Lene's Weblog Portfolio

Monday, October 11, 2004

oki doki; assignment 2:

Well I finished this assignemt much quicker than the last oneJJ. I asked three persons if they felt more catalan or spanish? Why? And if they wanted Catalunya to be independent from Spain?

The first person I asked was the recepcionist at my fitness center here in Barcelona. She is a women in here mid 30`s and she has been living in Barcelona all her life. She always referred herself as a catalan person, this because she lives in catalunya and all her family as well. She always speaks in catalan and follow the catalan culture. She also said that she could understand if foreigners called her spanish but not if anyone from elsewhere in Spain did so.
She also would very much like to see catalunya independent. She felt that Catalunya and Spain was very different from each other.

The second one I asked was my aerobic-instructor. She is a 25 year old women, and she has also been living here in Barcelona all her life. She was not so precistent on this topic as the other one was, but she always spoke off herself as a catalan, and not as a spanish. She felt that she could identify with the catalan culture more than the spanish. She didn`t give me an answer on the question about wether she wanted Catalunya to be independent or not. But I think that this probably could have something to do with language-barrier, because she didn`t speak much english and I don`t speak that good spanish. So either she didn`t understand the question or didn`t know how to explain it in english or she just didn`t had an opinion.

The third person I asked was a worker at my local grocery store. He is a man between 25-30 years old, and he moved here to Barcelona 8 years ago, from Marocco. He said that he did`t identify much with the catalan culture, so he never called himself catalan. But if people asked him he either said that he was spanish or sometimes he just said that he was an african (maroccon?!) who lived in Spain. Since he didn`t identify with catalunya or the catalan cuture he didn`t have an opinion on the subject of wether Catalunya should be independent or not.

I though this was an interesting assignment-and you get the opportunity to talk to catalan people and hear a little bit about their culture and how they regard themselves.

expectations and impressions

Hola hola!!!

Well I know that I am terrible late with writing this first assignment on impressions and expectations of Barcelona, but it`s just that for these last two couples of weeks I have had friends and family from Norway visiting me. So I have been a busy guide, but it has been a lot of fun- I loved showing them “our” beautiful city and all it has to offer.

When I first received the message that I was exepted into the ERASMUS-exchange program in Barcelona I was thrilled. I didn`t know so much about the city and so I started to do a little “research” about Barcelona, I bought guidebooks and looked it up at the internet. I was truly impressed over what this city could offer and my expectations grew. I have been to Spain five times before, but never in Barcelona. I have been at the cost of Costa Brava three times and in Mallorca two times. I have only pleasent memories from Spain and the spanish people and culture.

I have read and heard from people who have been to Barcelona, that it is a big city, so I thought that I would be totally overvelmed and that it would take me a lot of time to get to know the city. But actually now beeing here it isn`t so huge. The distance from one metrostop to the next isn`t far and everything(places and streets) are systematic and well organized. It is easy and fun just to walk around in this city-discovering new sites, attractions and shoppingareas. People also told me before I came here that I had to be careful, it was a dangerous city! So I came here believing that I soon would be robbed or even something worse. But I still, two months later, haven`t seen or been involved in anything like that(..knock on wood...) So I`m kind of releaved about thatJ

I knew that this city was famous for its arcitecture. And i was really looking forward to seeing all of this.
I though that this mañana mañana-attitude that we have heard so much about would me more visible. But I`m glad it isn`t. Althoug shopping here in Barcelona is exellent I don`t like the service from the big chain stores like Zara, bershka, PAN`s etc. They never smile at you and the mañana mañana-attitude is clearly obvious. I know that this probably has to do with the large number of customers they receive every day, but still.....

FOOD: I just love the food here in this countryJ. I was kind of nervouse about that before I left Norway because I love norwegian food(of course...) and I didn`t think I would enjoy the gastronomic kichen here! Luckily I was wrong! My favorite restaurant at this moment would have to be either Margarita blue or Nuria.

I have been in Barcelona for about two months now, and its an awesome city- I love it. It has everything anyone could desire-a nice beach, beautiful weather, exellent shopping, different arcitecture and many many leisure and attractions sites. I know also that the three months I have left here will be amazing. Looking forward to getting to know everyone of you better and to have a lot of fun together.