Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is personal view of Spain and Spanish life as seen by a Briton living in a small village in Alicante province.
The other tabs link to similar blogs when I have lived in other places. The TIM magazine is an English language magazine I write articles for.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Time

Knowing what time to go to something can be quite tricky. We've been celebrating in the village the last couple of weeks and by arriving about twenty minutes late for the Neighbourhood Association meal for instance we were something like an hour early. This isn't always the case. On sure fire way to make sure that you are late is to presume that the event will start late. It almost certainly will but you can't presume and if you do expect a punctual start. Lots of things do run to time, or at least more or less, but time has an elasticity in Spain that is sometimes surprising to we Brits. I'm still amazed for instance that TV programmes can start both late or early.

Away from punctuality there is a time for things. Like the way that lunchtime starts at around 2pm or evening meals around 9 or 9.30pm. When I'm working this timetable which involves most businesses closing in the mid afternoon and then re-opening for an "evening" stint suits me fine. That's because I run to the same schedule but during the summer break it's dead easy to get up a bit late, set off a bit late and find that the boat ride or museum or whatever is just about to close for lunch as you arrive. Lots of businesses by the way have summer opening hours which means opening earlier than usual but then closing for the day at lunchtime whereas they would normally re-open after a two or three hour break for another three or four hour slot.

During the summer most outdoor events start late simply because it's a bit cooler as well as giving people time to finish their evening meal. We went to a British organised event the other evening that started at 7.30pm. and it felt very early. On the other hand it was a good thing too because we were able to go on to a Spanish organised event at 11pm without having to leave early or worry about a time clash. Meeting people at midnight or later isn't unusual by any means and during the summer Pinoso is much more lively at 2am than it is at 7pm - which, by the way, would be seven in the afternoon and  not seven in the evening to the Spanish way of thinking. Evening, like afternoon is loosely governed by eating times.

We're going to see the Melendi concert, in the picture, just because it's happening in Pinoso. Notice the start time. The tickets are more precise though and say 23.59 just to avoid any doubt about which evening it is!


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