Friday, January 20, 2012

Do the Spanish people have a different concept of time altogether?

So, I have been talking about how the Spanish seem to think that arriving 15-45 minutes late for an appointment is the most natural thing in the world  (really, they don’t see anything wrong about it at all) and I am still trying my best to not arrive 5 minutes before the appointed time. It’s hard, let me tell you! It’s like I’m programmed to always be on time (or early) and it’s hard to undo. I still can’t seem to make myself arrive late, although in 99% of the times it would save me from having to wait. Never leave home without a book in my bag!

Because waiting for someone to arrive can honestly be very boring. Or even uncomfortable. Especially at night. Girl standing on street corner, alone, dressed up (for salsa dancing) in her best clothes, nicest shoes, hair shiny and groomed, her make up as good as it gets… and waiting. And waiting. Alone. On a street corner. At night.

As you might have guessed, these moments are not the ones where the waiting is necessarily spent alone. They are among the times I wish I would just manage to arrive late, so I wouldn’t have random guys eyeing me up, pulling out (probably sleazy) comments in Spanish that I have no clue what means. And in case you wondered, it’s probably not prince charming you will meet in these moments.

If you are Norwegian, you might think I exaggerate when I say night. Normally, up there you meet your friends early to go out, not like here. Because when I say “at night” I really mean at night. Back in Norway, at salsa night it wasn’t unusual that we met around 9pm to dance. Perfect! After a few hours you’d be sweaty and tired enough to call it a day (night) and go home, get your 8 hours before getting up for work the next day. Sounds sensible to me!

Here, people don’t really go out until after midnight. And you don't necessarily meet your friends before. Best (it seems) is to go out around 1am. 1 am??? I would love to have done all the dancing and be back in my bed by then! I am having some adjustment problems... If I am to meet someone around midnight, chance is I'd rather like to snuggle up at home, or go to bed than "wait up to go out"...

Everything is just happening a lot later here. Meals. Going out. Work-hours. Dentist appointments (you can get them until 8:30pm! I think what’s normal in Norway is until 4pm.) And the list goes on….

I guess this too is a question of practice...?



P.S. And in the end, a little tip for fellow Salsa lovers: If you plan to come to Barcelona to go out dancing, don't be fooled when the salsa places are supposed to open at 11pm. Normally they don't, and if they do, there won't be a soul until well past midnight! I wish I'd known this in my first weeks here, when I went out to hit the floors alone.......

17 comments:

  1. Wow that's really something. In Fiji everything would shut down by 1am! I can't imagine not going out until after midnight. What do people do before that? Sleep for a couple of hours and then get up and go out? I like being up that late at home with friends, but not starting the night out and about. Leaving the house with a book is a great idea (for during the day) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, yeah I believe it's normal to have a nap before going out! I agree with you, I love late nights with good friends but I want them to start earlier!

      Delete
  2. that is so crazy. I remember when I lived in Hawaii everything shut down at like 7 PM no joke it was like a ghost town.

    My sister was just in madrid and she said it was like that...but it is SOOOO beautiful there too!

    xoxo
    Aarean

    colorissue.blogpsot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, everything shut down at 7pm, haha here people go out for dinner at 10-11:30pm'ish!

      Delete
  3. Ja, som vi vet så har søreuropeere en annen oppfatning enn nordmenn når det gjelder tid...

    En annen ting er dette med å stå ute og vente alene. Vi nordmenn kan gjerne avtale og møtes på et gatehjørne for så å gå videre til det vi skal. Her er det vanlig å møtes på en kafè eller lignende og dermed så står "ingen" såkalte "snille jenter" alene på et gatehjørne og venter. Og grunnen til at man møtes inne på kafèer og lignende er jo selvsagt deres problemer med å komme tidsnok. Så den som kommer først kan sette seg ned og ta seg noe å drikke mens han/hun venter istedetfor å stå i en time eller to og vente på et gatehjørne og dermed bli surere og surere fordi folk er for sene....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Å møtes på en cafe ville jo antagelig være bedre, men får en "snill jente" sitte i fred på en cafe da? Jeg har en følelse at det på kveldstid ikke ville vært så veldig annerledes enn å stå på gatehjørnet her, men på dagtid endrer jo alt seg.
      Haha, en time eller to!!! Da hadde jeg vært long gone for lenge siden! Tror ikke min tålmodighetsstrikk strekker seg riktig så langt...

      Jeg likte forslaget ditt om å kaste klokka og dukke opp når det passer oss, men jeg er redd det sitter enda lengre inne enn å simpelthen bare komme for sent, og jeg gjør visst ingen glimrende jobb på den fronten heller.

      Delete
    2. Disse tingene sitter veldig langt inne hos mange nordmenn. For meg betyr det å komme forsent til en avtale at jeg rett og slett dr%&#ter i personen jeg skal møte.

      Samtidig så virker min innebygde klokke så bra at jeg nok er ferdig oppdresset og klar til å dra lenge før den avtalte tiden. Og hva skal jeg fordrive tiden med mens jeg venter på å komme forsent...?? Tror jeg hadde kjedet meg ihjel ....

      Så jeg tror nok at jeg aldri kommer til å venne meg til akkurat det her. Jeg er nok litt for norsk på akkurat det området...

      Delete
    3. Dette hørtes veldig kjent ut! Haha "hva skal jeg fordrive tiden med mens jeg venter på å komme forsent" -godt sagt!!

      Delete
  4. Uh oh, that would drive me crazy, I'm always on time!

    ReplyDelete
  5. If I was out på 11 and found the bars and dance venues empty, I would have thought I was too late and went home! BTW: I see you are a nanowrimo winner! Would love to hear more about that ... (The novel I am publishing in october this year was my 2010 nanowrimo project) ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I wasn't quite sure what to du myself when that happened to me ;)
      Yes, november was a great great month! Loved the challenge and I had so much fun with it! Still writing on the first draft, I am just not as diciplined now as I was that month.. How fun to hear that your second book was a nanowrimo project!!

      Delete
  6. Dette var velkjent...da jeg bodde i Asia...aldri ut uten en bok og noe å skrive på ...sparte meg selv for mye irritasjon :-)
    He he...jeg synes jeg ser deg...desperat på å danse salsa...og den ene soulsangen etter den andre...og du blir mer og mer trett :-)
    Når du snakket om salsa klubber i Oslo...så kjenner jeg at jeg savner tiden da jeg alltid var ute og danset salsa en gang i uken...jeg hadde fast barnevakt til Julian,(de herlige Eritrea naboene våre som du har hørt om flere ganger,.....vi bodde jo vegg i vegg og hjalp hverandre med barna til hverandre :-)..) så jeg kunne gå ut å danse...og sånn er det greit på særlig salsa klubbene i oslo...du kan gå tidlig ...danse masse, og komme deg hjem i sengog klare å komme deg tidsnok på jobb dagen etter :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I hate to wait for people too. It's rude to keep people waiting.

    Blogger from Singapore

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I was used to thinking as well, but here it's not rude. It's just normal. So "when in Rome"... I just better get used to it!

      Delete
  8. Åh, du danser salsa også! Så gøy! Danser de cubansk salsa der nede? Eller mest LA-stil? Eller noe helt eget?:P Gleder meg til å danse i Brasil:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Danser salsa så mye jeg bare klarer ;) Her danser de Cubansk, LA, NY, Colombisk, Peruansk salsa.. det er ikke måte på! Heldigvis har jeg nå lært meg at visse steder er mer cubanske og mer linje enn andre, så da holder jeg meg de stedene det er overvekt av cubansk! Min favoritt, det. :)

      Delete