getting used to is the staring. In the US staring is considered rude, but there is no rudeness associated with staring here. I can be sitting on the train minding my own business and notice some guy looking straight at me. The worst experience I had with staring was when I was at the Sagrada Familia. I was with a group of friends after work at a park across the street from the Sagrada, waiting for people to meet up with us. We were sitting on a bench in the shade, when I noticed this elderly lady sitting on another bench look right at us. She was with a man and would say something to him and look back at us. When our friends met up with us we walked her direction to get a better look at the Sagrada and her head followed us until we turned a corner. I just find being stared at uncomfortable and do not think I will be able to get used to that part of Barcelona culture.
The Sagrada Familia!