This was a short assignment I had for the NYU program I was attending in Madrid. It’s not entirely finished but… ah well, I had fun with it!
What is Spain?
Spain is… 257 different types of ham
323 tapas (not including the varieties of ham)
17 distinct and different regions (some of whom would rather be called “countries”)
333 different wines… did I mention they enjoy their meals here?
Spain is… a country of siestas. But not of siestas. Because you see, there is in fact an indisputable time of day between the hours of roughly 2 and 5 pm where 70% of the country shuts down. However…
There are those who claim the siesta does not exist, it’s a preconceived idea that outsiders impose onto Spain, it’s outdated, the siesta isn’t real, and nobody really naps for three hours in the middle of the day.
Well, they’re be partially right.
Nobody naps for three hours here, but many people manage to eat for a good potion of that time (I may or not be included among them).
Which brings me to the 30% of the country that is not shutdown during these hours. Ahem:
• NYU Madrid clases
• Corte Ingles (super mall store including cosmetics, clothing, book, technology and grocery sections)
• Restaurants, bars, cafes, restaurants, restaurants, restaurants…
Now, important for any potential traveler – there exists a beautiful phenomenon in Spain called “menú-del-día,” a 9-12 Euro all-inclusive, 3-course meal, or rather, the tool by which one is able to spend nearly three hours consumed in lunch, or in Spain as it is called, “comida,” literally translated as = food. Picture a first course (larger than your standard dinner appetizer by far, as in, I watched someone get an entire Paella complete with seafood and chorizo for this “primer plato”), then a second course (an even more ridiculous amount of food – the same person who got a Paella as a first course got an entire steak and fries for his second course), then a dessert, not to mention your fresh bread and incredibly high quality olive oil (Spain is famous for it) on the side, or your included drink – did I tell you about the wine?
So if someone tells you siesta doesn’t exist, well no, not exactly, not in sleep form at least, but it’s definitely real and delicious. Confused yet? Don’t worry, have another glass of wine and a tapa. Spain is waiting for you.