Saturday, January 30, 2010

Find life experiences and swallow them whole. Travel. Meet many people. Go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. Try everything. Exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life.
- Lawrence K. Fish

I quite like that quote.

This morning started way too early, 6:30 am CET. In the most opposite of my style, I didn't hit snooze once. Dios mios. The method to the madness... I had an excursion. We went to the Dalí Museum in Figueres and to Girona. The Dalí Museum more than exceeded my expectations. Before today, Dalí held no weight in the scheme of my life, but that is no more. He is probably best known for this:

But I like him better for these:

If you look hard enough at the last picture, its actually Abraham Lincoln. I enjoy things that have more than one meaning. Well, thats enough about Dalí, though I do recommend him.

Girona was incredibly beautiful. We weren't there long enough for me to say anything else, but its beauty would still win out anyway. As is the case with most everything ;)

In other news, I tried mussels the other day. After you pop those suckers out of their shells, they look like the world's most disgusting bug. It was quite an internal battle after that slimy, poopy-orange sight but I made myself try it anyway. What a major triumph. And, it actually tasted pretty good.

Two things before I go:
1. The doors here open towards the inside. I know Spaniards take pleasure in laughing at me every time I pull. It never fails.
2. Spanish-speakers pronounce my name Hoolly.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My first memory of Spanish dates back to when I was roughly eight years old. Mom and I were sitting on the floor of her peach colored room in our Philo house, more than likely playing crazy 8's. She taught me how to count to twenty in Spanish. I felt infinitely superior to everyone at school due to the fact that I could count in Spanish and jumped at every opportunity to flaunt it, little did I know of the impact of those twenty numbers.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

iQue bonita! iQue guay!

This glorious sight is only about three or four blocks from my home-stay, and thats all I have to say about that.

The Verdaguer metro station has a long tunnel-like runway that I detest deeply. The stale lighting and constant wind make my eyes water and I'm somehow always sweaty by this part of my metro journey. But, the other day someone was playing the Titanic song with a peter pan type instrument. It made me smile in the midst of my least favorite part of the trip. I can only hope that next time someone will be dressed in lederhosen, armed with an accordion and playing the chicken dance.

On Friday we went to a place called the Dow Jones bar. As you may have guessed, the drink prices mimic the stock market and fluctuate throughout the night. How stressful! I, of course, bought a 6margarita and soon realized I have no future as a stockbroker. It was my first legal drink purchase though, so obviously I had to splurge.

After this fun, expensive little excursion we went to a hole in the wall bar... right up my alley. The metro closed at 2 am so we spent the rest of the evening chasing down the US embassy, McDonalds, to no avail. We did, however, treck down las ramblas to the Mediterranean. It was tan bonita and calm at 4:30 am.

Today: the Picasso museum. It was magnificent with intermittent periods of strange. I had a sweet potato for lunch from a street vendor. So cute and yummy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I've been trying to figure out how many calories are in the cookies I've been eating and its practically rocket science. They measure calories in kcal here? I tried calculating with google and came up with 38,000 calories in one cookie! Obviously, math has never been my strong suit. If anyone has a better calculation, send it my way. Or maybe its better if I don't know how many calories are in everything. Fair warning, someone might have to roll me out of Spain.

I got another free loaf of bread at the metro today. I think I would be somewhat content to spend a whole day at the metro. There is so much to see. Today there was a band and old people were dancing. It looked like so much fun until some old spaniard asked me to dance, then I bailed.

Hasta pronto :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

First and foremost, here is a link to some pictures:
Spain, Short and Fat Diva Style
I'll do my best to post more soon.

Update: Spongebob translates to Bob Esponja in Spanish. I have the pleasure of watching it every night during dinner. Pretty soon I'm going to know more than Gabe in Spongebob trivia :) That will be a major feat, since Gabe terrorizes me in all walks of trivia. Though its almost unbearable to watch, Bob Esponja is somewhat helpful for learning Spanish. He talks surprisingly fast though.

Yesterday, I actually got up early enough to do some exploring around Barcelona. I was really proud of myself for finding my way around. I found a cute little cafe and decided to break for lunch. I was incredibly displeased to find that the sandwich I ordered tasted like Lexi smells. Thats almost the worst thing that can happen to a sandwich. So, my first lunch of the day was a fail. After walking around a little more I attempted lunch two. I had been craving gyros so I decided to go to a place called "Pita Inn" I think. What a bad idea, I should have know better, judging by the name alone. I don't even know what kind of meat I ate there, but somehow my second lunch was just as bad as the first. I'm trying not to think about what I could have bought in the US with all the euros I spent on TWO gross lunches.

Today I was told I flush the toilet wrong, though I'm pretty sure I've been doing it right. That hacked me off a little. Also, in Spain Dunkin'Donuts is called Dunkin'Coffee. That doesn't even make sense. I was told by one of my teachers its because Spaniards don't want the "fast food" image. I find that frustrating too.

In other news, I got a free loaf of bread at the metro yesterday. What a great feeling, now I can make peanut butter toast! Also, I tried churros with chocolate today but they were nothing to write home about. Therefore, this in no way counts as me writing home about them. Maybe thats because I don't really like donuts though. If you could dip them in peanut butter it would probably be another story.

Tonight we had a traditional Catalan dish for dinner, with habas. Or in other words, broad beans? I wasn't sure what those were so I had to wiki them. According to wikipedia, broad beans can be used as a natural alternative to viagra :P

On that note, more to come later.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My biggest fear so far in Barcelona is that I'm going to fall into the metro pit. You know when you're on top of a really tall building and it feels like you should crawl or lay down so you don't fall off? Thats how I feel at the metro, I want to crawl through it.

The little girl I live with watches spongebob, and if you think that show is bad in the US you should hear it in Spanish. I thought I had escaped it but I was sadly mistaken. Also, the little girl wears a pink, velour hello kitty leisure suit around the apartment. If I got my hands on one of those I would never take it off. I'm a little surprised I don't already own one.

I just tried to watch Modern Family online and instead I got this:
You appear to be outside the United States or its territories. Due to international rights agreements, we only offer this video to viewers located within the United States and its territories.WHAT THE HECK?! Its weird how the internet knows I'm not in the US. Also, all of my facebook ads are now in Spanish. Es un poco extraño.

Right now I only have one class at 2:30 everyday, and yet I somehow still manage to nearly sleep through it. If someone could plant a tornado siren in my room to wake me up, I think that would be the best solution. I'm blaming it on the jetlag but I'm worried that excuse is going to wear out soon.

Hasta Luego.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Barcelona :)

I live near the tall cathedral in the back, La Sagrada Familia.

Fifteen years ago my biggest feat was finishing the first grade after being forced onto the bus dragging along my baby doll, as I was the only little girl allowed to bring one to class. And, let us not forget my unwillingness to even attempt to buy the school lunch. My future looked grim.

Who would have thought I could travel across the ocean, by myself, to live in a foreign country. Not me. I left my house the fateful morning of January 10, 2010 and felt as though I was being stuffed on a big, yellow bus once again, never to return. The only thing missing was the song "Rat in a Cage" on the way to the airport with my dad. It was so scary, to say the least :)

The flight went well but the first day was rough. I would have rather smelled ground beef cooking all day than be in Barcelona during the first day. It was that bad :)

When I woke up the first morning after a lack of sleep for what seemed like five days, I had no idea where I was. Talk about a strange feeling. The next day was much better though, except for the grossest salad I've ever eaten >> Imagine endives (whatever the heck those are), with walnuts, carrots, and cheese sauce. YUCK. No me gusta.

I moved into my home-stay on the second day and its really great. I would compare it to Mrs. Charleston, my school bus mentor :) I have interwebs, and lets be honest, I think I could survive in a small shack as long as I have internet. The apartment is a lot nicer than a shack though, so thats an added bonus of sorts. I live with a senora and her five-year-old daughter, who I just met and is currently scared of me. With my six-foot stature, deep voice, and bulging muscles, I can understand why. Sidenote: its strange to hear children speak in spanish, I imagine all children speaking English, and dogs too.

Today I took the metro, twice, by myself. Everyone knows my slight tendency to get lost, so this is an accomplishment large enough to last a few weeks.

Until we meet again.