Tranquilo… We Have All Day

¡Buenos Días!

As per usual, Barcelona is treating me very well. So much has happened in the last few weeks so let’s do a quick recap!

Firstly, Carnival did indeed happen, and it was indeed one of my favorite days here so far. From the moment I woke up, it was go time! My friends and I went with Erasmus which definitely made the whole trip so much more entertaining because we sat in the back of the bus and sang Swedish songs, talked with everyone around us, and watched the sunset over the mountains as the anticipation grew. We arrived at Sitges (which is famous for its Carnival festivities) an hour before the parade started so we found our space (right in front) and waited excitedly for it to begin. The parade was full of beautiful and extravagant costumes and lively music. We danced for hours and then spent the last hour on the beach just listening to the waves roll in. It was one of those main character moments that makes you realize just how much you love the people around you and how spectacular life can be. By the time 2am came around and it was time to leave, we were exhausted, but happy.

Secondly, this weekend I went to Marseille, France with three of my friends and it was simply the most pure, childish fun I’ve had in a very long time. While Marseille itself was decent, it was really the people that made the trip. It was cold, windy, and rainy most of the time we were there, which limited some of the activities we could. We kept joking that we were just taking a food tour of the city because in reality, most of what we did was eat! It was still, however, the best trip I’ve taken so far while studying abroad.

Okay and now on to the main program… adapting to Spanish culture and a completely new lifestyle in Barcelona. Spain has a very late and calm culture. What I mean by this is that everything typically happens a lot later than it does in the US. For example, people typically eat lunch around 1-3pm and dinner from 8-10pm. I grew up eating dinner a lot later than what is considered normal, so this part of the culture was not difficult to assimilate to, but learning to become a night owl rather than a morning person was definitely a struggle for me. In general, however, it was not too challenging to adapt to the Spanish lifestyle because everything here is a lot slower. For example, classes here end as the next one begins, so there is no need to arrive to class at least five minutes before it begins because even your professor won’t arrive until exactly the start time. Also, people aren’t in a rush here. For example, grabbing coffee with friends lasts hours, no one is a fast walker, and everyone is very patience while waiting for public transportation or while waiting in line. Hence, I think most Pitt students would actually thrive in this culture because it is a nice break from the constant “go, go, go” of the typical American lifestyle and gives individuals more time to put thought and appreciation into the little things in life. I know I certainly have begun to do that.

¡Hasta la próxima vez!

Saoirse Hopp