And now the end is near so...
Yeah, amazing how time runs so fast. Now it's already second of December and really only few weeks to go. On the one hand I'm glad, that all the school works will be done soon and I do miss Finland and friends but on the other hand I would like to stay longer. In three months you get to know this city, culture and people quite well but you're still only scratching the surface.
I have enjoyed this journey a lot. You learn and experience so much more while being abroad than you would if you were at home the same time. I look at Barcelona now differently than in the beginning. Right now I feel that I took too many courses at school, I have been very busy almost all the time, I would say too busy. In the beginning I was so excited and wanted to have many interesting courses, but there was much more work than I thought. Talking about school, it would have been nice to have more classes with Spanish students to get to know them better. Now we have had only some workshops with Spanish students. I think you really need longer time to get good friends. Catalan people seem to be more close and shy than I thought. Ofcourse it varies, but in general it's not so easy to get to know them. Language has also a lot to do with this thing. I hope there would have been more Spanish classes to learn more. Beside school, I haven't had time or money to take any extra classes in some other school.
Things that I liked here... It's a pity that I didn't try more Catalan food. I don't really like seafood, I like fish but not shrimps and all that. I like Cava. It is cheap and you can buy it just from a food shop near you. I like patatas bravas, which are really good in Bar Thomas, like many students know. After all, I don't think that Catalan food is tremendously good, but something new to experience.Now I'm looking forward to spend the Christmas here and see the traditions and taste some typical Christmas food. Most of the Christmas food this year is anyway going to be mostly Finnish, that I'm going to make.
This city is big in my point of view,in Jyväskylä, there is only about 83 000 people. It's lovely to wonder around the town and find new little streets and shops. Recently I have been dicovering more areas in Barcelona. When you just take a metro to some strange metro stop, you might find a whole new world. In Barcelona, there is always something going on, some people walking down the streets, festivals, live music. And I like the idea, that you can stay out all night. Undergrounds should stay open later, allthough I haven't had problems, because to Paral. lel nightbuses are running quite well. Although Barcelona is big, I have felt quite safe here. I haven't got robbed even once, lucky me. It's still sad to know that so many people are being robbed every day, especially tourists. You have to be careful with your bag all the time.
People in Barcelona are quite bohemian. Many dress up in a very artistic and different way. Barcelona is full of design shops, which I still can't afford. I like shopping in Barcelona, but I have bought just few pieces of clothes until now. I got to have a whole day for shopping if I want to do it well. Barcelona is also great place for another kind of art, music. I'm not very keen on Catalan music, haven't either listened it much, but what I have heard until now.
I didn't take all the advantage of Merce, when it was going on. The little part that I saw of it was great combination of different kind of arts. The highlights of this trip, to choose only some, would be flamenco musical, Tarantos, Magic fountains and just common party night with people from our Erasmus group. Tarantos was first flamenco performance that I saw and I really liked! When flamenco singers started to sing, I was amazed! Such a strong feelings! A party night together with our group was a different kind of experience. I felt so great to be together with young people from different countries and simply have fun!! About magic fountains I don't have to say much, it was magical!
I missed many times fresh air and some peace and quiet here in Barcelona. I lived with 5 other people, so it didn't help much in the situation. I still hate the smoking here. They smoke everywhere and don't really care about other people, also inside the houses. I have also seen that here people start smoking and using drugs already when they are quite young. Many young people have quite free relation to drugs. One thing that I have been missing here, is more friendly customer service and a little smile. I also wonder, why people don't use more bicycles here. Maybe the city has to prove the infrastructure to support it.
I'm going to spend also Christmas and New Year here, so there is more to come. Maybe I this time have the opportunity to see the fireworks above the sea lighting the whole city. To new students I would say, take all the advantage of what you see and what opportunities you might have because time is really running fast, faster than you would think. Take care of yourself and don't work too much. Exchange is more about exchanging new experiences and ideas with other unique people. It's something you can't live back home.
That's basically what I had in my mind! I know I will come back to Barcelona one day, even that I didn't drink from the fountain...
And thanks Graham, it was fun to work with you!