I don't know how this happened but somehow it's Sunday once again. Didn't the weekend just start? Don't I still have hours and hours of spare time ahead of me? Did these past fews days somehow manage to escape my grand ambitions of productive work-doing? Yes, yes they did. Have I already resigned myself to being unproductive today even though it's still only 12:30PM? Yes, yes I have.
Here's what I've been thinking about about lately: Yesterday I was reading a blog written by a girl from the U.S. studying abroad in Seville and I was struck by how many of the things she mentioned regarding her experiences were things that I've noticed and commented on before. Things like how some countries teach that there are five continents instead of seven - sorry giant ice hunk of Antarctica, you're going the way of Pluto. And North America has just become a giant mole on the face of South America; together, the Americas. Another observation she made: oh hey, wine is fun. And I'm drinking it. In Spain. Is this shocking? I don't know but it made me feel very cliche and bourgeois. When you travel and live abroad you like to think that you're learning and changing the way you think about the world in a more "enlightened" way, but when it boils down to it maybe you're just lapping up the excess anomalies along with the foam from your beer.
I got this impression further when I read a travel article in the NYTimes about Madrid. In it it mentioned the four hour dinner that everyone has in Spain. Really? Four hours? And you're the NYTimes, you don't have an excuse. The writer was talking about how all Spaniards sit and eat dinner for four hours every evening and aren't they lucky that they in their old world lifestyle have the time for this? Must be nice over there in Spain, with its siestas and bull-fighting and tapas. I can't help but wonder if the author truly believes that Spain corresponds so strongly to its stereotyped image or if its a manner of conspicuous observation; "I understand Spanish culture because I mention tapas." Sooo, if you come to Spain and do "Spanish" things - tapas, wine, siestas - are you really actually experiencing Spanish culture or just the Frommers version of it? Bottom line is I don't know one single person here who sits down to a four hour dinner.