I was born and raised in Austria. Admittedly, I am not used to having to pull a number when I go into a store to buy something. Here in Mallorca, you have to pull a waiting number for pretty much any business you attempt to do: whether you are buying fruits or whether you are getting a contract for a cell phone. Same story at the post office, IKEA’s furniture store, or when you want to rent a car.
When I was new here, it really ticked me off. It seemed that the longer the queue was for waiting customers, the slower the pace was at which the sales people worked. But I had no other choice than to wait again and again, to surrender to what I could not control.
There is a reason why the Spaniards have the reputation to say “mañana”, meaning tomorrow, when they cannot (or maybe don’t want to) do something and try to postpone it for some other time (which they are unable to tell you) in the next future. Maybe it’s just us biased Central Europeans clinging to an old cliché that wants to require citizens of other countries to conform to the standards of our performance oriented society. Or perhaps it really is just Spanish philosophy of how to live life.
Fact is, that I am starting to like this slowness. Even when it will probably still take light years for me personally to adjust to this pace (unfortunately). Observing myself I have noticed that deep down I hold the people of Spain in high regard. Nothing can shake their calm when it comes to taking enough time for things that matter to them. So, yes, they are totally able to just live into the day when they feel like it. Let’s hope that it stays this way and they won’t succumb someday to the pace of Central Europe. Well, if they do, I pray it will be “tomorrow”, after all, shouldn’t there be enough time for it “mañana”?