I apologize for the delay in posting my farewell entry. Though it was written on the 23rd, I've had sporadic internet since leaving Barcelona. (After The Onix's infamous Telefonica connection, who would have thought anything could have been less predictable?)
Anyway, this is it for now. Thanks for following my adventures this semester. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.
Buen año nuevo!
I'm mid transit, but I'm still in minor disbelief that the semester is over. Minus the excessive baggage, it just feels like I'm going away for the weekend. Of course I'll be back in Barcelona on Monday! The end comes at a good time though, I think. I'm still in love with Barca, but I've hit that point where I'm about ready to head home.
I spent the last few days playing an excessive number of "remember when?" games, and sitting here in the airport by myself, I'm having some serious nostalgia moments.
I'm going to miss just wandering around Barcelona, finding little side streets and engrossing myself in the local culture. I'll miss being able to play the dumb American when I need to, but also being able to surprise people with my ability to speak and understand Spanish when they least expect it.
On the other hand, though I'm not ready to start eating dinner at 6 pm again (that's practically lunch time!), large cups of coffee, fountain soda and free refills are all looking pretty good. And while being a girl in Spain has its undeniable advantages, I think I have enough "Hola Guapa" to last me a lifetime.
When one of my friend's mom's was visiting, she asked each of us to list the three things we liked most and the three things we liked least about studying abroad. At the time I struggled a little bit with the answer and even now, I'm not entirely sure I could answer it. So I'll take a different tact.
The other night at dinner, my friend Zach asked each of us (for the purposes of the Agenda Cultural) to offer one piece of advice and one warning to the CASBians of next semester. I was sitting and blindly eating tapas, and so the first tidbit of advice I could think of was: eat everything and ask what it is later. I think that idea applies to most of my semester in a broader sense.
So I started taking a class, having absolutely no idea what was going on and no idea when the final exam would be. I still don't. But I learned more in that class than any of my others, and actually really enjoyed it. So I hopped on a plane to a foreign city with people I barely knew. Or got off at the complete wrong subway stop, got incredibly lost and found myself in some strange parts of Barcelona. Or walked into a first grade classroom having absolutely no idea what I was supposed to do with a room full of Catalan six-year-olds.
My warning was that things will go wrong. There was the time I sat through three classes in Catalan, went through two frustrating weeks of trying to matriculate and spent a couple train rides back to Barcelona trying not to completely lose it. Or the endless occasions on which I simply could not express what I needed to. Or the cell phones, computers, subways, lofty plans, internet connections and recipes that just did not work.
But I rolled with the punches, chalked most of it up to Spanish insanity and had more adventures than I can count at this point. It was an unbelievable semester. But I'll close this before I get too unnecessarily sentimental.
And so I return to the United States with a suitcase full of very dirty laundry, a vocabulary of Spanglishatalan, an acquired taste for wine, a penchant for cooking all things in olive oil and a very deep love for Barcelona.