Learning to Adapt


January 28, 2013 by ebostick1212

Ok, here’s the thing.  I feel like I have done a really good job culturally adapting to Spain.  I’ve gotten used to the fact that things move a little bit slower here.  I don’t mind the lines at the bank, nor the fact that my café con leche from a normal bar will take longer to get than a dry skim double foam venti latte (or something of the sort) at Starbucks.  Instead of fighting with my natural American instinct for efficiency, I let culture shock wash over me, and it eventually passes.  So you’d think that all things of the like would affect me equally.  Still, there is one thing my American brain is completely unwilling to accept, and that is the consistently late bus driver.

In general, the public transport here in Sevilla is pretty great.  With the metro, I can get from my apartment, 10 km away, to the door of my school in a half an hour.  The buses in the city center are also punctual and efficient.  There is one route, outside of the city walls, that ALWAYS manages to drive me bonkers.

If I decide to spend the weekend at my boyfriend’s house…and let’s face it, I do it a lot, since there is heat and home cooked food…I have to take the circular bus route from Bormujos to Mairena.  I have never had a good experience with this bus.

This bus is never on time.  In fact, it is never even close to being on time.  If the time on the schedule says 9:15 or 9:45, you’d better be there for 9:00 and 9:30, just in case they decide to come early that day.  Which they will do the one day you run late.  In all other scenarios, the bus will arrive twenty minutes to a half an hour after it is supposed to.  This situation is not very conducive to getting to work on time.  If I plan on taking the bus to work, I have to get up two hours earlier, in order to be on the safe side.  (In addition to always being late, the route takes an hour to get from one village to the village next to it.)

Then there is the bus driver.  She always seems personally inconvenienced by the fact you are getting on her bus.  I was surprised to find that one time, as I was climbing onto the bus, the driver was exiting to go to the nearby estanco, in order to buy her tobacco.  Just today, she double parked A BUS, to go get a tostada for breakfast.  At least she was kind enough to ask if I wanted anything.

One time, I waited for the bus for an hour and a half, only to be told that she couldn’t pick me up, because she had to go have lunch, and I would need to wait another half an hour for the next bus.  ¡Qué fuerte!

It may have been a bad idea to have gotten into an argument with her, but still, I couldn’t help feeling a little bit empowered…I mean, I had just held my own in Spanish!

So, I guess as culturally adapt as I claim to be, I still have my American ‘come ON, just get on with it already!’ moments, too.  Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to overcome this frustration, but right now, my desire for efficiency is sometimes getting in the way.

I feel like this sometimes.

I feel like this sometimes.

One thought on “Learning to Adapt

  1. Claire says:

    This is one of the biggest issues I face when I travel. Even for an American, I’m pretty rush-rush and Type A. This doesn’t fly in other countries. All you can do is take a breath, realize that whatever you want to hurry through probably isn’t that important, and wait.

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