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Spanish siesta

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wayfarer

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Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
I think it will be welcomed by everyone, Spanish included. My sons partner worked from nine to one pm, siesta till four, then worked from four till eight pm. It took her almost an hour to get home so most of siesta was taken up on the bus. Her employers wouldn't let the staff work through with a short lunch and finish early so the whole day was gone.
Siesta was fine pre air conditioning but its just crazy in this day and age.
 

Peter Fransiscus

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Anemone del Camino

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I found the info on Spain using the wrong Time interesting. For many eating late is a sign of sophistication, can't help wonder how that would play if Spain went back to its Time zone, also for tourism.
 
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Just came across on a bbc news item on a proposal by the acting spanish pm to abolish siesta. The proposal once approved n implemented will be welcomed by peregrinos.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35...social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_source=facebook

They've tried this before. There are a few sets of two Spains; that of large cities where the siesta is impractical for workers who would have to commute considerable distances to get to their houses, and that of small towns where it's a 10-minute walk. The other set of two Spains is that of the north, where the temperatures are only occasionally in the 30s, and that of the south, where much of the year is spent in great heat. Even with (expensive) air conditioning, the summer months are very difficult.
I do not know if the end of the siesta will be welcomed by all pilgrims. I found it best to get into the place where I was staying by 1ish, take the main meal of the day, then a hour or two as a siesta, leaving one fresh for an evening of sightseeing, socializing, mass-going, or just sitting in a plaza. The siesta worked very well for me.
 
C

Castilian

Guest
Just came across on a bbc news item on a proposal by the acting spanish pm to abolish siesta.

The proposal isn't a proposal yet. I mean there isn't yet a proposal to be voted on the deputies' congress about it. So far, they are just comments, intentions, commissions making studies and so on.

The deputies' congress has to elect a Prime Minister (called presidente in Spain) before May 3rd. If nobody is elected (it's been more than 100 days since the elections and nobody got yet enough support), it would be new elections on June 26th.

What the acting Prime Minister said on the link you provided isn't about abolishment of siesta but about a reduction (or even a supression, we don't know the details) of the time allocated for the lunch break that exist at many/most works. They are two different concepts.

Proposals to change the schedules aren't new. Since 2006 there's an association (www.horariosenespana.es) proposing to razionaliate the schedules in Spain. In 2013, the Commission of Equality of the Congress requested the Government to study the social and economic impact of adopting British (or Portugal) time and made some proposals of change on working schedules. In 2010, a Galician party requested without success to change the time of Galicia to have the same than in mainland Portugal...
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
I never found the siesta time in Spain to be too much of an issue when walking the Camino. Sure, a couple of times I was quite hungry when everything was closed, but otherwise no big deal. I always made it a point to get a real meal in me before 1:00 pm for that reason, and I always tried to have some food like protein bars and such in my pack to hold me over until dinner.
Otherwise it was shower, nap and then eat and drink. Pretty cool, huh?
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Siesta has its roots in the agrarian economy. Get up at first light, deal with stock, then head out into the fields to till and sow and reap and mow. Eat. Sleep through the heat of the afternoon and then rise and work again. I always thought it strange that this same rhythm of life came to be applied to accountancy and law though not engineering or mining.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
23 May (2016)
Oh yeah. Lets make everywhere in the world the same for the convenience of travellers.
Alison, it's not just about travelers.
Spanish economic is tanking partly because international business can't be conducted on siesta time.
In larger Spanish cities, people that commute to work struggle with siesta time and a double commute.
Spanish single parent working people have family/childcare issues related to siesta time.
It's not just pilgrims/tourists that have a problem with this.
But, with 26% unemployment and a heavily tourist-based economy, it definitely is one issue among many regarding siesta.
Bueno camino,
Jennifer
 
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KiwiBrownz

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Alison, it's not just about travelers.
Spanish economic is tanking partly because international business can't be conducted on siesta time.
In larger Spanish cities, people that commute to work struggle with siesta time and a double commute.
Spanish single parent working people have family/childcare issues related to siesta time.
It's not just pilgrims/tourists that have a problem with this.
But, with 26% unemployment and a heavily tourist-based economy, it definitely is one issue among many regarding siesta.
Bueno camino,
Jennifer
Yes there Youth Unemployment is still hitting 45% and like most governments around the world you wonder if they are targeting the right things for their people.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I do not know if the end of the siesta will be welcomed by all pilgrims. I found it best to get into the place where I was staying by 1ish, take the main meal of the day, then a hour or two as a siesta, leaving one fresh for an evening of sightseeing, socializing, mass-going, or just sitting in a plaza. The siesta worked very well for me.

Let me say that I like siesta and I like eating my dinner around midnight etc.

But... I can't imagine any pilgrim would like in mid-day siesta time coming into town with everything closed in need of anything. But I guess you mean the siesta after the work, in the afternoon. Well, that's not THE siesta anymore, that's simply end of a workday ;)

Ultreia!
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
Siesta has its roots in the agrarian economy. Get up at first light, deal with stock, then head out into the fields to till and sow and reap and mow. Eat. Sleep through the heat of the afternoon and then rise and work again. I always thought it strange that this same rhythm of life came to be applied to accountancy and law though not engineering or mining.
Exactly, and why it is archaic in a way and doesn't always apply to modern society with climate controlled buildings (when you work indoors in AC no need to dodge the heat of the day), international business dealings and tourists from countries who have no concept of the idea. Not trying to push anything on anybody, just saying why the concept is not widely accepted. Personally I like it, but definitely see its modern setbacks.
When I worked in Afghanistan, the area I worked in would frequently push 120 degrees (F) during the summer months. The Afghans we were working with and training were accustomed to the way of life they have had for hundreds of years, and that is the work only in the morning and evening and avoid the midday heat. Stay up late and eat dinner late. That was way different than westerners were used to and at times it made for some speedbumps. Hey, I can't blame them for their customs there. It was damn hot. There's an old quote about who goes out in the midday sun..."mad dogs and....."
 
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Siesta has its roots in the agrarian economy. Get up at first light, deal with stock, then head out into the fields to till and sow and reap and mow. Eat. Sleep through the heat of the afternoon and then rise and work again. I always thought it strange that this same rhythm of life came to be applied to accountancy and law though not engineering or mining.
Hola Tincatinker - I think you will find that the siesta came to the Iberian Peninsular with the Romans who (surprisingly) found it hotter than Italy/Rome. From an economic viewpoint I understand that bankers and others in the financial world in the capitals of Europe (eg Paris and Berlin) do have a problem with the 2 hour shutdown.
As a pilgrim I can't recall being affected by it - probably bought lunch supplies either the day before or enroute as soon as I found somewhere suitable open.
For me the real problem with Spain is that they are on European Standard Time when more than half the country is in fact WEST of London so if they moved to London time (like Portugal) the start and end of day would be more correctly aligned. "Viva la Revolution"!!
 
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Al the optimist

Veteran Member
Maybe the UK and Portugal should move their times? ;) But either way this does not address Siestas does it? I personally have no problems with whatever they choose to do. None of my business and I will adapt to whatever. Personally after having worked in Spain some years ago I find that I have adopted the siesta as a way of life even though I now live in England. I time my Camino days to finish around 1:00 which works out great for me in many ways. Not least of which is clothes drying time then available. But this is just me and each to their own.
 
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bunnymac

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I remember back in the 70s, when the Corte Inglés started its "horario continuo" (no closing for siesta), people predicted the demise of the siesta. I guess tradition dies hard, even though millions of working people are probably suffering the effects of it. This is particularly true for families with kids, as others have pointed out. I had friends who spent a year in Barcelona with their elementary school aged kids. The kids' school day included a three hour playtime in the schoolyard. Kids with caregivers at home went home for those hours and came back for the end of the day. Grandparents and maids seem to be the primary providers for those hours, meaning that there are some working people (like my friends) who have to opt for the long long school day.

I have always thought that if government workers had had to spend the day with a long siesta in the middle, things would have changed much more quickly. But all my friends who work in government jobs, no matter what the level of government (national, regional, or local) have a work day that is essentially 8-3. That makes for a late lunch (but hunger is staved off by the millions of bars surrounding big government offices and offering the ideal place for a post-breakfast coffee or a pre-lunch tapa).
 
C

Castilian

Guest
The question of what you call the siesta time is more complex than what it seems. (Some) People is requesting to rationalize the schedules in Spain so they can conciliate their familiar life with their work life and that means many things; not just suppresing the lunch break time (what you call the siesta time). Many people is in favour of improving the conciliation of familiar life with working life but there are differences in the proposals they make to achieve it as well as what it's good for some people (groups) isn't as good for others. I wouldn't expect changes in the short term future because firstly we would need to get a Government, later it would have to reach an agreement about what sort of changes of schedules are needed, approve them, implement them...

For me the real problem with Spain is that they are on European Standard Time when more than half the country is in fact WEST of London so if they moved to London time (like Portugal) the start and end of day would be more correctly aligned.

That's another story although some people is linking it with what you call the siesta one. To adopt British time (or not) doesn't seem a question as complex as what you call the siesta one but many people who is in favour of rationalize schedules (whatever that finally means) is against changing the time zone. In other words, this question might meet more opposition than the other one.

But all my friends who work in government jobs, no matter what the level of government (national, regional, or local) have a work day that is essentially 8-3.

I know someone who had to go one or two afternoons a week to work in a regional work. Some public schools still have a lunch break. There are also works like, for example, doctor or police that have special working times/turns. But yes, many of the people that works for the Goverment(s) have a continuous working schedule (i.e.: no lunch break)
 
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Anemone del Camino

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What I would give for an 8 to 3 working schedule. I grew up with The long midday break In Mexico. But school started super early, and ended In Time for lunch at hime at 2, and no going back to school. Working adultes did head back to work from 4 to 7 or 8pm. University also starting In The wee Hours of The morning, then off to work, to return for further classes At The end of The day.
 

biarritzdon

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There is a shorter midday closing time in France and I don't foresee that ever going away. I wouldn't expect to see France follow Spain's lead or visa-versa in this issue. A civilized meal shared by all after 1pm with friends over a good bottle of wine is a way of life. Shops are closed and life is relaxed until 3pm, nothing wrong with that.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
More than siesta, I have found more inconvenient (and surprising) that in many European countries almost every shop (except restaurants) close in Sundays, even in tourists spots. But it is as it is, and I have learnt to plan my shoppping with anticipation.
If every country had the same styles and ways, the world would be a very boring place.
 

Tia Valeria

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One of the reasons that we love Spain (not just the Camino) is the slower lifestyle, including siesta and Sunday closing. A lovely change from the increasing attitude of 24/7 which is common in so many places.
 
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I totally agree Val. I don't look forward to the new regime of shops being open all day on Sundays here in the UK.

Although not a practising catholic anymore I do welcome that in my country most small shops close on sunday.
Bigger, mostly clothing ,shops can open on sunday but must close a weekday to compensate.
Go for a walk, spend some time with family or friends or just be bored...
Mankind really can survive one day without buying stuff.
 

navarro

Active Member
As spanish I don´t agree with that news. This new doesn´t annalyze well the concept of siesta. Siesta or nap is a small relax a half hour or an hour to rest. Usually a small sleep after having lunch. It isn´t the same as break to have lunch, usually two hours between 1 pm to 4 pm. It is not the siesta "de pijama y orinal" (pijama and potty) a long nap of trhee hours or more in bed, as said by Cela.
If the break lunch takes you two hours or less is quite impossible to have a siesta, depending on the places you dont have time, to go out of work, arrive home, have a meal and go back to work, even more if you have to take your children at school. Shops and other business closes at midday, not for the siesta, they open later, at five pm because people do shopping in the evening. If you finish your work at six pm or later when will you do shopping? xcepting the hipermarkets. The shps are closed because at that time don´t have customers. Go to a bar and perhaps yo can find old people playing cards young people may be working. Conclusison not all spanish people have a long nap nor all spanish have a torero suit.
 
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