One thing I have learned here, or … that is not quite right actually. Let’s start over. One thing I am trying to learn, almost every day, is that people arrive late.
I'll explain saying I am learning with an example. One of the first weeks here in Barcelona, I had an appointment to meet someone a Sunday afternoon. We would meet at 2pm, and I arrived a little before. (Even more here, because with the metro you never know the exact time you will arrive, so of course I calculated some extra time to be sure to arrive on time…)
So I arrived about 10 minutes early and waited. And waited, and at 15 minutes past, I though the other person had forgotten, or something had come up and I left. (I had forgotten my phone at home even, so I couldn’t call.) When I came home a little later that day I had missed calls and text messages… My friend had arrived at 2:25 and was wondering where I was, had I forgotten about our appointment or had something come up?
In Norway, most people and myself included arrive on time. I guess it’s a cultural thing. If you have an appointment to meet someone at 2pm, you arrive at 2pm, or even at 1:50 or 1:55. You make sure you are there rather before than later than 2pm.
This has been my way of being my whole life. I have always taken it seriously, maybe now is the time to ponder why I take it so seriously, but I think I just somehow have the opinion that it’s a little disrespectful to arrive late. Like, taking someone’s time, or not considering someone’s time to be important enough to care to arrive on time.
Of course everyone can arrive late every now and then due to reasons that are out of your control, but I have always tried my best to arrive on time.
This was actually one of the things we discussed at the Spanish course, “Is it ok to be 20 minutes late?” and it was funny to see how different reactions there were around the table depending on where people came from. I was like No, it’s NOT ok. Haha. Now I am learning that I need to change, cause in Spain it really IS normal and OK to be 20 minutes late.
It really is a learning process for me, cause it’s hard to suddenly have to accept as completely normal, and OK, something that I find quite bothersome. I will keep arriving on time, and have to wait … and wait for someone to arrive.
I am just thinking, if you know you will arrive at 2:25pm, why don’t we just say we’ll meet at 2:25pm, instead of 2:00pm?