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March 15, 2010

第363話 スペイン時間

 例えばフィリピンで日本人が仕事をしたり生活を送っていたりすると、時間の概念の違いにはストレスを感じることが多い、というのが多くの人の共通した実感だろう。

 さて、スペインではどうか。地下鉄は素晴らしい。あと何分何秒で電車がやってくるか、という電光掲示板があって、実際にその通りに電車がやってくる。さて、国鉄の長距離列車はどうか。

 バレンシアから、目的地のアリカンテまでは特急で2時間少々だ。Paulが言うには、駅は特にスリが多いから注意しろ、と言う(脅す)のでカバンを抱えてベンチで座っていた。早くこの不安定な緊張から抜け出したいと思っていた。予定時間の15:20になっても列車が来る気配が無い。係員に尋ねたら、彼女は英語が通じた。「アリカンテに向かう特急は遅れていますか?」ところが彼女の答は「It’s on time.」。(おいおい、もう時間が過ぎているのに着てなくて、オンタイムか~)

結局、20分ほど予定より遅れてやってきた。あとでPaulに聞いたら、「スペインでは20分くらいの遅れはオンタイムね。」とか。

 この国に400年間支配されていたフィリピンで同様のことが起きるのは、致し方ないようだ。

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