Saturday, December 17, 2011

Megan L. - Barcelona, Spain - Fall 2011

            Barcelona, the Cosmopolitan City, or as I like to call it, my home for the next few months.  Since arrival, the beauty and simplicity of this city has astounded me.  The people here are very friendly, well from what I can understand they are, and the general population seems to like to take things slow (the amount of times you hear “tranquila” attests to that).  I've never lived in a big city before but if I had to choose one to start living in, I'm glad I chose Barcelona.  Aside from the occasional pickpocket,which you can avoid if you are smart, the streets are pretty safe.  Even the metro is amazingly easy to navigate and can quite honestly take you wherever you want to go.  Barcelona's landscape is also perfect, it has 4 clear natural borders: 2 mountains and 2 rivers.  Everywhere you go there just seems to be a part of history.  There are old Roman walls from BC times, there are old palaces from the middle ages, and even a castle on top of a mountain that overlooks all of Barcelona.
            As for my program and classes, I'm actually really loving them.  The program took us on an orientation field-trip to the city of Girona and we even got to take a little side trip to an amazingly cute city called Cadaques, where Dali used to live.  It was definitely a great experience.  My classes are also pretty great.  I am taking both Spanish and Catalan in order to speak to the locals better.  Whenever I try to speak Catalan it kind of sounds like a 5 year old but the locals really do appreciate the effort and I even got a discount at a store for trying!
            My home-stay is awesome.  I have 2 other roommates and we live in a huge apartment in a great neighborhood with an amazingly sweet elderly woman named Angeles.  She cooks us dinner every night and leaves us breakfast in the morning usually with little “love” notes.  She even calls us her “hijas” or daughters and gets sad when we leave her for the weekend to venture around.  Staying with a host mom has 100% helped me learn more spanish.  My words previous to living here consisted of “Hola” and “donde esta el bano.”  Now I can definitely get my point across and even hold a conversation!
            Well I better get back to my studies and adventures!  More blogging to come from Espana!  As the Catalans say here: “Bon Dia! Adeu!”


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