Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cowboys and Carnaval

Helloooooooooo everyone. I have been such a horrible blogger, abandoning my updates for the more exciting world that Barcelona has to offer. Most of you will probably be surprised to hear that I´m actually leaving Barcelona in one week exactly. Don´t worry, it´s nothing personal between me and this wonderful place, more that I felt the need to go back to the more alternative and cheaper Berlin to be with all those I left behind in December.

I´m really not sure if I made the right decision, but to be honest, I don´t really think a right or wrong existed. I´ll probably be happy in either place, and at least I´m not sitting in Galesburg, Illinois, wishing the world around me weren´t so flat. Before heading off, I´ll be making a little journery around Spain and Portugal starting with Valencia, where they build huge straw dolls and burn them every year in the middle of the night. After that, off to Madrid to meet Robert, and then we´ll be driving to the south of Portugal and up to Lisbon and Porto (where they are supposed to have wonderfully cheap wineries. My first real wine tasting!). Then, back to Madrid and off to Berlin to start an internship that should last me into the summer.

Now that that´s all out on the table, I´ll do a little update on my time Catalonia. Last weekend was Carnaval, a CRAZY festival equivalent to New Orlean´s Mardi Gras. My friends and I hopped a train to the nearby beach town Sitges, also known as the gay capital of the area, where they have the third or fourth (it´s debatable, but I´ve heard both from many proud Spaniards) largest party in the world. It was like Halloween all over again, with people dressed as everything you could imagine, including post-it notes and giant babies. Everyone gathered around to watch the exravagent parade in which one float even sported sparkling eiffel tours on their heads and another sported practically nothing at all. Despite the fact that I lost my fake cowgirl gun and fell asleep on the train home, it was a definite success, and most definitely a cultural learning experience.

I went to a soccer game today, and surprisingly, I had an amazing time. We had incredible seats, right behind the goal, and the section next to us was filled with the most dedicated fans, all decked out in blue and white and singing songs in a mixture of Catalan and Spanish that I failed to understand but decided to sing along with anyway. And, of course, they won 2 to nothing, so that just made it all the more exciting.

BBBBBBBBBarcelona is getting warm! Despite one long day of rain during which there were train delays because the city is so used to perfect weather, today was gorgeous and showed me a hint of summer. If only I could stick around to spend hours on the beach catching some sol, but of course, I can´t really sit still for very long, can I?

Okay, time for fun facts:

1. Barcelona has a day of festival for no reason. Just because everyone deserved the day off I guess

2. It is totally acceptable here to yell every imaginable cuss word at the top of your lungs as long as you are at a soccer game.

3. It´s also totally acceptable to ask a stranger to marry you in the subway. That´s right folks, I´m apparently going to the Sagrada Familia

4. Never say yes to bread! They will charge you 7 extra euros for it.

5. Catalan phrase of the day: ets un entrepĂ  molt maco!
(translation: you are a very handsome sandwich)

Toodle loooo!