Emily Kuhn is a student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an ISA Featured Blogger. Emily is currently studying abroad with ISA in Málaga, Spain.
I have been in Spain for approximately a month and a week but it feels like I have been here for longer. I enjoy living in Málaga; I live close to the beach, right by one of the main streets and love my host señora. What was jarring to me, and what kept me from fully embracing Spanish life, was the pace at which the Spanish people move.
The siesta time is usually right after the usual 2:30/3 lunch and mosies on until about 5 in the evening. When I meet up with my intercambio partner, Paco, I can expect him to be ten to fifteen minutes late every time. Meals are eaten slowly, the news is watched attentively and I slowly began to believe that the phrase “pressing appointment” doesn’t exist in Spain. At first, this was exciting — a Spanish cultural quirk I could hint at on Facebook. However, once my daily routine settled into place, I became a bit anxious. I felt like I was missing so much just by living slower.
Then I finally realized that this slower pace of life can be enjoyable. Now I am accustomed to it and enjoy the little pockets of time that occur while waiting for the bus, setting the table or settling into a siesta. I have stopped wearing my watch, because time has become relative, not absolute. There is no rush, little frenzy, and Spain has become molasses-sweet because of it.
Enjoy that pace before you have to return here to the “Happy Valley” and start rushing around again! Believe me, this was the best week EVER to be in Spain instead of in Massachusetts!