My Story

Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.

What I’m still not used it:

Having cash: I would go months without withdrawing any cash back home. The only time I would have cash would be when I received some as a gift or for nights out that required a whip round. Here you always need to have cash on you. Of course a lot of places do except card payment, but most are for transactions over a certain amount. So seeing as all kinds of drinking is so cheap here, cash in you wallet has to be an ever present. Coins are especially useful as well.

Eating late: Although I’ve conditioned my body for the later social hours, sometimes the eating habits catch me off guard. Last night I arrived home at around 9:30pm from being out all day. I hadn’t eaten since lunch, but seeing as there was nothing in the flat to eat, I just admitted defeat and decided to wait until breakfast. No big deal. 11pm I was being shown to my seat at an all you can eat sushi bar.

The weather: It’s mid October. There should be some time of the day when you can comfortably wear more than shorts and a t shirt.

The language: Training my brain to talk in another language when communicating with people is harder than actually learning the language. Inside of my head I feel there’s a decent grasp on the language, but trying to get that out is different game altogether.

Tea: Having to ask for milk.

Just moved into my next temporary lodging. The view is pretty spectacular. A near 360 degree view of the city. Ill hopefully only be here for a few weeks whilst I find a permanent place that I’d like to live in but I can’t see myself being able to focus on anything other than this view.

One month

Today is the one month anniversary of me living in Barcelona. I would like to celebrate this, but it would appear tonight will have to be spent packing my bags in preparation of hopefully moving into another temporary living quarters this weekend. Rock and roll.

When English language films are released in Spain, most of the time they are dubbed in Spanish. This obviously isn’t very helpful for me, as my Castilian is a long way off being good enough to understand 120 minutes of dialogue, but to me dubbing a film also removes a lot of its purpose. Lucky for me, there are two cinemas in my neighbourhood that show films in their original language but with Spanish or Catalan subtitles. There’s even a cinema directly opposite my current place that adds English subtitles to the Catalan films it shows. A decision that I’m sure must annoy 95% of the people who go there but one that allows me to experience a selection of cinema that I would otherwise just pass me by.
But the thing is, I’ve been here a month now and I’m yet to go to the cinema. I’ve probably had plenty of time to of gone, and at €3 a ticket, it isn’t a cost issue, I just think that the period I had before moving here of not being able to regularly go to the cinema has removed that urgency to see every film that has a slight interest on me. But if there was ever one man who could break me out of this unwelcome habit, his name would be David Fincher. Now that Gone Girl, or Perdida as it’s called here, is finally about the have it’s Spanish release, I’m again experiencing that wonderful desire to feed my film addiction. It’s good to have you back old friend.

When English language films are released in Spain, most of the time they are dubbed in Spanish. This obviously isn’t very helpful for me, as my Castilian is a long way off being good enough to understand 120 minutes of dialogue, but to me dubbing a film also removes a lot of its purpose. Lucky for me, there are two cinemas in my neighbourhood that show films in their original language but with Spanish or Catalan subtitles. There’s even a cinema directly opposite my current place that adds English subtitles to the Catalan films it shows. A decision that I’m sure must annoy 95% of the people who go there but one that allows me to experience a selection of cinema that I would otherwise just pass me by.

But the thing is, I’ve been here a month now and I’m yet to go to the cinema. I’ve probably had plenty of time to of gone, and at €3 a ticket, it isn’t a cost issue, I just think that the period I had before moving here of not being able to regularly go to the cinema has removed that urgency to see every film that has a slight interest on me. But if there was ever one man who could break me out of this unwelcome habit, his name would be David Fincher. Now that Gone Girl, or Perdida as it’s called here, is finally about the have it’s Spanish release, I’m again experiencing that wonderful desire to feed my film addiction. It’s good to have you back old friend.

Living update

I was hoping to have my more long time living arrangements all wrapped up, and possibly even moved in, by the end of this week, but I have now found out that that is no longer happening. The place I’m currently in was only a temporary one month stay booked through Airbnb, so that I have time to get myself settled and actually have the ability to view possible places to live. My current stay was originally until 10th October but has been extended to the 15th so that I can have more time to search for my next abode.

Looking for places to live here is far less stressful than looking for one in London. In London, you barely have time to think about whether you actually want to live there before you’re being prompted to make a decision and put in offer. Here everything is much more laid back, but it’s that laid backness that has put me in a position where I’m now up against the clock. London searching may be hard work, but it’s because of that hard work that you ensure yourself that you’re fully organised and prepared, with enough time to tackle the task at hand efficiently. Although I have been very busy since arriving and wrongly under the impression that my current agreement could been extended by much more than just a few days, I still probably could of done more to make this move slightly more seamless.

But that being said, in a way I’m happy that the place I was hoping to move into this week is now not an option. There was nothing at all wrong with the flat. It was in neighbourhood that I want to live. The room was a good size, and the flat as a whole was very modern and clean. It was occupied by two guy of a similar age to me. One was from NYC and the other a Columbian who spent most his life living in London, so language wouldn’t of been an issue. It had access to a massive roof terrace that overlooked one of the many lively plaça’s you find in this area of the city, and was never used by any of the tenants in the other five flats that had access to it. On paper it was perfect, but I think it’s attributes were heightened by the fact that it was the first, and only, place that i had viewed and that it solved the problem of me having to leave me current place soon. It was the easy option. Yes it was in my chosen neighbourhood but still not in the heart of it, nor near to where any of my friends live. My room was a good size but the rest of rooms, the rooms where you do most of the living, were a little cramped. Living with two English speaking people would make life easier but those comforts are not going to give you the full experience of living in a foreign country. The terrace would of been cool but it’s not the only flat in the city that offers some outdoor space. Most of them do.

So even though I now sit here with my living situation up in the air, I feel having this slight obstacle to overcome is how moving abroad should be. It makes it more worth while. Worst case scenario is that I’ll have to find another temporary Airbnb set up again, which there are plenty of availability around here. What’s having to repack and unpack your bags a couple more times really going to do.

Hotdog

Tonight I had a night with no plans and no food in the apartment, so I decided to head out and hunt down some dinner. I fancied something quick, easy and trashy, so I opted for a hot dog from a little place named This Dog is Hot. It was delicious. I love the food in this city but that love mainly came from the more typical local options that originate from this part of the world. But Barcelona also does the more “mainstream” western food really well too. I’ve also eaten at three different burger places here and each have been to die for. My favourite was discovered towards the end of an all day bar crawl when I was here last April, so a Marshall Ericsson style search to relive “the best burger in town” my be required, but I’ve still had enough sober burgers to now claim this place does all food really well.

Serious Day

After what’s been a very full on four weeks, I’ve finally had a day to allocate some time towards getting some serious stuff done.

Job Searching - Although I’ve been activity looking for work since I arrived here, today I put a more focused effort into finding a job. I always find job searching difficult because no matter how much time you put into searching, there’s only ever going to be a set number of jobs to apply for. You can give yourself an hour to search, but if there’s only a few jobs currently out there, it leaves you feeling a bit dejected.

Flat hunting - I have to be out of where I’m living at the moment on the 15th of this month. This was always the plan but it’s only just dawned on me that that date is fast approaching. Finding a place to live here is far less stressful than in London, but having a certain area where I want to live always brings limitations. Luckily I’ve had a few offers from people who will put me up temporarily if I don’t find a place by then.

The language - Deciding to crack on with learning Spanish was a bold move when deciding to move to Cataluyna. All my friends here are Catalan and the staff of most shops, restaurants and bars around where I live will speak to you in Catalan so it’s been difficult finding moments to speak Spanish. This has obviously halted my progression a bit so today I had a good going over the bits I’ve struggle with so far.

Barça

Last night was the first time that I watched any of a Barça match since I arrived here. Living in the home of Barça, or my other red and blue army as I like to call them, was something that excited me greatly, but due to a busy schedule, I hadn’t been able to catch any action. Last night I had my chance, so I headed to a local bar near to where I’m living that was recommended by a friend. Although last night’s game was free to view on normal TV, people still braved the very unwelcome wet night to go watch their team. I went out with the intention of watching the game on my own, but soon after I arrived, a friend walked in. I’ve been here less than a month, so being in a position where I’m already bumping into familiar faces is a great feeling. Watching football in a group is one of life’s simple pleasures, but this felt very different. Whenever you watch club football back home, there’s always mixed loyalties within the punters. Even on a European night, you’ll always find people not sporting the “home” team because it conflicts with their own club allegiances. Not here though. Barça are an integral part of Catalan culture. I’m sure there are a fair few Espanyol fans around the city but it would appear that for most, if you’re Catalan, you’re Barça. Watching a game in a bar where everyone is supporting the same team felt like an International match back home. It was very all comforting. The final score wasn’t what myself, or the rest of the bar was hoping for, but for me, it was a great start to my life as a Barça fan in Barcelona.

This album was released 14 years ago today. I still love it as much now as I did that day.

This album was released 14 years ago today. I still love it as much now as I did that day.

Routine

One of the reasons why I’ve posted so little over the past six months was due to my daily routine becoming so uneventful that there was nothing worth posting about. It got to a point where I stopped even opening Tumblr when online. The main thinking behind moving to a very sociable city like Barcelona was to try and solve this problem. And although I’ve only been here half a month, it has done exactly that… kind of. My first two weeks here have been full of stuff worth posting about. I’ve already witnessed two big annual celebrations, one of which lasted for five days. I’ve been to a music festival on the beach. Nearly lost my eyebrows during a spectacular street procession of firework breathing demonic sculpted machinery. I’ve had more nights out in different places across the city than I did during my first year in London. It’s been non stop, and that doesn’t include the midday Vermouths. But because of all this, I haven’t had the time to ease myself back into the routine of documenting these events on here. Hopefully I can finally address this soon as these are times that I really do not want to forget.