Sunday, September 25, 2011

Culture Shock

It is day number... I've lost count... Day number four in Spain. Things are getting a little better but I am still dealing with culture shock. You can learn about the culture and know some of these things but it doesn't mean anything until you live in it.

Last night I didn't eat dinner. There is a bar on every corner and I wasn't really in the mood for bar food again. I wanted a restaurant, even if it wasn't typical Spanish food. So I went to the Chinese restaurant. When I went in I got the equivalent of an ugly, "What do you want?" Although the doors were open and it was within the posted hours, they evidently weren't open for business. So I went back to my hotel.

This morning I woke up at 9:30 and began moving at 10:15. About an hour later I arrived (It should only be a 10-15 minute walk but I get lost all the time.) at the flat. Then I went back for my backpack, laptop bag and to check out of the hotel. On the way I stoped by a "cafeteria" and asked for a menu. They looked at me funny so I said, "la comida?" Translation: Food? He then told me they didn't serve lunch until 1:30. So I continued on my way to the hotel and saw that most of the shops and cafes were closed.

I stayed in my hotel for a little longer and rested. When I left my room and went to the counter and not knowing exactly how to say I want to check out, I explained the situation-- I have found a flat and won't be returning. When she saw my check in record and that I was from the USA she spoke a little English. I continued to speak in Spanish; we had a short conversation.

Then when I walked back some shops were open. I bought some postcards and then just to have something to eat, mainly because I haven't eaten well since getting here, I got a cup of icecream. The icecream here is different than in the United States. The large here is the same size as in the United States but I guess it is more dense and felt more like an entire gallon. Or my stomache shrunk; which is quite possible too.

I am not sure what time lunch and dinner normally are. I can't seem to figure out when the stores are open and close.

But that said, things are getting better. I made it to the appartment in only 30-45 minutes this time, with some stops. Hopefully I can actually find my way around the town here soon.

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