23 July 2005

The pace of life

Your work day is my evening generally. The work schedule here is interesting - go to work around 9 or 9:30, go home at 2 (no lunch break just a morning break (though I think they snack then). They go home at 2 and back to work around 4:30 OR 5 until between 8-9pm The restaurants don't open for dinner until 8:30 or 9. We hear people in our apartment building obviously eating dinner at 11 when we are getting ready for bed. (clanking plates etc.)

Our day? We get up at 8 am; my body still isn't sure that is isn't 1am. Meet S. who we share a van with to go to school by 9:30. The next two weeks we will be driving another absent missionary's van on our own, yippe, our own wheels.

School is about 15 minutes away down a narrow and getting narrower side road. We pass ruins that look hundreds of years old and olive orchards (are they orchards?) with gorgeous ancient stone walls on the way. Once you get to the neighborhood turn off it is a one lane road lined on one side by a stone wall. If someone else is coming you have to back up to a wide spot. The ministry complex has three buildings and sometimes the gate is still closed when we get there and someone has to get out and push the gate open.

We get out of school at 2pm but seems like there is always something to do and we aren't home exactly then, closer to 3.Our Spanish teacher gets off at 2 but we don't have to go back - we use the afternoon time to do errands once things open up again. Like the other day, we went to the post office at 6:30pm. A strange sensation to be transacting so late. It was quite the challenge. Everyone sort of milled around in the middle and booths all around are glassed in. There were obvious numbers above each booth and we realized we needed a number. I finally got up my courage to ask someone and she took us back outside and pointed to the machine as you come in the door. Hello? Hola?

We have eaten out a couple times at random restaurants, nothing classicly Spanish necessarily. It has been around 9pm but it doesn't seem late probably because it's like everything is just coming alive for the evening. The service is laid back and you have to ask for the bill at the restaurants. I really like not being rushed. We did miss the last bus back home last Sataurday night because we'd gone to watch an evangelistic outreach by the Spanish church here and then stopped for dinner. Since they don't rush and we didn't have a bus schedule, well the evening got away from us. We were standing at the bus stop trying to decide what to do when a middle aged couple from the church happened by...S knew them and they gave us a ride. Happily we didn't have to walk home. A great coincidence...God's provision.


  1. What a very different pace of life you lead over there. Though I am sure there are people in the U.S. that eat dinner late at night.

    It would be weird being at a post office at 6:30 p.m. I have been there around 5 pm and they are sure to lock the doors and pull the blinds so no one else gets in.

  2. What happens if you live a ways from work? That is quite different from what I am used to, and you know how much of a night owl I am.

  3. I had dinner at 9:30 last night. I would not want to do this regularly. I can't imagine waking our kids up to feed them!

  4. Clearly, what you described sounds about right for me. I live for the night. I am a vampire!

  5. I eat at 9:30 or 10:00 all the time. It's usually about the time I get home from work. If I do get off work earlier, I have errands to run and don't get home until about then anyway. I do eat earlier in the winter though - about 8:00.