Sunday, July 6, 2014

Live your life by a compass, not a clock

Hey y'all!

I'm loving my life here. Every time I'm here I have seemed to develop a second family. We all become very close and only have each other since we're all away from our own families. One of the things I love most about traveling is the relationships and deep connections I make with people. I've felt a closer connection to some of the people I've met abroad than some friends I've had for years just because of the experiences we've shared. As my time here is quickly coming to a close, I'm starting to panic. I feel so sad to be leaving this beautiful place and people yet so happy to be returning to my family and friends at home. I've never found a quote that describes my life so perfectly:

On Monday I dropped some students off at their apartments and ran some errands around the city. My role as an intern does sometimes live up to the stereotypes, but it doesn't bother me. Sometimes I run and get coffee for others, or pick up office supplies but I do all of these things in Barcelona. Last week my boss asked me to go to the supermarket to get him peanut M&M's. We both laughed at how typical a job it was for an intern, but I love getting out of the office and communicating with the locals -plus he gave me some!

On Tuesday I ran around the city meeting some of our students at their internships to take pictures of them. At first I wasn't thrilled at how many interns I had to get in contact with to schedule a meeting but I actually love it. I've gone to some really cool companies and parts of the city I've never explored before. I love this internship because it allows for me to get out of the office and into the city all the time. 

That day, I was having some home-made pasta on a park bench when a little old man approached me. I thought he was cute as he was asking me questions about where I'm from and such. He even handed me five euro to get myself a coffee. It wasn't until he asked me to come with him up to his flat to have lunch with him and give him my phone number that I realized this conversation was getting creepy really fast. By the end of the conversation he said he was going to leave and seemed like he was going in for the standard two kisses on the cheek goodbye. He was actually going in for a kiss on the lips, which I dodged real fast. I told him to leave, but I still had the 5€   ;)

Later that afternoon I joined our students on a guided Gothic Quarter tour given once again by Olga. I love going on these tours because its so nice to see my old host mom. She's an amazing tour guide and really knows what she's talking about. After the tour we got a crepe and took walk. I miss our late night chats over a cup of tea.
My friend is still there, working hard

On Wednesday night we had a goodbye dinner for two of our workers Kristin and Mollie who were both returning home to the US this week. We went to a very local and delicious tapas restaurant and had some of the best tapas ever. I love going to eat with our co-workers because they always take us to the best places since they're locals! I love every person that I work with here and think it's rare to find such a genuine and compassionate company like Barcelona SAE.

We'll miss you Kristin! See you on the East Coast!

Los Bobs
On Friday I went with our students on day trip to Besalú and the Dalí Museum. I was excited I was assigned to this trip because I'd never been to Besalú before. We took a double-decker coach bus (which was awesome) to Besalú first. It was about 2 hours North of Barcelona. It was a tiny little medieval town. I felt like I was walking around in a fairy tale. We only had a little free time there so I had a coffee with my two co-workers and then we walked around. We did have time to check out the sausage museum which was ...interesting. We also stumbled upon a miniature museum, where little sculptures were so small they had to be viewed by a magnify glass. There was a little tiny town situated in a pistachio nut! 

After Besalú we took the bus about a half hour up to Figueras to have lunch and visit the Dalí museum. Lunch was delicious, we had a menu del día. My first course was gazpacho and my second course was this delicious plate of potatoes with fried eggs and bacon on top. For dessert I had chocolate cake :) We also ordered porro's for the students to try. They are a typical Catalan wine serving pitcher where you pour the wine into your mouth without touching your lips to the bottle. We have competitions for who can pull their hand away the farthest while still getting the wine into their mouths. It's a very messy treat.

After lunch we headed to the Dalí museum, which is so so cool. I went there before when I was studying here but didn't even mind going again since it's such an experience. The Dalí museum is a piece of work in itself. He put his heart and soul into creating this place. He plays with the reflections in the windows and even has a "treasure room" where you feel like you're in a treasure box with velvet walls. 
Dalí made this painting by literally throwing squids at a canvas. Afterwards he thought it looked like Beethoven so he put some final touches on it. He even attributes the unwilling squids in his signature.

Dalí considers his museum to be his mausoleum -which he is buried inside.

Last time I was here I didn't get to see the original of it because it was in Paris.
Even though I already went on the tour, I learned a lot still since we had a different tour guide. That night we had a fourth of July party at our house. It was the one day where we all agreed to be obnoxious Americans. We wore red, white and blue, played country music, made hot dogs, played beer pong and drank Budweiser.

I pointed out that it was July 4th on our day trip and my German friend gasped and said "Oh thats right! Aren't we supposed to say congratulations to you or something?"It was the funniest thing I heard all week. She was worried she was being disrespectful since we were with all American students :P We also taught our friend Mònica how to play beer pong that night.

Yesterday I spent the day walking around the city and doing a little shopping. I spent an hour looking for one of the two bagel shops Barcelona has. But sadly it was turned into a pasta shop. During the month of July, Barcelona has city-wide sales. Barcelona has 2 major sales each year -January and July. The clothing stores all have sales from 30-50% off. It's awesome! I've been in Barcelona for both of the sale seasons now.
Me encanta las rebaixes
Some pics from the week:

Dunkin' Coffee likes to pretend its as good as Dunkin' Donuts

I'll be going on a trip with the company to Valencia for next weekend and then returning home on July 19th.

Now I understand why Dalí was so afraid of time.

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