February 7, 2013 at 5:00 AM
Anyone who knows me would most likely be surprised to hear that in the past week or so, I tried octopus and hiked through the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Well, I did. But to me, participating in frequent, adventurous activities isn’t the biggest change in my life here in Granada compared to life at home.
There are so many cultural differences between Granada and Penn State that I have been adjusting to in the past week and a half since I’ve begun my study abroad experience.
For example, everything here is much slower — from walking in the street to eating at a restaurant. The people here don’t seem to have a sense of urgency. This takes some getting used to and a lot of patience.
At home, we always rush past everyone on the way to class and eat as quickly as possible when we go to dinner. We want fast service and quick commutes. But here, people focus more on spending time with others than getting things done at a rapid pace.
Here, taking food to go or ordering out doesn’t really happen. Spaniards seem to prefer to use their meals to spend time with friends and family.
While the change of pace has been a challenge for me, I think this is something that we could use a little bit of in the United States.
On the topic of food, mealtimes are another major cultural difference that I am adjusting to. Here, we eat breakfast in the early morning and some Spaniards have a “second breakfast” around 11 a.m.
Lunchtime takes place at about 2:30 p.m. here. Lunch, the biggest meal of the day, usually consists of at least three courses. For dinner, we usually go out for tapas at about 9:30 p.m.
Granada is known for its cheap tapas. When someone orders a drink at a bar for about 2 euros, it comes with some type of tapas. Depending on the restaurant some are bigger or better than others.
Although different, I’m beginning to take in the way of life here and make it my own. I am looking forward to this way of life being the norm – although I’m not sure if my stomach will ever stop growling at noon everyday in anticipation of lunch.