We admire the Spanish siestas and their relaxed day schedule. Their way of life looks so much more attracting, compared to our 9 to 5, 24/7 cultures. We longe for weekend on Wednesday and our creativity stops at 16 o’clock. Inefficient is the best word for describing our business culture if you ask me. When I’m in Spain I’m so much productive and I enjoy my day much more. While enjoying the afternoon with a warm lunch, you’re not allowed to use your laptop or talk about business. You are expected to enjoy the food and have quality time with your company. After that, on hot days, people go for a nap. Shops and offices close from 14 – 16 and even big cities like Barcelona become quiet. Only tourists on the streets, wondering where to go. The ’tranquilo’ attitude is very nice if you stay for a couple of days, not work related, to unwind and relax a little.
When you go to Spain for business, it becomes a bit anoying, the ’tranquilo’ attitude. Don’t be strict on deadlines, don’t expect your mail to arrive as soon as you’re used to, it’s common certain post mail just dissapears. Used to staff working their ass off? Don’t hire Spanish staff, they rather do nothing, even on the workfloor. Very dissapointing and not motivating, you’d see. But don’t hold back, this creates a lot of chances for international oriented companies! That’s the reason of my monthly visits, plenty of opportunities there if you’re willing to see them and willing to work!
Barcelona is in the top 10 destinations for holidays and it’s one of the best cities to live in. Why? Because there are a lot of (international) companies, startups, conferences and exhibitions. Food is cheap, so staying in Barcelona is affordable for everybody. If you don’t like being in the big city all the time, it takes only 45 minutes to go to Sitges, one of the best beaches and villages just outside Barcelona. And the public transport is magnificent! Hotels are a bit more expensive, but when booking ahead, the rates are normal. Don’t worry about the language; in hotels, bars and restaurants people speak English and also on the streets all the ‘younger’ people learned the English language. Speaking Spanish? Trying to impress your company is a no-go, as the Catalan language doesn’t look like Spanish at all.
Barcelona got me during my first visit, but every time I stay there I discover more of the beautiful architecture, the cities’ surprises, the kind and patient people and I calm down during the great meals. Exploring Barcelona is amazing. The city has so much faces. History, culture, but also start-ups and mobile. Beachlife and urban lifestyle, (affordable) luxury and poorer areas, but no matter what you like, the citizens all like you. They want you to love their city as much as they do. It’s the open minds towards tourists (‘cause politically they are not open minded at all!), that makes them great hosts and makes you love this Spanish capital. Ola Barcelona, I miss the city when I haven’t been there for a while. Strolling around the streets of Gracia, enjoying the restaurants, harbor and beaches in Barcelona. Feel like a tourist in Eixample, walking the Ramblas or El Borne. Be impressed by the cementery of Montjuic while driving in the cab from the airport to the city center. I love watching the cars at Diagonal and feeling so small when crossing the 6-lanes road or cycling on those amazing streets. I love Barcelona. I’ll try to show why in later posts.