Friday, June 7, 2013

Last Day in Barcelona: An Overview

My last day in Barcelona, we all visited the beautiful Palau de Música Catalana that is constructed in a modern artistic style.  We then went to a group lunch with some of the professors at an amazing paella restaurant by the port.  As I'm not a huge fan of shellfish, I stuck with the vegetable paella, and it was delicious.  Accompanying that was the famous pan con tomate (tomato and olive oil on bread), classic Spanish Iberic ham, and other seafood dishes.  For dessert, a chocolate coolant:).  Because of the large quantity of food and the classic slow European restaurant service, I felt like I was at a Thanksgiving dinner.  After hugging and Spanish kissing (one on each cheek) everyone goodbye, I'm now back at my host parents' house starting to pack for my flight tomorrow.  My host mom made me her famous churros con chocolate for a goodbye dessert!

I can't believe I'm flying back to the USA tomorrow. The term went by SO FAST, it's crazy. I'm sad to leave the amazing, fun city of Barcelona with all my new cultural experiences. However, I am also ready to return home, see my family and home friends, and head back to Dartmouth for sophomore summer! I'm not looking forward to returning to the insane, fast-paced Dartmouth schedule with loads more work than Spain, but Sophomore Summer will be so much fun just the same. I CAN'T WAIT! On that note, some of my thoughts on Barcelona:

Things I will miss about Spain:
1) The amazing food: spanish tortillas, churros con chocolate, empanadas, pan con tomate, chocolate croissants, any kind of tapas/pinxtos, (sangria:))
2) The laid back culture; the spaniards know how to stop and smell the roses.
3) The Spanish language:  I really enjoy speaking Spanish-it's really fun to try to communicate in a new way with new people!  Speaking Spanish makes conversations more fun and interesting, especially when speaking amongst our Dartmouth group, as we are challenged to use our relatively limited vocabulary to talk about a variety of topics
4) Music on the metro
5) The ability to travel and have new experiences: my favorite places other than Barcelona were the beaches/hikes at La Costa Brava, the beaches at Sitges, Madrid, Ronda, and Granada
6) Getting a break from living in the Dartmouth bubble
7) The Spanish/European style and generally more formal attire, as well as the romantic ambiance of Europe
8) The milder climate
9) Despite the paranoia about being pick-pocketed--the lower overall stress level
10) My adorable host parents

Things I am glad to be leaving behind in Spain:
1) The insane amount of robberies/pickpockets and my corresponding state of constant paranoia
2) People asking for money on the metro
3) The catcalls/less discreet staring...for some reason the spaniards don't try to hide that they're checking you out...
4) Being taller than the majority of the population
5) The laid back culture: sometimes I just want to get stuff done! And walk at a rapid pace down the street to get where I'm going!
6) The exchange rate
7) Not being able to safely walk alone at night
8) Being one of the only girls lifting at the gym (I guess this is the same in the U.S...just not at Dartmouth with all the other athletes:)  So excited to be the ONLY basketball sophomore on this summer and have the full attention of all the coaches and conditioning staff..)
9) The slow restaurant service and seemingly avoidant waiters that you literally have to chase down in order to get the check
10) The "simple" lifestyle of my host family: I had to take super fast showers, and each time they had to manually turn on the hot water for me to use.  Also the weak halway-functioning toilet flushers and the slow internet.  I cannot WAIT to get back to the high-efficiency US with an abundance of well-functioning technology.  Having said that, it was also kind of nice to not have to worry about carrying/checking my iPhone every five seconds and to sometimes just give up on the internet and work without it.

No comments:

Post a Comment