Kristina and I moved in with our host mom, Mercé, on Monday!! A bit about it….
What I knew about her before--> Mercé is 65, lives alone in a small apartment, has a son and grandson who live in the area. She is unemployed but does odd jobs during the day for money.
When she first brought us to her apartment, she showed us around, handed us some keys and left without saying when she’d be back etc. It’s a little different than the image of an excited host mom who is dying to learn all about us, but it is actually nice to have the independence of not having to tell her where/when I am going or returning. And she is really pleasant and clearly loves to have us around! We have already watched muchas horas of Spanish tele!
She doesn’t speak a word of English, and instead speaks extremely fast Spanish. It forces me to use my spanish with her at all times(good!), but can be a little difficult because at the moment I understand about 30-40% of what she says (just enough to sort of get the gist of things) and she isn’t too good at slowing down in order to help me understand.
Because spain is under a cold spell, and gas/electricity/water are really expensive here, she doesn’t turn the heat on, so the apartment is an icebox! To get an idea, last night I slept in a sweatshirt, leggings under pajama pants, socks and slippers! But all of the houses are like this right now, so its just a little taste of culture!
Pluses and minuses, but overall (and considering a few of the horror stories I’ve heard) I give it a THUMBS UP! It’s definitely going to be a learning experience and that is exactly what I wanted!
Over the past few days I’ve gotten to do a lot of exploring and wandering and have just happened upon the most beautiful buildings! I live about eight minutes (walking) from La Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece of a church. I don’t even want to post a picture because it is so much more beautiful in person. I’m on this search to find my favorite café, so (as I’m sure you can imagine with cafes on just about every street corner) I’ve had a number of delicious cappuccinos and coffee drinks!
We went on a bike tour of barcelona today, which was just so amazing! Everytime we stopped at a site I said 'oh, this is going to be my spot' I am totally overwhelmed (in the BEST way) with the amount of great places there are to see and experience! I think my favorite area today was La Barceloneta, Barcelona's beaches and port area. It is just beautiful. There are also so many plazas, some hidden between alley ways and others centrally located, that i just love love love! I am clearly in the 'honeymoon' stage of being in a new city because i just can't help but LOVE everything i see!!!!
Oh yeah, also, i just love the structure of the days here. My typical day so far (havent started school yet!!!!) has been....wake up at 930ish....explore/do things for the until about 2 or 3, lunch at 2ish, return home for a siesta, nap, go back out and do more exploring, dinner at 9, bar/pub/tapas at about 11, discoteca at like 2! Repeat! Quite the life, I'd say!
More Later! Muchos Besos!