IT’S Saturday night in Sevilla. I’m cuddled up in bed with my Spanish dictionary. I reflect upon my situation and think, “what’s wrong with this picture?” Nothing!
I’m learning Spanish. The language has got me by the heartstrings. It’s crawled under my skin and I’m smitten as a kitten. Not to mention, my dictionary date is at 9pm which means I have at least 3 hours to rally before the nightlife in Spain really kicks in.
Spanish culture is slower paced, with meals eaten significantly later than the typical American schedule. Consequently, this means the party gets started a lot later in Spain and they tend to rage until the wee morning hours. I knew that coming into Spain.
What I hadn’t realized is how malleable a lifestyle can be to adjusting.
Meals fall seamlessly into place at their later time. My hunger postpones itself accordingly. Having a beer at lunch and relaxing into mealtime is a lovely, welcomed change. We’re sitting down for tapas with eight people and letting four hours roll by before it’s time to float on, with bubbly chatter, to the next attraction.
When I “get a coffee” (which can mean indulging in any kind of drink, a tapa, or going for a walk) with a Spanish companion, the time denotes to an even lower rank. Translating and fumbling through sentences requires an unlimited allotment of time. The conversation cannot be rushed or it spawns into grotesque, asymmetrical frustration.
This time modification has not been without bumps in the road, but the learning process is half, oh at least half, of the experience. If fact maybe it’s the whole reason for stepping outside your boundaries. You’re opened up to flaws, exercising patience with yourself carrying the goal to reach a deeper place than where you started.