Spanish culture: it all makes sense to me now

I had a bit of trouble adjusting to the Spanish schedule when I got here. Here theday starts around 9 or 10AM. Then people work until 2PM or so, when they take a break for lunch, which is the biggest meal of the day. After lunch people take a nap, the ever-popular siesta. Then around 5 or 6PM people go back to work.

Now, I really don’t have anything against eating big lunches, siestas, or working in the evening. But in that order things become a little difficult. When I take a siesta right after eating my food doesn’t digest properly and then it hangs out in my intestines for the rest of the day wreaking havoc. And when I have to wake up from my siesta to go back to work (which are usually private lessons) it’s like waking up in the morning all over again. I have to brush my teeth again, brush my hair again, I’m groggy all over again. If I accidentally oversleep my siesta (which happens a lot or maybe all of the time) then I can’t fall asleep at night.

And when it comes to going out on the weekends the parties start at midnight at the earliest and go until sunrise. Dude, I just can’t do it. I get tired. It’s cold. My bed is so wonderful. Sleeeeeeeeeeep.

But, in the last month my views on this have all changed. Now it’s almost summer and it’s light all evening. At 2PM it’s too hot to move, hence the siesta. In the evening it’s light out until 10PM. 10PM! It’s light out so long that we don’t know what to do with ourselves all day. Again the siesta comes in handy.

Madrid at 9PM:

And when it’s still light out at 10PM, there’s no way I can even think of getting ready to go out for the evening. And since nighttime is when the heat finally lifts from the city, it’s actually quite pleasant to pass the time in the calle or a plaza or wherever we may be. We’ll stay out until 5 without even realizing it. Yep, Spanish culture is finally starting to make sense to me.

Madrid at 10PM:


  1. As I’m reding this I’m perched on my little balcony in Granada, at 9:30pm, as the sun is just setting. I have the same thing back home, but it is lovely to experience it here too! And with everything open so late in Spain, I can actually find an excuse to spend time outside at this time of night too. Wonderful!

    1. Oh I bet Granada is beautiful this time of year! I visited in December and loved it, but I’m sure it’s wonderful now.

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