Spanish living: Observations and experiences

  • Lunch is the biggest meal of the day and is often eaten around 2-4pm. Most restaurants offer “menu del dia” (menu of the day) with a set price, typically around 9-12 Euro. The meal includes a starter dish such as salad or soup, a main entree and dessert. Sometimes it includes a drink and bread too.

Meditterean Lunch by the sea

  • Dinner is around 9:30pm and later and is a lighter meal. This is the typical meal people go out for tapas.
  • Tapas are a small one person appetizer. In a few Andalucia cities (including Roquetas), tapas are free when you order an alcoholic drink or mosto (essentially grape juice)

Tinto de Verano (typical Spanish drink, think wine soda) and Salmorejo (thick tomato dip)

  • Drink prices average 2-2.50 euro (with tapa) and you can order extra tapas for 1.50-2.50 each (so it’s only 50-1.00 euro less to not have a drink!)
  • Soda always comes in a glass bottle (novelty for me) and served with a glass. Spaniards always pour there soda into a glass.
  • The typical bedtime is around 12:30 (according to my Spanish friends and yes, I usually go to bed at this hour)
  • Siesta is usually from the hours  of 14:00-17:00
    • most stores are closed and reopen from 17:00- 20:00
    • streets in Roquetas are quiet
  • If you take a siesta (rest or take a nap), it’s typically 20 minutes (not 2-3 hours)
  • Grocery stores are open Monday-Saturday typically from 9:00-21:00. The grocery stores in my town don’t close for siesta (thankfully). Grocery stores are closed on Sundays* and on holidays- I’ve learned to  plan ahead in regards to store hours. *In bigger cities, you can often find a grocery store open on Sundays.
  • In the produce section, vegetables and fruits are labeled by name, where they are grown and if they are first or second quality
    • You must weigh your produce on a scale. press the button for what produce you have and a sticky label prints out.
    • They love there plastic bags for produce! (This is frustrating and annoying to me, I don’ t need a plastic bag for 2 bell peppers). They also want you to wear plastic gloves when selecting your vegetables. (Really? How many other hands have touched these darn veggies/fruits before they got to the grocery store? Exactly.)
  • Banks are open from 8:00-14:00 (sometimes till 14:30) Monday-Friday.
  • Paychecks take 3 days to process (Twice, I have not been able to withdraw money and have had to wait till the check processed)

(People who work during those hours, I’m not sure how they take care of there banking needs)

 What are customs you have noticed living in Spain?

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