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Prime time TV is just after 10

My brother and sister in law have been with us for the past few days. They enjoy food and eating so, on the first evening with us, they wondered why we were dithering so much about getting something to eat. They were hungry.

It took a while for us to realise that there was a bit of a communication problem. We'd been talking about getting some sort of tapas to keep us going till meal time. They were too polite to say but they didn't really understand why.

As always I'm going for a gross oversimplification here so humour me. Generally the Spanish idea of breakfast is a cup of coffee or maybe some sort of chocolaty drink with a couple of biscuits. Later in the morning they will have a slightly more substantial snack either from a bar or by eating the pack up they brought from home. Restaurants will start serving lunch at around 2pm and go on till 3.30 or 4.00. Dinner is a bit more variable, time wise, but most restaurants don't open their kitchens till around 8.30pm. Eating at 9.00 is pretty early and starting to eat at 10 or 10.30 isn't at all unusual.

I'm sure you noticed the gap. If you have lunch at 2pm and then don't have anything till 9 or 10 you can end up peckish. Anyone dependant on eating in bars and restaurants will fill that gap with a tasty little bar snack or two. Most kitchens will be closed so the only hot food available (remember I'm generalising) will be stuff that can be heated in a microwave.

That's where we were. Wandering the streets just after 8, a little before the shops started to close up. We knew that our choice was limited. Our guests wondered if we were being awkward.

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