December in Barcelona

I have been living now in my flat near Palau Guell in the centre of Barcelona for over a month, and have again neglected to write here. This is mainly because my computer, my laptop, stopped working in the middle of watching Another Time, Another Place, for one of my classes. It is a Mac, and 6 years old. The message that disabled my computer told me I needed to restart it, and when I did, the message appeared again. Hopeless. I have been using my flatmates computer or heading to the library. Though inconvenient at times, I do prefer it this way. I am mainly mourning the loss of a novel I have lodged in the membranes of the computer´s memory, and hope when I take it home for Christmas my dad can fix it for me. He is good at computers. I am going to take this opportunity, in amidst a flurry of important work tasks, to tell you a piece of history, about my living arrangements before I moved.  I think this will be interesting.

I was living with 5 other people. They were a mixed bunch.
1 – Jesco – Of German origin but lived in Vallencia for ten years. Has a slight lisp, speaks Spanish, comes from a capitalist background, loves business and playing WoW on his massive computer he built himself, with 8 whirring fans that drove me mad. He loves cleaning and doesn´t talk much more than slight chit chat and asking for rent or bills. He is the boyfriend of Siobhan

2 – Siobhan – Girlfriend of Jesco. English accent, lived in England for ten years, but was born in Spain and recently lived in Vallencia also for ten years. Norwegian mother and Irish father. Her mother is great. She made food and got me out of bed when she came to stay, things I value and treasure. She talks a lot (Siobhan), more than I thought was possible, I thought I talked a lot, and this could get annoying, especially when it was early morning and I was late for class, but most of the time it was ok.

3 – Marco – Originally Peruvian, he is from Miami. He is a sound engineering student, and quite crass, short, Peruvian looking and loves to preserve his slight muscly physique. Womaniser/mysogynist “Men and women can´t be friends”. Probably lived in Vallencia for a while, but knows Jesco somehow, perhaps just Colton´s friend, but is returning to Miami in December. I expect he is gone by now.

4 – Colton – Originally from Washington DC, he also is from Vallencia, and also does Sound Engineering like Marco. For both of them this involves playing some kind of house music really loudly whenever they like. Sometimes it is good music, sometimes I don´t mind it. Eats 12 eggs a day. Often I didn´t know where he was, not that I was not curious, there just wasn´t a close network of conversation in the flat.

5 – Dariel – Recent import, he is like a vampire. He kept himself to himself and stayed in his room most of the time. He left for toilet breaks, smoking breaks on the balcony (Which frustrated me a little because I had clothes drying on the balcony) and sly exits for “a beer” with friends or A GIRL lolz. He is Bulgarian and also sounds like a vampire when he talks. Eats more fish than anyone else, but that doesn´t mean a lot. Jesco´s friend.

We got on ok, the flat is massive and we have great facilities. My room was small but I liked it, I often just wished the flat karma was a bit better. I think this comes with the people, I thought it was just the furniture or something but it must be the people. I started looking to move because of the tension in the air being too much for me sometimes, but I needed to find somewhere good, because this place was cheap at 250 euros a month, and it was luxurious.

When I moved, my room was apparently used for a store room for someone paying the same amount of rent as I did, but not the extortionate amount of bills I was obliged to pay (one of the reasons why I left, paying 60 euros + 60 euros for my final month made my soul wilt and turn black at the thought).

My decision to move was a good one. I have two great flatmates from Galicia, I can hang out with a dog, and it´s much more fun coming home into the city centre. I walk the dog to the sea, glittering in the sun, and enjoy meeting people who ask about the beagle, or fellow dog-owners who let Zeta (the dog) sniff their pet, and be sniffed, or jump around. I also live near better terrain for skating, so this is fun, though at the moment I am busy concentrating, or trying to concentrate on completing tasks, assignments, and preparing for exams.

I love learning Spanish, and also other languages like Catalan and Italian.  I love the sun, in fact,  I was absolutely adoring the weather and not being in Edinburgh´s fierce cold. It is cold now, but mostly always dry, and crisp. When it is cloudy, it is strange. When it is sunny it is great. Sometimes this is distracting, but often I fit the sun into my day to day activities.

Also, good news! Walking the dog yesterday I bumped into a lovely Polish girl who works in a bar, and it has reminded me I want to print my CV and hand it in to an Irish bar! Friday morning I will get a NIE. I still haven´t got one. It was a pleasant meeting because first her friend asked if he could stroke the dog (in Spanish), and when he asked where I was from, and I said ´soy inglesa´ and he said that I didn´t look English, and I said ´mis padres son polakos´, he introduced me to his friend, who was great, and whose name was Marzena. I hope this will lead to a new great adventure. I love making drinks so to work in a bar in Barcelona will be a dream come true.

I am going home for Christmas on the 20th of December and one of my flatmates is sad because she will be alone for Christmas. Being a nurse, she is obliged to take care of her patients at Christmas, and noone else will be here with her. I am sad for her too and can´t think of ways to help. She will have to walk the dog (´mi amor´) to the harbour and have a coffee (at the Starbucks which has an outside terrace so she can smoke and sit with the dog) and watch the sea glittering in the sharp sun, by herself. So sad. I keep hoping some Catalan boy will be able to take her under her wing, and will activate a mini search plan the weekend before I leave.

I am going to leave now to study Old English for an exam tomorrow. I have not had time to revise earlier, through other obligations, so I hope, and plan, this goes well. I will return soon!

Categories: Barcelona, Spain

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