The Spanish way of life is very different from what you may be used to if you have grown up in Britain. Some aspects take a bit of getting used to, or maybe just an understanding of how things work before you can fully settle in Spain as a foreign national. To find out more, check out Costa Blanca bargain properties, as this site has some great articles on how to settle into your new home.
You may have chosen Spain as your new home because you liked the idea of the laid back pace of life. But this in itself will take a bit of adjustment. Everything seems to happen later in Spain. The work day usually starts around 10am. Then there is the long lunch and siesta period between 2pm and 4pm. Most people wont leave the office before 8pm, and then wouldnt even consider dinner before 10pm. Very often people will be out enjoying dinner or drinks until midnight, even on a work night. On weekends, the nightlife is legendary, and people would often be out at bars and clubs until the early hours of the next morning.
The concept of siesta, a designated resting time after lunch, comes about because of the high temperatures. It is a way to escape the heat of the day and deal with the lethargy that comes with it. This split in the work day is often a challenge to adjust to, especially if you are used to using your lunch break to run errands or do shopping. Apart from cafes and restaurants, you wont find anything open during siesta.
There generally seems to be no hurry in Spain. Bus timetables may be unreliable, but nobody seems to worry about being a few minutes late and work hours seem to be unofficially flexible.
Spanish food is a wonderful voyage of discovery. It has influences from Roman, Jewish, and Andalusian traditions. It also incorporates a lot of potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and beans, borrowed from South American cooking styles. Spain produces 44% of the worlds olives. So there is no surprise that olive oil features strongly in their cooking. Dishes are usually prepared by hand with fresh ingredients, often from a local market. Bread is served with meals (and not as an appetiser with butter as you may be used to). Wine is served with most meals.
Tapas is traditionally a small snack that is served with drinks at a bar, often for free. It has become a signature of Spanish cuisine. It isnt usually ordered as a meal in itself except by tourists. Dessert is usually a piece of fruit or a dairy product.
Spanish families are very close, often choosing to live near to each other and still having big family meals regularly. This type of inclusion often extends to other people, so you may be treated like a family member by newfound friends and neighbours. Locals love to hang around in big groups, enjoying food and drinks in bars or cafes, or walking around the streets, enjoying the weather. Flamenco music and dancing is big in most towns, though locals are more likely to be found at a football match than a flamenco performance.
Learn a few Spanish phrases early, it will be appreciated by the locals and you will find it easier to fit in. Look out for local holidays and festivals. Many towns have their own special events and days off to honour particular patron saints as Roman Catholicism is the main religious tradition in the country. These are wonderful times to get involved and experience Spanish traditions. It wont take long before you have settled into your new routine.