My Someday is Today

Just living my life in Barcelona and loving it!

Brining a little bit of home to Spain… October 27, 2009

Filed under: Barcelona Life — dianepadilla @ 3:30 pm
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Everyday is a new challenge and at times I miss the convenience of how accessible things are back home, but I’ve been okay and I’ve adjusted. Although, the one thing I haven’t been able to adjust to is the lack of Mexican food in Spain. Finding tortillas, salsa and beans has definitely been a challenge and you definitely can’t find Mexican food at the local grocery stores. Last weekend I went to Corte Ingles, the “one stop shop” here in Spain and splurged on some of the items they had in the international food section (it’s a REALLY small shelf) with typical Mexican food ingredients. Knowing how expensive and inconvenient it is to find these ingredients, I’ve kept them tucked away for a homesick day. Well, last night, was that day – I really missed home and most of all my dads cooking. I decided it was the perfect day to experiment and attempt to make my dad’s famous fajitas. I went to the grocery store to buy some red and green peppers, onions and chicken and I was all set. I was a little bummed that I couldn’t find avocados or sour cream at the super market, but it’s okay, I had the essentials. My roommates all watched me as I cut up all the vegetables, cooked (actually microwaved) the whole chicken, heat up my can of beans and tortillas. I added salt and garlic (the secret dad ingredient to all his cooking) and I was all set, my homemade Mexican dinner was ready. After the first bite, I felt like I was back home. I am comforted knowing that no matter how far away I may be, I can have a little bit of home here in Spain. Dad, you taught me well and I now truly appreciate all the cooking lessons – XOXO!
My fajita dinner - dad style :)

My fajita dinner - dad style 🙂

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My first month in Barcelona! October 20, 2009

I arrived in Barcelona one month ago, time is flying by! I can finally call Barcelona home, I’ve settled into my flat, started school, found a job teaching English and I’ve meet some amazing people. Just to quickly summarize my first month here, below lists the top 10 highlights of my time here so far:

Going to my first Barca game and cheering them on.

1. Going to my first Barca game!

2. Riding bikes though the streets of Amsterdam and admiring the gorgeous canals throughout the city.

2. Riding bikes though the streets of Amsterdam and admiring the gorgeous canals throughout the city.

3. Experiencing my first Merce and the all culture Barcelona has to offer.

3. Experiencing my first Merce and the all culture Barcelona has to offer.

4. Touching the Mediterranean Sea water for the first time.

4. Dipping my foot into the Mediterranean Sea for the first time.

5. Starting school at EADA and attending our opening ceremony at the Palacio de la Música Catalan.

5. Starting school at EADA and attending the opening ceremony at the Palacio de la Música Catalan.

6. Walking the gorgeous streets of Barcelona and admiring all the breathtaking architecture.

6. Walking though the gorgeous streets of Barcelona and admiring all the breathtaking architecture.

7. Relaxing at el parque de la Ciutadella and talking to randoms at the park.

7. Relaxing at el parque de la Ciutadella and people watching.

. Meeting my EADA classmates from all over the world and getting to know then and learning about their cultures.

8. Meeting my EADA classmates from all over the world and getting to know them while learning about their cultures.

9. Trying new foods and being creative with my cooking (BTW - I found peanut butter last week, such a relief)!

9. Trying new foods and being creative with my cooking (BTW - I found peanut butter last week, such a relief)!

10. Making new friends and enjoying the Barcelona nightlife.

10. Making new friends and enjoying the Barcelona nightlife.

Being exposed to so many different cultures and exploring Barcelona has definitely been a learning experience. I honestly learn something new everyday, here are a few of my favorite fun facts:

  • Nudity is legal in Barcelona, people can walk around naked if they want to, but luckily, it’s very uncommon and not that many people do it.
  • In Spain, when people say “tio/tia” it doesn’t mean aunt/uncle, it’s their word for dude, homie, etc.
  • Pan con tomate was invented during the war because the soldiers  only had stale bread so they rubbed the tomato on the bread to make it moist. It’s still made the same way and is a popular tapa.
  • Some of my favorite new words/phrases are: “guay” – so awesome/cool, “pijo” – posh, vale – okay or yes, “no pasa nada” – don’t worry about it, “me mola” – I really like this, “majo” – good person.
  • When you order coffee or lunch at a cafe, you don’t have to pay right away – you enjoy your drink/meal first then pay (people are really trusting).
  • When you ask for a tortilla, you get a tortilla Espanola.

Miss and love you all!

 

It just hit me, I’m a college student again! October 12, 2009

Filed under: Barcelona Life — dianepadilla @ 11:52 pm
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I completed my first week at Escuela de Alta Dirección y Administración EADA, I’m back to early morning lectures and late night studying. But I couldn’t be happier; EADA is the perfect university for me.

What I enjoy most about EADA is that there are people from all over the world, I’m surrounded by so many different cultures and languages. On my first day of International Marketing class, we all went around the room and introduced ourselves and said where we were from. I realized I was the only American and that I was the only native English speaker. That’s one thing I love about Europe, so many people speak multiple languages, I really respect my fellow classmates for challenging themselves.

My other favorite thing about my masters program is that it’s really focused on interactive learning. Everyday we are given a case study and related articles on the subject to read. Then that night, we are required to read and interpret the case and ready to discuss it in class the next day. Depending on the subject, it’s about 30 pages and can take up to four hours to get through all the reading, it’s a lot. When we get to class we are divided into small groups and we are given a set of questions to talk to our group about and analyze the case. Lastly, we all go back to the big lecture hall and slice and dice the case as a class. It’s really interesting to hear everyone’s ideas and problem solving tactics.

Well, anyways 30 percent of our grade is based on participation, which is why everyone is competing to get a word in during discussion. Okay so I have a little confession to make, I get really nervous talking in front of big groups and sharing my ideas. I think I’m just afraid of saying the wrong thing or having my ideas rejected. So it’s definitely been a challenge for me to participate in class, but since I know it’s a big part of my grade, I have to get over it. I made a promise to myself, I’m at least going to raise my hand and say at least two things a class, I’m starting off small, but my hope is that by the end of the year, I wont even think about it and I’ll get over this silly fear of mine. So ya, I participated in my first couple of classes and I realized that I do have ideas to share and experience to draw on, but that doesn’t stop the butterflies in my stomach from going crazy. It’s definitely a big help that I worked with such talented people at PainePR for two and a half years and I’m able to apply a lot of what I learned there to the business case studies we’re working on (thanks guys!).

I can’t believe I’ve only been going at it for a week, I almost forgot how much I love to learn. Tomorrow we’re off to our off-campus university for the night where we’ll work on team building and getting to know each other better. I’m really looking forward to meeting more people and growing as an individual, the learning is endless.

 

My first fútbol game… Visca Barça!!!! October 1, 2009

Filed under: Barcelona Life — dianepadilla @ 12:18 am
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Going to my first Barça game has definitely been the highlight of my time here so far. I didn’t understand how important fútbol is to Barcelona until I experienced it first hand and saw the pride fans have for their team. This isn’t just a game for Barça fans… it’s who they are.

Here are a few cool facts/things that I learned while attending my first fútbol game:

  • The team is referred to as just Barça.
  • The have a huge jumbo screen by the score bored, but close ups aren’t shown during the game because they’re afraid fans would go crazy in the stands if they saw every call up close.
  • The Camp Nou stadium is so big, there are three different metro stops to get there.
  • Kids are recognized for their talent at a young age and recruited to attend a fútbol school where all they do is train to be the next Barça star. For this reason, universities don’t have organized sports teams.
  • Unlike the U.S., Barca fans don’t eat during the game.  They devote 100 percent of their attention to the game since they don’t want to miss move. They only eat during halftime, that’s when everyone busts out their bocadillos (sandwiches).
  • All the local Catalunya cities have charter busses that are dedicated to just to taking fans to the games (we went to a Tuesday game and the stands were packed).
  • The Barça fútbol team has been around sine 1899!
Visca Barça!

Visca Barça y Gracias Miquel!

Barça Pride

Barça Pride

Cant Del BarcaThe Barcelona Song

Tot el camp . A clamor rises
és un clam . from the pitch

som la gent blau-grana . We’re the blue and claret people
tant se val d´on venim, . Makes no difference where we hail from

si del sud o del nord, . Whether it’s from the south or the north
ara estem d´acord, . Now we all agree

estem d´acord . we all agree,
una bandera ens agermana: . One flag unites us in brotherhood

blau-grana al vent, . Blue and claret flowing in the wind
un crit valent, . One valiant cry

tenim un nom, . We’ve got a name
el sap tothom: . that everyone knows:

Barça! Barça! Baaarça!