Sunday, May 25, 2014

Experiencing Laid Back Spain at Girona Ticketing Train Station

Spain and the Mediterranean in general are a different world altogether in Europe. Life, as well as business just tends to go slow, and in the afternoon depending on which sector, things may not only dawdle but stand still. Which is perhaps the reason why countries down south are the best places in Europe, apart from the climate of course, to holiday.

In addition, the food is great. Plus there is culture. Oh yes, did I say it’s relaxed? Yep, we got it. Everything can wait while you enjoy that glass of chilled sangria or have your 30-minute siesta nap. Disfrutar de la vida!

Nevertheless, let me tell you a little observation I had at the Girona train station.

I queued up at the ticketing office to buy my train ticket to Carcassonne, France. It was close to mid-day and the ticketing area started to become really busy, unfortunately there were only two cashiers open. Although at the back of the office I could see five more people milling about on their desks. I have no idea what they were doing really except that only two cashiers are serving queues that almost stretched the entire lobby of the train station.

Whilst in the middle of this queue-long lock situation, one of the cashiers excused himself and closed his window. I am not sure where he went. Perhaps to the toilet to relieve himself? Take a break? I stood there dumbfounded that someone could actually do that in front of a long queue of prospective customers. He did came back after about 10 minutes and resumed ticketing operations. Moreover, none from the group of desk people behind the ticketing office ever lifted their finger to help, nor even took notice that there are two long queues to be served.

No one. Nada. Niks. Nein.

Not a single one from the Girona train personnel seem to really see the obvious need to assist? But what is more perplexing was that the locals queuing up were cool about it. They didn’t seem to mind at all, except moi who was quite baffled why no one is taking action. We all just stood there waiting... at their beck and call. And those that had their moment with the cashier took their time, not really caring much that a queue-long of people were waiting. There is no need to hurry.

I am a business person and for me time = money. And the same goes for efficiency, customer service (experience/satisfaction) and turn-around time.

It is amazing to see (time and time again) that this is just pretty normal in Spain. The laid back approach. The come what may mind set. The waiting game. Relax. Calm down. Don’t worry. Don’t stress out the little things. CHILL. Be happy. Be content. It is just an ordinary day.

Sometimes I think that this is actually the secret to enjoying life to the fullest. Alright, be patient with me now. I am learning, I tell you.

More pictures at the Girona train station:

Figueres-Vilafant is the last train station/stop of Spain before entering the border to France. All trains make a changeover or transfer here.

Travel Period: November 2013
Destination: Girona (Catalonia), Spain

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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