Brett and Steph visit BCN!
Post-Semana Santa life in Barcelona
has been darn pretty good. I'm actually starting to have school work, which oddly enough, I like. Of course, it's not my favorite thing in the world write papers and read Spanish literature I can't always understand, but I'm learning things. And that, my friends, is why I came to Barcelona in the first place. My Spanish really has improved a whole lot, thanks to Betty and my classes at the university. It's strange, though, that I'm starting to hate English, and here's why:
In my neighborhood, you only hear Spanish and Catalan (more often, the latter). At first, I was extremely fed up with the fact that everything is in Catalan and I can't understand and people are mean if they have to speak to you in regular Castilian Spanish, blah, blah, blah.
Steph and Tommy at the fountain show in Plaza Espanya
But really, Catalan is not that difficult to understand if you know any combination of Spanish/French/English. And only a few crabby old people are actually mean if you only speak Spanish. And it's fun to pick up new words here and there. Still, of course, my main priority is Spanish and I try to speak it as often as possible. So when I'm in the touristy areas, I hear way too much English and I hate it when waiters or shopkeepers speak to me in English. Yes, it is the universal language (yes, I know that's an arguable statement, but for the most part, it's true. Spanish is currently the third most commonly spoken language after English and Chinese.), but I'm kind of over it. Which is a problem since I have to speak it with about 90% of the people I know and love at home. I think I'm just jealous of cool Europeans who speak anywhere from two to six languages fluently.
Friends at Betty's house!
I met a girl from Holland in one of my classes who speaks Dutch, French, English and Spanish fluently, and a Brazilian guy with fluency in Portuguese, English, Spanish, Catalan and Italian. Tengo celos. I wish I were that cool.
Also, my month of April is filled with trips and visits in and out of Spain, so my Spanish use is not completely in full use. But I'm not complaining because I love visits and visitors! This past weekend, my friends Brett (who’s studying in London) and Stephanie and her boyfriend Tommy (who are studying in Vienna) visited Barcelona. They all stayed in a hostel right on the beach in Barceloneta and let me be their tour guide. We went to La Boquería, La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, the Fountain Show in Placa Espanya, the Montjuic Castle, Parc de la Ciutadella, the beach, out for tapas, out to a club, to my house for Betty’s home-made paella, and sailing on Tommy’s Spanish friend’s boat.
two of my favorite girls
Talk about a jam-packed weekend! Betty was wonderful and such a mom for my friends by making them authentic paella, speaking like the five words of English that she actually knows, and rubbing leaves of Aloe Vera on Steph’s sunburn. It was a great success for my first visitors.
Then this coming weekend, I’m going to Vienna! So Steph and I get to play in Europe two weekends in a row. It’s also my first out-of-Spain experience (besides Andorra) since I’ve been here! I couldn’t be more excited to visit friends and experience Austrian culture.
And then my family comes the week after that! Of course, now that I start having school work (which clearly, I should be doing right now rather than writing this entry), all my visitors and travel plans begin. Oh, well! I absolutely love playing tour guide and adventurous traveler.