There are some things I have come across in my first few weeks in Barcelona that I had never really thought about, or just didn’t expect it to be a part of the culture. Here is a list of what surprised me most:

  1. They charge for the bags at grocery stores.
  2. When you order a hamburger, it doesn’t come with a bun. (Unless you’re at a typical American restaurant.)
  3. Speaking of food, it is so much less processed here.
  4. The coffee is amazing.
  5. There are actually a lot of people who don’t speak English, and it is necessary to know Spanish or Catalan. (or at least attempt to learn some words)
  6. This country doesn’t believe in air conditioning, and it’s awfully hot.
  7. P.D.A. is everywhere. People really enjoy expressing their love for one another in the streets.
  8. Eggs are more of a dinner food than a breakfast food, and they LOVE fried eggs on their fries here.
  9. Catalans drink for the social aspect, not to get drunk. It makes the Americans quite obvious.
  10. They find it rude when people put their feet up on chairs. Once again makes the Americans noticeable.
  11. Catalans are much more relaxed people in their everyday environment. There’s never any hurry.
  12. The rooms are so small. What Americans use as a walk-in closet is a bedroom in Spain.
  13. All the sinks run on timer when you turn them on to prevent wasting water.
  14. Apparently public restrooms aren’t a thing and are nearly impossible to find.
  15. The shopping is amazing, and it’s extremely fun living in an area where everybody is always dressed up.
  16. Catalan pride beats American pride 10 times over every time of the day.
  17. Women don’t like to wear their tops when they lie on the beach.
  18. Dinner is a 3 course meal, and it’s consider rude to jump courses before finishing the one you’re on.
  19. Gelato is everywhere.
  20. Everybody is awful at giving directions and estimating how far it is to walk anywhere.
  21. Dinner isn’t served until at least 9pm at night.
  22. Europe’s football stadiums puts America’s football stadiums to shame.
  23. Breakfast is not a thing here. Everybody just has a cup of coffee.
  24. The metro is actually quite clean and simple to use.
  25. Barcelona holds both history and modernism.
  26. The city’s crosswalks are in the most random places, not just at simple intersections. People will run you over when their light turns green.
  27. Hardly anybody owns a vehicle. Instead, they use mopeds.
  28. People don’t just wear normal cotton tshirts. It’s weird.
  29. They don’t refrigerate their milk and eggs.
  30. You have to ask for the check at a restaurant, they will never just bring it to you.
  31. You’re not supposed to walk and eat at the same time. If you want to eat, you must sit down.
  32. Pickpocketing is everywhere, and they’re good. However, there’s hardly any violent crime.
  33. The metro system is very clean.
  34. People lied- there is definitely peanut butter.

This list could truly go on forever. Barcelona, Spain leads such a different lifestyle than America, but that’s why it’s so exciting to live here! Every day I’m convinced that I live in the greatest city in the world, and it’s a wonderful feeling.

kaylynn abroad

Kaylynn Noethlich
IES Barcelona, Spain