Just wanted to post a quick apology for the lack of articles over the past two weeks! A and I took a trip we’ve been dreaming about forever: we spent the past 10 days in Barcelona, and just got in last night.
I had grand plans to write a bunch of great posts that would publish while I was gone (since our Internet was a bit iffy over there) and, of course, life intervened. I got super busy with copywriting work right before we left and just couldn’t get to it.
I will, however, be back to posting on a regular schedule starting this week! There are some really cool posts and reviews coming up (including another Terra Plana shoe review on Oct. 19, with a great coupon!) that I’m really excited about.
Recycling In Spain
One thing that really struck me about Barcelona is how easy it is to recycle there.
Instead of picking up recycling bins for each household, there are big dumpsters every two blocks for cans, paper, plastic, and glass. So no matter where you’re walking in the city, you’re never far from a recycling bin, which I thought was amazing.
It was actually much easier to recycle over there than it is here in the States.
People also don’t buy tons of bottled water like Americans do. Barcelona has an amazing number of beautiful drinking fountains, and when people want a drink they go take a sip, or they carry a small cup with them. We had our Sigg, and we never had to walk far, at all, to find fresh, clean water.
The only people I saw toting bottled water around were American tourists. And the majority of the time, those bottles went straight into the trash can. It was a sad thing.
The Slow Life In the Big City…
I was also struck by the slower pace in this city. Barcelona is a thriving metropolis of about 4 million people, and there’s no doubt that it’s bustling.
But I never got the sense, like I do here in America, that people are out to “do, do, do”, and that money and “accomplishment” are always the end goal.
Here’s what I mean: people in Barcelona only work from 9:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. At 2:00, they break for siesta. Most of the shops close, and everyone heads outdoors for a long lunch with friends, or home for lunch and a nap.
There’s no hurry: they take the time to enjoy their espresso, and to savor their lunch. They sit in the sun, read the paper, and take the time to talk with strangers.
I didn’t see one person “working” while they were eating. When they stop working, they stop working.
They go back to work at 4:00 or 4:30, and then stay until 7 or 8 p.m. Dinner is usually at 9:00.
A Simple Lesson…
As I’ve walked around observing Barcelona life these past two weeks I’ve realized I can learn a lot from these people. Countless times I’ve sat down at my own desk and wolfed down a lunch, barely tasting it, trying to get more work done. Or, rushed through my morning coffee so I can get on to the next thing.
But, how sad is that?
Now that I see how this culture has modified their schedule to allow more room for “living”, I can see the stark differences between their day and my own. The difference? They’ve made living their top priority, not working.
It’s a lesson I’m resolving to take to heart.