Post for July 22, 2012
I can’t believe my program is over in less than a week! I have some final exams coming up and a 7 page paper to write that I’m not looking forward to at all. Even though I want to get that over with I also don’t want my time here to be done. I’m kind of sad actually just to think that it’s almost over. I was actually thinking today about the stuff we talked about at orientation about jet lag, culture, shock, and homesickness and I’ve realized that I really haven’t felt much for any of those. I also think it may be because I’m only here for a month so maybe it just hasn’t had time to take effect but I’m kind of glad that I’ve enjoyed almost everything about my study abroad so far. Last Thursday I went back to see the Magic Fountain again because it has become one of my favorite places to go at night. I have so many pictures of the fountain and they all look pretty cool. I went with Shelby and Christal and we just walked around and took a lot of pictures. The picture below is of me posing by some of the fountains in front of the Montjuic palace.
The picture of the poster above is an announcement of the basketball game coming up soon of the US national Olympic team versus Spain’s national Olympic team. I can’t wait to watch this friendly game because, aside from the US, Spain is a world champion in basketball and during the Beijing Olympics the finals were between USA and Spain, in which the US received the gold medal and Spain received the silver medal. The game is going to be here in Barcelona! I looked up ticket prices and unfortunately I think they are too expensive because the cheapest tickets start at 70 euros and I think that’s too much for me. Instead I am planning on watching here with my host family.
This week has been pretty relaxed. On Saturday I didn’t do much. I slept in and spent some time with my host brothers for most of the day. In the evening I had plans with a few friends to try to go up to the “discotheque” on the 23rd floor of the W Hotel but that was quite the failure. We dressed up really nice because we have been told the people there are very picky and it took us forever to get to the hotel but once we were there and ready to go into the elevator, a lady with a clip board asked if we were invited. We were so confused because apparently you have to be on the guest list on weekends to be allowed up. The lady said our attire was appropriate but that we should instead return on a Monday night or Thursday night because it was more likely that we’d be let in. After that we kind of just walked along the beach until we got tired and went back home.
Today I was quite the busy guy. Even though I should be studying for my final exams I took the opportunity to go see Barcelona’s Castellers (human towers) performing on the outskirts of the city. I had heard a lot about them but this was the only time that I knew of them performing anywhere nearby. It was such a cool thing to watch because men, women, and children of all ages were present to be a part of this tradition. I’m not going to lie though, I was scared for the children that made their way to the very top of the towers because it looks so dangerous. In one of my classes I learned that the children our now required to wear helmets because there have been too many injuries and even deaths from falling. I was very scared when I saw two of the towers fall. One of them had a girl who hit heard mouth when she fell and was bleeding and crying and another one had an older girl who was taken away by the ambulance but I don’t know what happened to her when she fell.
After the Castellers performance was over I made my way to a park that my host mom recommended that I visit today. It was a very tranquil park with some sounds of small green parrots that are not originally from here. My host mom says they escaped some zoo and started to procreate and nest in the parks around the city.
During my exploration of this park I spotted Barcelona’s only squirrel!! I’m kidding. But still. My host mom was surprised when I showed her the picture of this squirrel because she said they are very rare in Barcelona and she is surprised that I saw one. Honestly I don’t think I ever saw any other squirrel since I’ve been here.
After the park I went to visit a labyrinth on the northern part of the city which was supposedly paid for by some rich old guy back in the day to entertain his guests when he threw parties. Now it’s a park you pay to go into but it’s still pretty awesome. There are is so much romantic scenery there. I saw couples everywhere and even a bride and groom taking wedding pictures throughout the park. Regardless to say that I had quite the nice weekend and now I’m supposed to study for torture I will be receiving in class this week.
Jose R. Garcia