What kind of crazy language is this?! Parte dos
2009/10/20 § 1 Comment
So it continues…
And so Saturday morning, Alyssa, Melissa, and I rolled ourselves out of bed at quarter to nine (me swearing slightly at the sun, the time of day, and the idea of breakfast), in order to partake in our free breakfast at the hostel. This is somewhat of a joke, because breakfast in Spain sucks. Harsh words, I know, but dry toast (that is, toast that is already toasted and comes pre-made in a plastic bag) and coffee does not a breakfast make. But, it was free, and after we ate, we went back upstairs to get ready to take on the day, and Barcelona. I got ready faster, and as a result, as anxiously dancing around while waiting for the other two. Since they were going to meet up with a friend of Alyssa’s from San Diego who is currently studying in Barcelona, I took off, and went to see the sights.
And see them I did! I know I haven’t posted any pictures yet (soon! really soon! I have issues), but I saw some Amazing things in Barcelona. The Cathedral of Barcelona, el Museu de la Ciutat, la Sagrada Familia, the Gaudi houses, Parq Guell, el Museu Picasso…incredible. (Those were the agenda Saturday and Sunday- I think I would have collapsed doing it all in one day, and since my feet almost fell off anyway…it’s a good thing I didn’t).
All you Spanish speakers out there will notice that I have apparently forgotten how to spell “museum,” “city,” and “park” in Spanish- blame not me, gentle reader, but the crazy language called Catalan. A lovely mix of who knows what from who knows where, it’s just different enough from Spanish to confuse the crap out of any hard working American student studying Spanish on holiday over a long weekend. Since Spain has not one, not two, but SIX officially recognized languages, in Barcelona, all official signs are in Catalan and Castellano, while everything else is pretty much in Catalan. Also, a lot of locals do not like being called “Spanish”- they are part of Catalonia, they speak Catalan, and they are Catalonian- get it right! However, since Barcelona is a tourist town, most of the people I ran into spoke Catalan, Spanish, and English. This is problem number to for hard working American student studying Spanish on holiday over a long weekend- whenever I tried out my Spanish, they would respond in English! How am I ever going to learn?! Eventually I started telling people that I was in Spain to learn Spanish, so por favor, habla conmigo en español! That worked once in a while, but mostly, just English. There was the odd time or two when they would speak to me in Catalan- this resulted in me looking even more like an idiot because while I could swear there were words I understood, the whole thing just sounded like gibberish. Not good.
Monday the six of us went out for breakfast, and then wandered around the shops for a while. I wasn’t feeling too good at this point, since the day before my throat hurt like the dickens and I was sore and achy all over. Horrors! We had tried to go to a fountain show Sunday night, but an hour after it was supposed to start, I re-read the sign, and low and behold, no show October through April on Sunday nights, only Friday and Saturday. Of course- and this helped my being sick so much! Jajaja.
Melissa, Alyssa, and I had changed our bus back to Madrid (holiday weekend, flying way way way too expensive) from leaving at 8pm at night to 3.30pm in the afternoon- why? Because someone I talked to at the hostel told me they were taking a train back to France to see what was between here and there and I thought, if this is the only chance I have to drive through Spain for a long while, I don’t want to do it all in the dark, and so we changed our bus! Easy and free, and we got to see some beautiful land between Barcelona and Madrid. Other good points: more time in my own bed before class at 10am the next day; Melissa and Alyssa could take the metro back home instead of the bus; and since it took longer than was originally planned anyways, it was better to get in at 12.15am than 4.45am, which is pretty much morning. Our other friends did take an 11pm bus, and they got back after 7am. And let me tell you, that was not a comfortable bus ride.
I mangaed to hold myself together for all three of my classes on Tuesday (go me!) and I slept hard that night. But so worth it! I met a bunch of cool people at the hostel; I saw amazing feats of architecture; learned a ton about the history of Barcelona (originally founded by the Romans); and had some fun people watching. I saw a giant group of people participate in a traditional dance in front of the Cathedral, and I got to just sit and relax at the marina. ¡Qué bonita!
Next post:: A Saturday in Toledo, and an evening of blood and gore seeing the toros (can you guess how much I enjoyed that?)
Hasta luego, un beso-