Yes, it is not a rumor but a true phenomenon: siesta. Siesta( the word "siesta" in spanish literally translates as "nap"), is the time of the day where everything shuts down from 2pm-5pm...I mean seriously everything. You can't go to any stores because they are all closed,clothing stores, corner stores, restarants, department stores, you name it, it's closed. So, basically, you can't plan to do anything productive(besides go to the library) because every thing is closed....so you're sort of forced to take a nap :)
(I have proof!!!)
The siesta, which goes along with lunch(they have lunch around 2pm here), is when workers go home and kids come home from school and eat lunch with their family. Family is very important here and kids actually stay with their parents longer here than in the US. It's the norm for someone is in college to still be staying with their parents.
Also, there is alot more PDA(public displays of affection). I mean, you're surrounded by shoulder-arm wrapping, holding hands in the breeze, kissy kissy personas wherever you go: at the bus-stop, on the bay, in the mall, walking to any destination. There are sightings everywhere!
(I have more proof!!!!)
I asked someone why this is and they attributed it to the way of culture concerning visiting your friends. It's typical here that you don't have your friends over to your house. It's actually rare to have someone over, and most time people here meet in the street, or go to a local bar or restaurant. Therefore, people are always outside of their house meeting or getting up, so especially for the younger crowd, the only place to show affection is in the street since they usually don't have people over at their own homes.
Also, the european culture is more open about showing their body than we are in the US. You will pass magazine stands and see mags of naked women and that's just what it is. They also show more nudity on television(but haven't seen any programs that show more in Spain), and here at the beaches, it's not rare to catch someone sunbathing in their original birthday suit (I have seen this).....
And the food here is great!!! It's very fresh, and the city of Santander is right on the beach so I have had some of the best fish of my life!! I also tried for the first time muscles with tomato sauce and onions which was quite delicious. I have also had fried anchovies(I didn't know what they were until after I ate them) as well as I ate squid in a dish called paella.
(A picture of my paella)
Oh, and back on food, meals here are at different times than the US. As I said, lunch is at 2pm and is the largest and most important meal in the Spanish culture. You typically have dinner around 9-10pm. This goes back to the work schedule. Since people take siesta, they typically go back to work from 5-8pm. Thus, they have dinner later.
Breakfast is around the same time we have it but it's the lightest meal, usually consisting of galletas(breakfast cookies), coffee or another hot drink in the winter and a piece of fruit.
Check out more pics above snaps of the life.....
until the next tap,