May 23, 2024

Most Spaniards know not to call friends, relatives, or even businesses during the lunch-siesta hours between 2pm and 5pm – but foreigners do not because they don’t carry the custom of siesta.

During weekdays, everyone knows that businesses are closed during these hours so they don’t bother to call.

On the weekends, when the majority of people don’t have to work, those hours at home after a big lunch are precious to relax, to read, to sleep. Sure, I’m not Spanish, but I do follow these unwritten rules. And when someone calls me, even at 4:30pm, it annoys me.

For example, today (and he’s probably reading this now) a good friend called me at 4:30pm – while I was in bed taking an after-lunch siesta. He’s a good friend, and a non-Spaniard so I forgive him, but he inevitably calls me around this time on either weekdays or weekends and I don’t have the heart to tell him to kindly wait until 5pm. And inevitably, even on weekdays, he catches me napping.

Sometimes people call here at 10pm, the hour that most Spaniards are having their dinner, and I think, “Who could be calling at this hour? Don’t they know it’s dinnertime? How rude!” Spaniards do call late in the evenings but they usually will wait until 10:30 or 11pm so as not to interrupt the evening meal. Of course, in the USA, if you call anyone after, say, 9pm, it’s considered too late to call. Not here in Spain, baby!

Who wouldn’t like an excuse to take a nap after having lunch? I love the siesta custom even though the vast majority of Spaniards don’t have time or horizontal access to actually sleep, they do use this time for a slow and easy lunch, relax, maybe read a book under a tree. Of course other corporate or professional positions have drastically shortened the lunch hour to become more productive and more in-line with the rest of Europe and the world. But in many other professions; store owners and workers, laborers, and, of course, the self-employed (like me!!!), do still enjoy a mid-day break to disconnect, deflate, or to just take a nap. And while doing such, who wants to be bothered by a phone call?

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3 thoughts on “Phone Calls During Siesta Time

  1. I usually stay in the office between 2 and 4, as it’s too far to travel to go home, and I am still amamzed by how many (Spanish) shops (our clients) call us during that time! I still answer the phone sometimes, just to say that the office is now closed and they will all be back around 4pm (which means 4.30!!)

  2. im from spain i never do siesta, i dont know anybody how do it:only babies, little children and old people. And of course i usually call people after or before lunch or dinner time. so its usaully that i call people at 4 pm and all my friends and all people that i know do the same.

    1. NEVER? Not even after a big Sunday lunch? Funny thing is, I less and less often take siestas but I know many Spaniards my age who do but only on the weekends, of course, when/if they have free time.

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