After a trip to the modern art gallery where Senora Mendoza’s Year 1 class waved at me every time they passed me…
…and it really is a fascinating building. I might mock, but I did think it looked great – a complete contrast to the brick-built neighbours…
… I headed for a coffee. The woman who served me was taken aback that I only wanted a drink. I was a little bemused until I realised that I had arrived bang in the middle of second breakfast.
The cafe was already full – tables of people drinking coffee and eating toast covered in ham, cheese or tomatoes.
As I took my seat, it became clear that I avoided the real rush by the skin of my teeth. The queue was out of the door and filled with groups of friends/colleagues – they all looked like office workers – catching up.
Spain is such a sociable country. At work in the UK before the pandemic, there was never such a wholesale group activity for breaks. Even within small teams, you’d always have to leave two or three behind to deal with queries. I can’t think of anything that would be the equivalent unless it is the office Christmas lunch.
You might have four or six of you who would have lunch together – possibly with one of you nipping out to do the buttie run (grab the sandwiches for everyone) – but nothing like on the scale of what I saw today.
I’ve heard about the second breakfast on the various food tours I’ve done. I understood the theory. But seeing everyone pile into a coffeshop together is something else. The Spanish way is so utterly different to anything I’ve experienced in the UK. I really hope they never lose it.
It’s a totally different mindset. I’m sure there must be individuals sitting in an office somewhere saying, “I can’t join you today – I just need to get x done”. Or maybe they don’t like their colleagues and stay at their desk?
Or maybe that just doesn’t happen because of a completely different culture and attitude to life, in comparison with the UK?
I’ve given up on trying to do five courses – even trying to match the portions, I can’t do it. So, after a marvellous Lebanese lunch, I went to the Aquarium.
And there’s always room for cake.