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