Sanne's Portfolio Weblog

dijous, de novembre 18, 2004

Final assignment!

...a summary....!

Actually, I am not leaving Barcelona allready! I am still here for one month. But I can tell you how I ´survived´ the last two months!
I will tell you the main points, what I liked, what I found straingst etc.

I think the people here, are much, much more closed than I am used to in Holland. For example in bars or restaurants. The employees will never laugh to you and are not open and/or friendly. I really learned so much more about their culture. I didn´t know they had their own culture. But because of that knowledge, I understand them more, so that is a good point, I think.
What I respect, is that the people are very proud at their culture, and they keep it alive. That´s something that I miss in my country. Of course there is culture. But the people don´t care that much about it, and it is also to multicultural.

What I like here, is that the atmosphere is not that stressed as in Holland. Of course it is a busy city, but for example at school, I didn´t had the feeling that I had to do more than I could. I think the people here do not get a burn out that fast as in Holland!

It is difficult to tell you everything that I have done and seen here in Barcelona the last two months, it is really to much!
But the most important things were the visit to St. Sadurní and its cava festival, La Merce, Mozart in Palau de la Musicá, the magic fontains at Montjuïc and Montserrat.
I have seen many nice bars and restaurants, Margerita Blue, I liked the most!

Ok, now some advice for the international students of next year... Hmm..let´s see...
I think I would recommend them to search for a home, an appartment, befóre they come here. Then you have not so many stress in the first week here. That is a good start.
I want to say that they must absolutely NOT eat or drink something at la Ramla!!!
It´s really to expensive over there!
I would say to them that they should bring a lot of money and enjoy your time here, and see and do as much as you can. School gives you that opportunity, because you have not that many classes.
I would reccomend St. Sadurní and it´s cava party! That is really nice, we had so much fun that day and we found out that the people there, were very friendly and much more open then here in Barca.

At last I want to say that I really enjoyed ´Approach to Catalan Culture´, I really liked to learn many things from the culture here, it really helped me to understand things more, here in Catalonia. So, Graham...Thank you very much!!!

Sanne den Bakker,

dilluns, de novembre 08, 2004

Nearing the end

Hi Sanne

It sounds like you chose two very interesting people to talk to about their identity. It's particularly interesting for me to read about all this, because with all you students asking a lot of different people, it's possible to get a better idea about how people feel in general about living here. It gives a different idea than if you listen to the radio, read the newspapers, etc.

The final assignment is to write a summary of what you have seen and done, and to offer some advice to those students coming next year. what should they do / shouldn't they do?

dimecres, d’octubre 13, 2004


Last weekend I talked to some Spanish and Catalan people about there opinions of beeing Spanish or Catalan..
First of all I talked to a woman in a clothes store, were I bought some shirts. I asked her if she lived here, in Barcelona. And yes, she did. Her name is Anna Lopez. I told her that I live here for three months and that I would like to know more about Catalan culture.
She told me that she did not really bother about beeing Catalan or not. She felt more Spanish than Catalan. She lived here all her life, and her parents are very Catalan. She said that that is maybe one of the reasons why she doesn´t like the ´Catalan thing´.
She want to be more Spanish, and she doesn´t want to stay here in Barcelona for all of her life. She want to move to Madrid. By the way, she is 24 years old.
And of course, she doesn´t share the idea of Catalunya beeing apart from Spain. She sees it as a culture, but not as a different country.

I also talked to the owner of Pere Ventura (cavahouse) about this subject. His name is Josep
and he is 58 years old. Just like I expected, he feels reaaaalllyyy Catalan!
He is very nationalistic an superproud of his Catalan product; the cava!
He told me that I had to know that Catalunya is a very different country then the rest of Spain. He fights for getting Catalunya apart, and he is very into the Catalan culture.
It was difficult to speak with him, because he didn´t speak Spanish so very well, and he told me that he didn´t like to speak Spanish so much...of course he prefered Catalan!
But he was very friendly and really wanted me to know how beautiful Catalunya is.

That were my two chats with local people about beeing Spanish or Catalan.
Personally, I think Catalunya has his own culture, of course, but every region in every country has that! Especially here in Spain.
So I think we have to know and respect this culture, but it is not neccesairy to get it apart from Spain.


Last weekend we did a lot of cultural (Catalan!) things, which you recommended us!
We went to Sant Sadurní, where the cava festival was going on. It was really nice, we looked around and tasted different sorts of cava. The people were very friendly and let us taste for free, so nice!
After the festival, we walked to Pere Ventura, a very big cava´house´. A man gave us a private tour under the ground, where we saw soooo many cava´s, incredable!
He explained to us, in Spanish, how to make the cava. We really laughed a lot. After the visit we bought some bottles of cava. We had a really nice day, so Graham, thank you very much for this nice reccomandacion!


dilluns, d’octubre 04, 2004

My expectations before coming here

Because I am allready in Barcelona for a while, I cannot remember all my expectations that I had before I came here.
But during my preperationtime in Holland, I thought it would be very difficult to find an appartement here, I was really worried about it. But a few days before our flight, we found something on the internet which looked very nice, and now we live there! I found out that it is not very difficult to find a place to live, here in Barca.

I expected nice temperatures and a lot of sun before I came here. I was thinking about the sea, swimming and a real ´holiday climate´.
But I didn´t know that Barcelona was really that close to the sea, I expected the city a bit more into the country.

To be onest, I forgot the Catalan language and the whole culture..because I had Spanisch courses at our school in Holland, I didn´t realize that the people speak Catalan here. And I was not really prepared to a whole different culture (Catalunya) in this part of Spain...!

I thougt everything was in the style of ´Gaudí´, because we heard so much about him, that I expected Gaudí builings everywhere in Barcelona, so in reality there are less then I expected before my arrival.

Before I came, I had no idea what the people eat here, I didn´t know anything about what the restaurants are serving, or what you can buy in a supermarket.
And I thought the clothes were much cheaper, some people in Holland told me that, but in reality, it is almost the same price as in our country.

I expected more cultures in our class, I didn´t know that there would be so many Dutch people, I thought that there would be more people outside of Europe. I also expected that we would be mixed with the Catalan students, I didn´t know that there was a special international class!
I also thougt that almost all the classes were in Spanisch, and I didn´t expect the people here to speak English, so actually I am very happy that there are teachers who speak English....! Because my Spanisch is not very good, but it will become better, I am sure!!


my first experiences in Barca!

My general experiences of Barcelona after two weeks beeing here:

* I really have the feeling that this is a city which is allways alive, during day and night, there is allways something to do, for example a festival here or there.
This afternoon, we went to the beach, just for a quick swim. But when we arrived, there was an ´aireplane stuntshow´ going on, what a luck!

* I find it very exhausting to come or go somewhere in Barcelona; you have to walk, take the metro, walk again, take another one, walk etc. etc. I am not used to that. I really prefer a bike. What brings me to another new experience: I haven´t seen any bike here in Barca!

* If you go to the ´Bagueteriá´ (bakery), you will see so many nice and unique (sugered) breads and cookies. I tasted ´coca´, it is typical Catalan and it looks like a long, thin, hard cookie with a lot of sugar on the top. It tasted very well and was not expensive.
But I also found out, that in some Bagueteriá´s, the sandwiches are really expensive. We were in such a shop, on the Rambla, and bought a piece of pizzabread and a little ´vegetable thing´.
The last one was 4 euros, and the pizzabread was 7.50 euros! So...that was not a good idea!!

dimarts, d’agost 10, 2004

Welcome to Catalonia

Hello and welcome to the course!