Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Birds and Owls

I remember in Spanish class reading about how Spain has great night life and how things come alive at night there. At the time, I really couldn't wrap my head around that idea, as simple as it sounds. What does it mean to be a "night culture"?

I think I'm starting to understand.

Last year I was in Nepal, where they are all about doing things in the morning. The really early morning, even. Each day I would wake up to the sounds of hammers banging and saws cutting wood. At 6 AM. Now, waking up at 6 AM is one thing, but starting work almost before the sun comes up?!?! By dusk, everyone would be heading home and the sounds of the city began to fade.

Apparently it is the exact opposite here. I've noticed that people stay up late and businesses are open well into the evening as well. Today I was walking to the bus station around sunrise, about 7am. And it was like a ghost town. On the main road, which is usually quite busy, a vehicle would pass once in a while. I probably could have counted the number of people I walked by on my fingers and toes. And absolutely nothing was open. It was strange. At night, people are out and around at all hours. People are out walking around, eating at restaurants, and just hanging out, even when it's been dark for a while.

Then take Loveland. Things get up and running between 7 and 8, sometimes 9.  Businesses close up about 5, and restaurants are open until 10 or 11. Not much happens past 9- people head home, do homework, and watch TV. This feels completely normal to me. I find it so strange that my neighbors would keep their young kids up until 1 in the morning on vacation and that it is normal to them. In Nepal, I couldn't fathom how you would get out of bed before the sun rose, much less start work before then!

It makes me wonder why societies are like this- some Early Birds and some Night Owls. In Nepal, maybe it's because they want to use all the daylight they have there; they rarely have electricity for light. I have yet to find a reason for why here and Loveland work the way they do- maybe you have some ideas! But, I also realize that my terms of Early Birds and Night Owls are relative to what I find to be normal, I wonder how someone from here or Nepal would refer to the timings of things in Loveland...

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