A Change Of Pace

The other day, Fenton commented in the post about retirement that we other Baboons sounded as though we were “highly motivated ” in regard to our activity levels. My first thought about that was “of course we are, we are maniacs here in the US!” My subsequent thoughts were about the culture shock I experienced when I moved to Canada for graduate school in 1980.

It was very disconcerting for me to realize that in Winnipeg, no businesses opened until 10:00 AM. There was no mail service on Saturday, and no Sunday newspaper delivery. The collective good was emphasized over personal ambition. Speed limits were lower. People were very polite. People took lots of coffee breaks. Lots of tea was consumed. Hardly anyone had a firearm. In the summer, it was more important for people to spend time out of doors than to work. There were no drive through coffee shops, only drive through beer stores. No one worried about paying their medical bills. In order to drink in a pub, you had to sit at a table and there was no standing at the bar. There were very few fast food restaurants.

I often found myself frustrated with the slower pace. It seemed nothing got done expediently. Looking back, I sure would welcome that slower pace again. I know workers in the US are far more productive than in Canada, but at what cost to health and sanity?

What trends and customs from other countries would you like to take hold where you live?

22 thoughts on “A Change Of Pace”

  1. I was determined not to rush in and be first today, and actually have things to do (it’s midday here). Which is relevant to the subject, I suppose. I’ll think about the answer to the actual question, but meanwhile :That’s an interesting and difficult subject you’ve raised, Renee. I suppose I have a foot in both camps. My highly driven side nags at my lazy side, and finally forces me to get up and do something. Then I tend to work at it longer than my lazy side ntended, and when I stop, my lazy side gets its own back.

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    1. I got up to wash the dishes, but have now sat down again, with a short answer to the question of customs and traditions. I live in someone else’s country, and I am hesitant to ask them to adopt a Devonshire accent, for instance, so I can understand them better.
      There are misconceptions about the “manana” and “fiesta” aspects of Spain. I’m sorry, as far as I know, my phone won’t put the accents on Spanish words. You’ll have to excuse me.
      “Manana”, does not mean, “I will come tomorrow, because today I’m lying in the sun, or sitting in a bar.” It means “I will come tomorrow, because today I’m working hard somewhere else.” And people do work hard, when they’re not harassing someone else about the way THEY are doing things. If they stop work in the afternoon, it’s because they don’t want to get sunstroke. They’ll be back at work in the evening, when their English counterparts are having tea. They conspicuously have their morning break outside a bar. Then they’re back to work. And the same with fiestas. They work hard to take that time off. They work hard to take Sunday off. The work gets done(eventually). It’s not for English people to come over here, and expect tradesmen to change their ways, and renovate houses in the heat of August. Which is what English people do.
      I must admit though, it would be nice if a guy would just say, “I won’t be here tomorrow.” Many of the Spanish people themselves are infuriated about that.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I think there’s an opening in show business for people who talk slowly and clearly, in a Devonshire accent. Then everyone would understand them.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. We honeymooned in Winnipeg. Made dinner reservations at the Winnipeg Inn for 6 to beat the crowd. There was no crowd to beat. The evening meal started at 8 at the earliest. We did get fed and we wanted to be alone in any case. Europe seemed to use a similar schedule although I’m sure it’s not the same everywhere.. Eating a main meal at 9 PM seemed a bit off to this ugly American but it took two hours. No fast food. Eating more slowly seems a better way.

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      1. I was with a client in the south of Spain. We had been up all day and in fact, had gone down to Morocco on the ferry and being good Americans we hiked all through the Masbate and seen a lot and were tired. It was 630 and there wasn’t a restaurant open anywhere. So we went to the restaurant that we had originally thought we wanted to go to and our supplier cajoled and bribed andcwhinef and the restaurant opened up for us, since the staff was already there prepping for their evening. I have to say The service was very slow; I’m sure they were hoping we would just linger over our drinks for two hours before they had to actually feed us. We felt like idiots.

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  3. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I love an after lunch nap—the Mediterranean Siesta—which in semi-retirement, I have adopted. This is especially true when I am in the yard, gardening my heart out, pulling weeds, hoeing, transplanting things, I am ready for a break after lunch. When it has been so hot this summer, I have taken up the European schedule in which I work outside in the morning and the evening and do my Siesta or my inside work during the hot, hot part of the day in the afternoon.

    Wes, your observations about European and Canadian slow food is true. This can be quite a jolt to the American “hurry up” culture. It is also a challenge to eat slowly and savor the food, which I need to do. I eat far to fast.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. At nearly every late meal I’ve had in Europe, the wait staff was excellent in knowing how to slow things down. Before, between courses and after dinner wines help. It is one of the lessons to be learned from Rick Steves: Don’t be in a hurry to eat.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. When we spent a week in the US Virgin Islands, I got a new view of myself. I had what seemed like ordinary concerns about arrangements: where we would sleep, how we could catch a taxi to move around, where and when we could dine. The usual answer to my questions was “Don’ worry mon!” I finally realized I was coming off as an anxious, nervous traveler in a land there the basic idea is “Don’ worry mon!”

    Liked by 3 people

  5. OT:if Don and Phil are ever Off Topic. Linda, I only just saw that you posted “Maybe Tomorrow,” last night. Thanks so much, I’d never heard that version. Like the Killer, I don’t think the boys ever sang a song the same way twice, and anyway, a demo’s always going to be different. I’ve heard two versions of “Love Hurts,” one being on the Rock ‘n’ Soul EP, Volume 2, I think, which I lost in my caravan fire. The B side of “Temptation,” Stick with me Baby,” which I’ve owned since 1965 (Different copy since the fire), is also different from an LP track of it, forget which LP. Yours Everly, Fenton.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. We’ve somehow lost control at our house. It seems to be 9:00 before we get to supper.
    Today I got home at 6-ish, went outside to do some stuff, thought 7-ish would be a good time to come in, but thought I should do some other stuff too…
    Kelly took a walk with the dogs, I got to a point I didn’t have the right socket so my project stopped. But then had to do some more chores yet and then needed a shower and there it is 9:00 again making supper…
    Gotta use the daylight while we got it I guess…

    Just had a conversation with someone that time is a whole lot looser concept with people from other cultures.

    I’d be OK with the afternoon naps.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Love concept of slow culture, but if there is a hell built just for me, it includes 3 hour meals. PT keeps telling me to slow down when doing exercises. I told her I do everything in a rush, a slower rush now. But a rush. I have taught myself to do pt slowly.
    Sandy has med appointment s very afternoon this week. She got in her face talking to’s from neurologist yesterday and gp today. Neurologist thinks done thing happened in her brain 3 months ago when she started going downhill. CT Scan tomorrow. Sandy cannot have an MRI. We will see.
    My sister does everything in a bigger rush than I do. But she does very leisurely meals. Having to let Sandy hold my arm while she totters slowly along is a strain on my habits and a strain in my lower back or do I just think it is?


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