Consistent inconsistent

Parc del Laberint d'Horta, BarcelonaI just had to do it: Google “Spanish inconsistencies”, to see if it’s something others have written about it. Apparently, it’s not a thing. That’s surprising, as I seem to stuble upon them frequently and often find them funny (which, I admit, might be quite Dutch of me).

If you want to define the Dutch, you probably are going to use a sentence like “a deal is a deal”. Generally speaking, the Dutch are punctual and very organized. Thinking ahead and being prepared is typically Dutch (why else you think there is such a thing like water management in the Netherlands and the rest of the world will just drown in case of a flood).

And now I’m about to move to “messy Spain”, as a Spanish friend described his country (recently he has moved to Germany). Postponing seems to be a second nature for the Spanish: Never do something today if you can do it tomorrow.

As I want to blend in into the Spanish culture, I tried out that postponing-thing in the Netherlands. And much to my surprise, one can just do that here. If you won’t hand in your taxreturn in time, nothing bad happens. I forgot to pay a bill in time, it was treated as if I wasn’t late at all.

But my biggest surprise was yet to come: pull a stunt like that in Spain and you’re in trouble. Because in my experience: a Spanish deadline is a DEADLINE.

I’m beginning to think the Spanish aren’t that easy going at all. At least not ‘the powers that be’. The ‘gag law’ which is going to be effective from tomorrow on proves that. If you want to protest in an easy way, as relaxed as possible: a sit-in? Don’t, you’ll be fined €600,000 maximum. Ouch.

I guess blending into the Spanish culture requires both enormous uptightness as well as being able to be hugely relaxed…