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Spanish Time Zones

Writing in the local paper. Local issues with a global take. I never translate literally and the editor trims at will to make it fit. Here's my version, then theirs.

One of my first memories of Spain is how time felt completely different here than it did anywhere else I had ever been. During my first few visits I remember feeling like I was always an hour or two ahead and it couldn’t have been the jetlag because most of the times we had just come from France or Belgium. True, this was almost twenty years ago while I was touring with a band from New York City called Little Mike and the Tornadoes. I can remember being thrown off by the late dinners and starting concerts around midnight whereas we would normally start around nine or ten in the United States and would have probably eaten two hours before stepping on stage. I recall getting a few hours sleep and getting up early to explore the streets and wondering where everyone was at nine and then being confused when they disappeared again at two. That was a long time ago and now my stomach doesn’t start to rumble til two and my wife complains that I eat dinner later than most Spaniards on holidays do. It now no longer seems strange to me to say buenos dias at 1pm and buenas tardes at 9pm and I definitely think twice before calling someone at 4pm (siesta?) but there are still times when I feel an hour or two off. That is until this recent time change. The other day when the clock fell back, it seemed to slide into place. True, my two and a half year old daughter hasn’t recognized the change and is now getting up at seven rather than eight but when we step outside, the light seems just right for going to school on a brisk autumn morning. One thing I am sure of, tomorrow night, two decades later, I’ll step back on stage at 11.30 here in Caceres with my old New York friend and I’m sure it will feel like time hasn’t gone by at all.


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