A Professor Abroad

On Being a Morning Person in a Night-time Kind of Place

Technically, I am awake. That seems obvious, even if it doesn’t exactly feel true. It’s day… 3? of our trip to Spain (and later Morocco), we’re in Granada, and although I slept well last night out of sheer exhaustion, this morning is a struggle.

We left South Carolina on Tuesday, arrived Wednesday afternoon, and today is Friday. Wednesday night was the first time I slept since Monday (as I can’t sleep on planes), and although Thursday morning was pretty great, day two of jet-lag (i.e. today) is when it tends to kick me in the teeth. It’s the night/day that my body tries to return to its usual time zone, regardless of what’s happening around me. And the problem is compounded by Spain’s radically different eat/sleep schedule.

I learned yesterday there’s a saying in Spain that the streets aren’t set up before 8:00 am. This is true, at least, in the sense that nothing is open before 8:00. I discovered that when I woke around 7:00 yesterday and blearily sought for coffee options using Google. Turns out, Dunkin’ Donuts opens at 8:00, but basically everything else opens at 8:30 or 9:00 at the earliest. And since our accommodations are little studio apartments that do not provide hotel-type things like coffee and breakfast, I desperately need to get to a grocery store today.

(Praise heaven that Trina, my colleague and co-leader of the trip, had the foresight to bring instant coffee packets. I’d probably be crying right now if she hadn’t shared some of those magical little coffee crystals with me).

So, in Spain, breakfast is a light affair around 8:00 or 9:00, lunch is a big meal around 2:30, and dinner… well, the dinner hour is still beyond my comprehension. It typically starts at 9:00. 9:00! That’s like 3.5 hours later than I’m used to, y’all. We arrived at a tapas restaurant at like 8:15 yesterday evening and were the only ones in the place for quite a while. [Tapas are small plates served with your drink, so eating is a long, drawn out affair, albeit a delicious one]

We’ll see what happens in the next seven or so days that I’m here. Perhaps I’ll adjust. Today my goal is just to avoid getting grumpy/hangry. And to find a grocery store.

Fortunately, this trip is organized with a study abroad program that has centers here in Granada as well as Rabat (where we’ll be next week). This means that there are several Spanish adults around to run things and shepherd us all around. Yesterday, they ran orientations for us in which we talked about cultural differences and important things like health and safety. The students are staying with home-stay families, and overall it’s *really* nice to feel like responsibility is somewhat dispersed.

We went on a lovely walking tour of the Albayzín (medieval part of the city) and Sacromonte (Roma district) neighborhoods last night. The weather mostly cooperated – it stopped raining shortly after we set out, and it only started again after we finished. The walk was very hilly, but we got some beautiful views of the Alhambra Palace (where we’ll be visiting next week).

I may post again this evening when I’m feeling more coherent, but for the time being I need to find real coffee.

Alhambra Pano

This entry was written by DoctaBlouke and published on January 12, 2018 at 3:28 am. It’s filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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