I ventured out this morning into the local shops & markets of El Puerto de Santa Maria. With the assistance of my phrasebook and the patience of shopkeepers, I managed to buy postcards from a tiny bookshop, toys for souvenirs, and fresh frutas from a little grocer. The locals were sincere and accommodating.
All one's daily tasks must be completed by 2:30pm. The early afternoon hustle and din softens to a murmur as siesta approaches. It's a challenge to find lunch during siesta as many businesses close, and people tend to lunch leisurely at home. Usually, by the time I realize I should eat, it becomes apparent that nearly everything has closed! I've developed a habit of making a cup of tea, reading, sunning by the pool, or enjoying a walk on the quiet streets to pass the time. Some businesses re-open from 6-8pm, while people go out again for drinks and tapas. Dinner doesn't begin until around 9 or 10pm. Little children laugh and play alongside their parents late into the night. It's both an 'early bird' and a 'night owl' culture all in one!
And speaking of drinks, this is the Rioja region of Spain. The regional wine is smooth, heady and delicious! One should simply request a, "DO" (Designation of Origin)wine for a nice quality. It will typically only cost about 4 euro per glass. As Louis Pasteur wrote, "A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world."