Outside My Cultural Comfort Zone
What started out as quick errand to make an appointment for waxing … ended up as lunch!
I only planned to pop out for a few minutes to go and make an appointment with the beautician for ‘depilación de pubis’ (they tell it like it is here, literal translation ‘waxing of the pubes’), but instead I ended up with a ‘menú del día’ lunch for one.
It was 2pm; I should have known better. There was no way I was going to find the beautician or any other business open at this time of day. It’s Spanish lunch time, the most important meal of the day, and everyone closes up shop.
But isn’t it great that they still value taking the time to enjoy the commune of food rather than scoffing down their lunch in between clients. We could all learn a thing or two about ‘living’ from the Spanish-Catalans.
So I kept walking through the old part of town and then a restaurant I’d being meaning to check out with Jon came into view. It’s one of those restaurants where you can’t see what’s going on inside.
I stood out the front and checked out the menu, typing a few words into my phone to translate it. I wanted to go in but I hesitated because Jon is away and I’m on my own. I would need to fend for myself once inside … and not being able to see in bothered me.
Once I opened the door that would be it; I’d be committed. What if everyone looked up from their meal and stared at me? What if I was the only person dining on my own? Or what if the place was totally empty … equally uncomfortable!
And what if I tried to speak Spanish and could not be understood?!
A voice inside said, “Just do it, Dani!”
I swung the door open. It was like a little hotel lobby with a small empty eating area to the left. A woman appeared and I asked if this was the restaurant. She pointed me towards a short corridor on the right.
As I entered the main restaurant area it was bright and open with several tables already occupied and a couple of men sitting on their own who looked like they were on their lunch break. That helped me feel better about taking a table for one. I’m a worker too, I thought, and this is my lunch break.
I went ahead and translated the Catalan menu into English using my phone. Soon the owner came over and took my order without anything being lost in translation … #winning!
Then I leaned back in my chair and had a sip of vino blanco, feeling satisfied that I’d made the right choice by opening up the door to this place. Because this was not really about having lunch; this was about me doing what I left Australia for … immersing myself in another language and culture.
Do you ever talk yourself out of doing stuff you really desire? Perhaps you convince yourself that it’s not that important anyways? Well honey, it IS important, and when you go ahead and feel the discomfort and do it anyway, life unfolds in ways you could not have imagined.
Much love, Dani x
P.S. What’s the one thing that stands out for you in this blog? What are you taking away for yourself?