more nerja pix

time zones

For some reason, I am noticing the time zone differences more on this trip than I have in the past. (Now that I say this, I imagine if I looked through blog posts from past vacations, I'd find myself saying the same thing.) This is most notable in two areas, real-time communications and sporting events.

The former is affected by the way we have come to communicate in our ordinary lives. Simply put, we do a lot more real-time conversations than we used to, not just texting, but also video chats and the like. It barely matters any longer that phone calls are prohibitively expensive. Sprint now gives data and text from other countries for free (they do offer faster speeds for $25/week, and while the extra speed isn't exactly overwhelming, it's worth the price). But it's one thing to go real-time when you are in the same time zone, quite another when there is a nine hour difference. (Spain is also an hour different from much of Europe, which creates a similar problem.) If I want to go real-time now, I have to figure out what time it is back home. There's no use trying to start a chat if it's 2:00 AM where the other person lives.

As for sporting events, European soccer is odd precisely because I'm in the "right" time zone. Yesterday, I watched Liverpool live at 6:30 in the evening, which seemed weird, because at home in Berkeley, that same match was on at 9:30 in the morning (I think... it's confusing). Baseball works in the other direction... a Giants day game begins around 10:00 at night.

None of this is particularly important, of course. But it all points to the ways a vacation in another time zone discombobulates long past the time jet lag is over.

I'll add a photo, one of the better ones I've taken here. Because Spain is on their own time zone, things don't always happen when I expect them to. It stays light out until a time that would seem odd in Berkeley, which matches the way people eat here (if you start dinner before, say, 9:00, you give yourself away as a tourist). It also takes a long time for morning to arrive. This picture was taken at 9:38 in the morning: