It’s hard to believe, but it’s been three whole months yesterday since I left Vienna and came to Barcelona. Three pretty eventful months. I’m constantly failing to write in more detail about what has been going on, so here you go – it’s storytime. Get yourself a cup of tea and let’s dive right in.
During my first month, I was more or less in holiday-mode. My first week was spent sick in bed – nevertheless I managed to find a room within only a couple days. I soon started a Spanish intensive course, which I have been attending ever since for four days a week, two hours each.
Learning Spanish simply gives me so much joy and bliss, I cannot even begin to put it in words. Never before have I had the opportunity to start learning a language from scratch in the actual country where it’s spoken. It makes such a difference!
Duh. And since pretty much everyone here knows English anyways, I (almost) never feel lost.
(Btw: my No.1-life-saving tip for when in Spain: when in doubt, say: “vale”, which basically just means “okay”.)
Besides attending my course, I spent my first weeks strolling around town with my new camera, checking out all the cool third wave coffee shops they have here (POST ALERT! Soon to be found on the blog!), spending hours in the park with friends studying, talking and buying beers from what felt like hundreds of men selling everything you could possibly need at any given time of the day – mostly drinks and Samosas, sometimes also umbrellas and chupa chups. Yes, chupa chups.
(And let me tell you: it does get annoying when you’re asked every freaking three minutes or so by one of them if you want to have another “cerveza” – NO, tío, I’m GOOD. Thanks.)
In a nutshell: I met lots of new and “old” people, with whom I spent hours in bars drinking, smoking and eating tapas. Of course, because of that super healthy lifestyle (NOT), I put on some weight again, but hey, sometimes you just gotta surrender. And be cool with it. And booooy, did I surrender to the Spanish culture.
My second month here was totally different from the first one: I started to take learning Spanish up a notch “Jenni-style”, getting up at 8am almost every day, studying for two hours even before having had breakfast and so on. Yes, I overdid it again. But hey, wouldn’t life be boring if there wasn’t always a new (or old) challenge to take care of? Ha. Haha. Ha. #facepalm
At least I could actually see the progress I was making with that strict study regime of mine. All of the sudden, I started to understand the subtitles of my everyday-lunchtime “los Simpsons” episode and was able to have simple everyday conversations with every stranger I ran into (which I might or might not have done … haha).
Also, I had some visitors over in May: first, one of my best friends, Irene, came over for a week, during which another really good friend and her boyfriend showed up for the weekend. It was pretty weird having three people from Vienna sitting in my lounge over here at the same time, I’m not gonna lie. Home had felt so far away at this point and suddenly it was pretty much right there. But of course it was wonderful and we had a really good time!
I just absolutely LOVE showing people around this city! Which is why it was even cooler when my friend Saskia got me a job as a bike tour guide in Mid-May! I had my very own first tour at the end of the month and was thus all ready to give my next visitors, Julie and her boyfriend, a private tour. We had so much fun cruising through the city, even though the heat was almost unbearable that day.
In short, I had a pretty busy May and couldn’t wait for diving into some much needed me-time. (Oh, how I love my me-time.)
Of course my body couldn’t cope with that kinda lifestyle for too long (I am still a granny deep inside) and so I started to look after it a little better in my third month. I got back on track with my daily yoga routine, drastically cut down on my meat consumption again (damn you, delicious tapas bars!) and finally got myself a bike! I have been wanting to get one for months, if not years now, so this purchase actually made a huge difference to me. Nothing beats the feeling of
heaving your heavy, old bike into the elevator and ultimately outside of your building while your neighbours are laughing about your almost pathetic seeming clumsiness and just getting on your saddle and feeling the wind in your face while biking towards the sea! This is exactly why I wanted to come here! Finally the beach wasn’t a 40 minutes walk away anymore, but rather a 15 minute bike ride. Life was good!
Also, I went to Sonar Festival, a really cool electronic music festival taking place in Barcelona every June, to see Fatboy Slim and celebrated the Feast of Sant Joan with friends on June 23rd, a day on which people over here bascially just go nuts, burn things in the streets and act as if it was New Year’s Eve all over again (but with better weather). It was one crazy good night, which ended with me pretty much freezing my ass off at the beach, next to a more or less snoring friend, because I desperately wanted to see the sunrise.
And even though I don’t know too many people here yet, I constantly keep running into the few ones I actually do know in the streets. Apparently, Barcelona is smaller than I thought. When in German you’d refer to this phenomenon with the saying “the world is a village” (“Die Welt ist ein Dorf”), in Spain it’s a tissue: “El mundo es un pañuelo”. I have not come to a conclusion on to why exactly they’re comparing the whole wide world to a little white kleenex, but hey: different cultures, different ways 😉
So yes, Barcelona has treated me well so far. It is getting hotter and hotter now, though. It is way more humid over here than back in Austria, which is why 27 degrees can feel like 34 far too easily.
Also, I’m starting to miss my friends and family a lot, which can get tricky some days. But I’m here to stay. For now. And I am so looking forward to all of the new challenges that life for sure is gonna throw at me. I can do this. We all can.
My next mission is to find a second job, which will allow me to stay at least a couple months longer. Wish me luck.
P.s.: I’ll try to be more consistent with my updates from now on. I’ve missed writing a lot. I’ve missed you a lot. Hope you’re are reading this feeling happy and content.
P.p.s.: Here’s a pic of some guys checking out old porn magazines at the weekly book and antiques market in Sant Antoni, which takes place every Sunday. As my friend Angelillo likes to say: “Enjoy”. 😉