Perhaps it’s because I left a city of 10 million for a city of 100,000. Perhaps it’s because I’m a city girl at heart. Whatever the reason, I can’t help but get the feeling from time to time that Torrevieja is dead – especially during siesta time when the city shuts down from about 2:00 to 5:30 in the afternoon. During this time, you better just do as the locals and the tourists do and head to the beach. Give up on any plans to get anything done and don’t look for any one on the street. Siesta time is a well-respected part of everyone’s daily routine.
David and I tried to fight it at first. (David may be from Spain originally but he has fully adapted to the US lifestyle.) Even as recently as last Friday, we were still defiantly heading out at 1:45 to go to the bank and to buy a printer at the second hand store, but we officially learned our lesson. We arrived at the bank before it closed but only to find out that what we wanted to do could only be done at the branch where David opened the account. By the time we found this out, it was 1:55 and we no longer had enough time to go to the right branch. Since banks close at 2:00 and don’t reopen until the next day and aren’t open at all on the weekends, our late start meant that we had to wait until Monday. As for the second hand store, it was shut tight. Defeated, we returned home. It was so hot that a nice swim in our community pool would have been welcome and a good way to pass the time, but, sadly, even the pool was closed for siesta.
Frustrating though it may be, this is just part of the charm of Spain. It forces you to slow down, to enjoy life and, if nothing else, just go to sleep. Sure, I miss the energy and rush of New York City. I miss going out on the street and running in to people and barely being able to move. It was nice – at times – to know that even if you wanted to be alone, you never really were. But, David and I also felt that we wanted a different kind of quality of life. And we definitely have found it in Spain.
In fact, Torrevieja has that small town feel. You feel that word of mouth spreads quickly here. Interested in knowing about a commercial space? Ask the alcohol distributor that services the entire city of Torrevieja and he can tell you about its history. Neighboring business owners support each other. The ice cream entrepreneur visits the restaurant at night for a drink while the restaurateur stops by the heladeria for an ice cream. We have been able to tap into this small town partly thanks to David’s dad and his step mom who have spent their summers in Torrevieja for the last 20 years and who have been living here for the last year and a half. So perhaps you’re not knocking into people on the street, but, stay here long enough, and if you do knock in to someone, there’s a good chance you’ll know him.