I’d like to note that, for a country famous for its siesta and “I will do it tomorrow” policy, Spain presented me with a curious timetable. Lectures could start at 8am and finish at 7pm, with like 5 free hours spread out in between classes. Or you could have a whole day off, you lucky… thing. It all depends on which classes you take and how much the International Relations guy likes you to put you in the group you want to be in. I didn’t score well in this department for some reason. However, I spent a wonderful day at the beach in anticipation of my second week of classes. This, I think, count as a score.
Barceloneta beach is an artificial one, so the concrete in the sand could be a problem for the more delicate among you. Still, the water is fairly clean considering the amount of people who go there. It’s considered a tourist location, so the beach hawkers’ pestering is something you should be aware of. Unless you are used to sleep in the company of people who continuously scream “Beer, water, coca-cola” and “Mojito, fresquito mojito! ¿Quieres Mojito?”, you should probably find another place to go. Seriously, hawkers here are much more insisting than those in Bulgaria screaming “Кукуруз” [Coo-coo-rooz] (which means corn).
Take a picture of the beach and store it in your mind if possible, because you’ll need it. Especially if you decide to apply for a NIE (identity number for foreigners), which is something everyone who plans to stay more than 3 months in Spain is required to do. The picture you’ll need to calm you down while you wait for hours on a queue with hundreds of other people even before the Police Station opens. However, I never got to the end of said queue. Second round – tomorrow, 07.00am. Wish me luck…
PS: Please, forgive me for the shortness of my posts. As an informatics student I obey the rule – the shorter the answer, the smaller the chance to make a mistake. 😉
EDIT: I got the NIE. And let me tell you, the queue lived up to its name. Basically you have to get to the Police station on Balmes street around 7.00am to ensure you get in at 9.00am and be done by 2.00pm. After filling in a single form and waiting in line they tell you that you have to go to the bank and pay 10.20 euros and come back with the receipt. Once you get to the closest bank it’s like 12 o’clock and unless you have an account in that particular bank, you can’t pay the money. And in order to open an account you need a NIE (the thing you are trying to pay for at the moment). This is all cool if you are one of those people who enjoy recursion and vicious cycles. This is not the case with me. First of all, the bank is not supposed to pick and chose which clients to please with its services. Second, you can’t force a person to open an account just for making a transfer. Finally, McDonald’s fries here are way too salty…
That’s all the frustration you get from me in one day.
I love the seaside. YAY! SEASIDE! Bad NIE!