When I first came to A Coruña for my interview, I imagined an old local Spanish town and in the few hours I had to explore, I realised that people spoke, if any, very little English. The tourists were all older Spanish-speaking couples and I thought it was a nice place people retired to. The pace of life is slow and everyone is friendly but everything is quiet. But in such a short time, I guess I only judged A Coruña based on my walk through The Old Town.
I didn't know about the city university and I never thought about the fact that everyone might have been at work or in school. I forgot that most of the town is populated by people working for Inditex and Zara and Pull and Bear. And of course, with a slower pace of life, comes another level of night life.
Lunch is often around 2 or 3pm which means that dinner begins no earlier than 9pm. On nights out the usual dinner time is between 10 and 11pm and if the night forgoes dining out and begins with drinks then it's a midnight start for most people. Clubs don't open for dancing until 2am. The bars stay open until 3am and only around closing do people move on to music. And at 6am (at the earliest) the party is over.
I know this now via the stories of new friends who have been here for a while now, not from my own experience (obviously). Oh lordie, I cannot keep up at all.
On Thursday we went for drinks meeting more new people from ZARA and suddenly everyone is now aware of my poor alcohol tolerance. We had 2 beers and I stopped half way through my third with Harley laughing at how drunk I was already. And then another round was offered and so I asked for water. It was freezing that evening and I was wearing Eddie's jacket over mine and at 1am we decided to head back. Except that (apparently) it's the Spanish way to offer one last round before you leave and the guys insisted we stayed. James told me that no one would judge me if I ordered a coffee but I went ahead and ordered a green tea and out it came in a teapot with a cup and saucer amidst the gin and tonics the others had ordered. I laughed at the hilarity the situation and the shameful realisation that everyone else laughing were most probably just laughing at me.
I was sat next to one of the male fit-models for ZARA and he turned to me and said that this would need to change.
So yesterday I made a first attempt at this slow-scene night life thing. We made plans to meet at 9.30pm and sat down for dinner at 10pm. We had 2 huge pints (they are definitely bigger than UK pints) of beer each but I didn't even finish my second one. We ate and ate and talked and laughed and it was the loveliest dinner to the loveliest day. I almost can't remember but I'm pretty sure we left the restaurant at midnight.
We sat outside the bar and talked and laughed and it got busier and then a little quieter and then it started to get cold. And as if it were the clothing equivalent of ordering green tea at a bar, I borrowed Victoire's jumper and used it as a blanket over my legs to keep warm.
We laughed about it and then I knew I wasn't going to make it. Goddamn. The first weekend out and I already crashed. Just as we were walking to the other bar we could see people only just beginning to come out.
I have been told that I will get used to this lifestyle. Late lunches and late dinners and late late late nights out!
Come on, body clock, adjust yourself already.