Life in Spain is completely different than I could’ve ever imagined. For starters, siestas are real and not a myth. Siestas are the time of day between 1-4pm when shops close for lunch and everyone goes home. In school, I remember teachers telling us about it, but I never believed it because how could you get anything done?! However having been here for a few days I can confidently say, you don’t.
For example, my flatmates have had no wifi for three weeks. This isn’t solely because of siestas— it’s a college town so all the students are trying to get wifi as well. However, three weeks with no wifi is pretty outrageous and the only response they’ve gotten is “it’s the technicians not us, it’ll happen tomorrow.” It’s never happened. I now see how the Spanish can be viewed as “lazy.”
Banks close at two, and most shops shut down as well. My first day here I woke up at one in the afternoon (jet lag sucks), and quickly had to find food and go to the supermarket. Which I’m quite proud of myself to navigate everywhere on my own. Typically when I travel it’s with my father and he’s the one who does all the talking while I just sit there and listen.
When I first arrived to Madrid, I had to figure how to buy a bus ticket from Madrid to Soria. Asking and listening to such important information was terrifying. One of the workers at the airport could tell I could barely understand his instructions and basically said theres an English booth to the left that can better help you. As intimidated as I was, this is the type of challenge I was excited to face on my own. Figuring out how to get from the airport to the transit center then to Soria. Luckily there were other Americans who were lost and for some reason trusted me to translate between them and the bus drivers. I’m not sure why but it was definitely an ego boost.
When I got to Soria I had to take a taxi to my apartment, which was only four euros. When I met my roommates they made a nice big feast, or what the called “lunch.” I’ve never seen a lunch have so many plates and then they were talking about what we going to do for dinner. I was like what is not dinner and how can you be hungry after this feast? They chuckled and told me that dinner in Spain isn’t until like 9 or 10. I’m like that thats my bedtime. We all took a nap and of course because I was to tired from traveling I didn’t wake up until 10 and sure enough they were like ok dinner lets go get pizza. Mind you I’m still full from lunch that put me into a massive food coma.
But I was down because the pizza place has wifi and we don’t. Life without wifi or internet is strange. The t.v recently stopped working so now there is nothing at the apartment. It’s such a first world problem but they need wifi for their homework and I need it for entertainment. Soria is very small and I have traveled/explored most of it by foot. It’s a very beautiful town and the people are nice, but I’m getting a travel bug to explore a new city or get to work because doing nothing all day is starting to get to me.