Monday, June 23, 2014

In, Inda, Indepedencia!!

 Hola everyone!

What a wonderful week it has been! We had some more students and interns arrive this week. I helped with airport pick-up, orientations and gave them tours of the city center.

On Monday I brought two girls to their apartment from the airport. I'm very used to getting students to their new places and showing them around, however this one didn't go so smoothly. After the taxi driver dropped us outside the front door to the apartment building, he noticed us struggling to get the key in the door. He kindly came to help up and resulted to jamming the key in the door, which ultimately unlocked the front door. In a perfect world, we would have thanked him and made our way up to the flat. But, being a victim of Murphy's Law (anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) this did not happen.
The key got stuck in the front door and would not come out. The taxi driver spent a decent amount of time trying to jiggle it out and examining the lock. After about 20 minutes I decided to call for help, except for my phone decided to run out of pay-as-you-go minutes right then. Awesome. Luckily, the director of housing called me (which is free) so I explained to her the situation. She then called the owner of the apartment who ended up sending someone over to swap out the bad keys with us. The only problem was that this woman did not speak Spanish or English and did not approach us when she arrived. At first I thought she was a student, so when I asked her in English if she was staying with these girls she replied yes. After about ten confusing minutes, I realized she was sent from the housing company and that she was a maid.
Finally, the housing director called back and realized that we still had the issue of the actual key stuck in the door. After about 40 minutes, the locksmith arrived and attempted to pull the key out using pliers. As a result, the key snapped in half, leaving part of the key inside the door. By this point we were all laughing at the situation. I ran and got coffee and bocadillos for the poor girls while the locksmith removed the actual doorknob and lock. The situation was such a mess that we had no choice but to laugh. Life is what you make of it!

Other than that incident, it was a normal work week. I love to run errands around the city because I get to get some fresh air while seeing new places in Barcelona. On Friday I went to The University of Barcelona to pick up a letter and a woman opened the door on my foot. Wincing in pain, I forgave her but noticed that my foot was bleeding and my toenail was not in good condition. But all in all, I'm fine, just a few cuts!

This past weekend was excellent! The weather has been living up to my expectations -although it is very hot. It's been close to 80° F every day. Friday night we went to a local salsa club and had a blast! On Saturday we spent our time relaxing on the beach. We've been trying to avoid the really touristy areas of the beach because it is so crowded and the water has a lot of trash in it. The beach we chose was wonderful! The water was so refreshing and crystal clear, and we were able to swim out very far. It was so peaceful to swim far out and look up at the sky in middle of the Mediterranean.
He had a light-up electric viola!
Toastin' those buns (this is a man)
That night we went to a birthday party on the beach. It's very typical for the guests to bring friends with them to parties -the more the merrier! It was really cool because there were so many people from around the world at the party. I met people from all over the world and had the best conversation with a US girl who just got a job here teaching internationally. We enjoyed tapas and music and had a Catalan pastry-like cake at midnight. I've never been to a party on the beach, it was beautiful!!
Being silly with my roommate Gee

My new friend and co-worker Mònica

On Sunday we woke up early to attend a protest! The people of Barcelona are very passionate about many things, and hold many protests. This protest was against the Spanish Monarchy, since the new King was just crowned last week. Many of the people of Spain are against the monarchy and dislike the royal family. They are pushing for a republic because they feel they should have a say in matters concerning the country. The protest was so much fun and had a pretty large turn out! We walked a long way and shouted chants such as "In... Inda... Indepedencia!" One of my favorite things about Barcelona is amount of passion they have for their future.

Literal goosebumps from the chants

Tonight is the Sant Joan Festival. I'm so excited for it! It's basically a huge festival in Catalunya that celebrates the Summer Solstace. Tonight there will be tons of bonfires and fireworks on the beach. Tomorrow is a bank holiday so everyone celebrates the holiday tonight and has the day off tomorrow. I'll post pictures from the festival tomorrow!

That's all for now folks!

Photos from the Week:
My roommates having lunch at the playground 
This brand new piece is an artist's interpretation of what the Roman aqueduct in the Gothic Cathedral would have looked like
I went to go visit my dog friend again
He's apparently famous!

There is a bridge in the middle of this pond that leads to a library which is completely surrounded by water

I think street art is so beautiful 

Hola Oscar!!
We like to have a big dinner with our friends every Thursday!
Bombers in Catalan means firefighters :P 
At last, I have found the true symbol of Barcelona -a mosaic ham leg!
I need this purse! 
I wish I could have it all!
Supposedly, if you drink from this fountain, you will return to Barcelona. I have never drank from it before and I'm here again so...

My new favorite show translates to "My Mom cooks better than your Mom"

That's all for now folks, check back in tomorrow for updates on Sant Joan!

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