Day 16 – Transportation and The Real Life of a Spanish Family

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Just like yesterday, today I took some time to rest and work on the blog and other things. Since I didn’t go out today other than going to work, I’ll take some time to tell you more about the buses in Barcelona, my homestay, and the food.

When I come back from work, I usually take the V3 or 70. The 70 is a nice bus, just like all the others in Barcelona, but the V3 is even better cause it has all the information you need: maps, led screens indicating the stops, and even computer screens indicating the route.  You can see the photos below. So even though it only takes me about 20 min. to get back home walking, I prefer to take the bus (considering I have the unlimited transportation pass). I think the bus system during the day is pretty nice; the “nit” bus (night bus) has a different story though…

Now, about my homestay and the food… It’s actually a single topic :p hehe, because when you choose a homestay with CISabroad, it includes lodging and 2 meals per day. I’ve chosen to eat breakfast and lunch because I usually go out to eat dinner. But since I didn’t have any plans today, I chose to eat lunch by myself (I cooked the pizza I bought yesterday) and eat dinner with my host family. I love the tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette) and my host mom knows this, so tonight, we had tortilla de patatas and fruit, a lot of fruit!! After dinner, my host sisters and I clean the table, and then, my host mom and I usually have long, deep conversations 🙂 I love to come to such a welcoming home and truly become friends with my hosts. I’ve said this before and I re-confirm it: One of my best assets is certainly having friends all around the world.

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Day 14 – À BIENTÔT Paris y qué bueno verte Barcelona!

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Last day in París! I thought I would be able to wake up early and do a lot more, but I was really tired, so I woke up super late and went out to get a kebab/gyro from the Jewish quarter. I decided to simply enjoy the few things I was able to do in the last few hours. I ate my kebab in a little plaza, watching french kids playing.

Afterwards, I truly wanted to ride a bike in Paris. So I finally rented one from the Velib service, but it took me forever to do it! I don’t know why I couldn’t get some of the bikes out of the station. The clock was ticking, but I just couldn’t leave without riding a bike in Paris! So I kept trying and ended up riding the bike for less than 15 min. haha, just around the Pompidou Center :p. At about 2 p.m., I rode the metro back to the apartment to get my bags, left a little note to my host, and rushed back to the metro to get to the Denfert-Rochereau station to catch the Orlybus to the airport. When I got to the airport, I went through security pretty quickly, and then had about 1 hour free… hehe. I shouldn’t worry so much about getting to the airport so early when flying within the European Union, but most importantly I shouldn’t freak out so much hehe. I had a pretty good flight with Vueling again, flying window seat (I always ask if there’s an empty window seat. The two times they’ve said yes 🙂 ), and got to Barcelona at about 8 p.m. When I got home, I found my Spanish host family plus some of their friends watching the results of the election. It was fun to arrive to a loud and friendly home 🙂

Thank you Paris for giving me unforgettable days and thank you Barcelona for the always warm welcomes!  Continue reading

Day 8 – Transportation in Barcelona and a free afternoon

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Mondays I get back to the routine… which is not really a routine haha because I’m in Barcelona, but you know what I mean. At work, we have a lot going on at once, so I’ve been working on developing a Powerpoint presentation for a social responsibility project and doing some research on different products and brands. Every Monday, we have a briefing where we talk about everything that is happening on the following weeks and different tasks are assigned to the workers. After work, I went home, rested, and caught up with a lot of things I had to do, including buying my airplane ticket to go to Paris this weekend!!!! But more on that later.

Since I didn’t do much today, I guess I can use some time to tell you about how I’m still struggling to find the perfect medium of transportation to get to Cocoa. Some days
I’ve walked all the way, other days I’ve walked a few blocks and then taken a bus, and other days I’ve taken the bus all the way. I can also take the metro, but… just walking inside the metro station takes almost the same as walking the whole way. By the way, the first few days I had a T-10 transportation card, which is basically 10 bus/metro trips for about 10 Euros, but then I decided to get the T-Mes, which allows you to travel unlimited times for the duration of a month and costs about 50 Euros. It’s kind of expensive, but totally worth it for me, since I use the buses and metros so much!  Continue reading

Day 2 – Internship at Cocoa and tour with the group

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Today was the official day. I got an email yesterday saying I should be at my internship placement at 9:00 a.m. So I went to bed after meeting my host family, and was woken up the next day by one of my host sisters. When she came to my room, my first question was: WHAT TIME IS IT?! And she said: It’s 10:00 a.m. and they called my mom asking for you, but don’t worry, they are expecting you to be there at noon. I freaked out! How could it be possible that I overslept on the first day! But remember what I told you about not sleeping at all in the last few days? Well… this was the consequence. I knew I could take the metro to get to my job, but it actually took longer than just walking. So I put on my ballet flats, stored my heels on my purse, and walked to the Cocoa Comunicación office. I actually got there pretty early, so I took some time to explore the area and I found so many plazas and green spaces! I love it! My first day at Cocoa was spent doing a short training, getting to know my co-workers, and doing some medical research, which I’m not too crazy about. I was done by 2:00 p.m., so I decided to walk back to my apartment, which takes a little more than 20 min., but this time, I walked different streets and found picturesque coffee shops, plazas, and buildings. After stopping by HM for a little bit, I got home, did an apartment tour for my family, and quickly changed to head out to the tour of El Born that CISabroad had organized.  Continue reading

Day 1 – The positive side of the unexpected (London)

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Yesterday was a pretty sucky day because of all the mess with the flights, which resulted in an unplanned layover in London. As soon as I knew I was going to London, I texted my roommate, whose best friends study in London. I didn’t think they would be able to hang out with me with such a short notice, but they are amazing and they said yes! I got to the airport in London, after sleeping on the plane and winning over the common jet lag, and after answering a few questions about my first visit to the United Kingdom in customs, I met my roommate’s friends. Meeting them made everything better. Having friends around the world is truly one of my best assets! We walked around the South Kensington area, Kingsbridge, and Hyde Park. London is not known for a typical plate other than fish and chips, but since we didn’t have a lot of time, we ate a pretty good pizza at a restaurant called Pizza Express. As we were eating lunch, they kept talking about afternoon tea, so afterwards, we decided to go get some literally after-noon tea at Valerie’s Patisserie. I ate a pistachio (my favorite) macaroon and had the most amazing berry tea of my life. Soon after, we took a “tube” back to the airport and said our “see you laters” (I’m planning to come back in June).  Continue reading