Eivind's Portfolio Weblog

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Catalan VS Castillan

My first "interview-offer" was on a late....no, a very late evening. I sat in one of thousend taxi's in Barcelona, on my way home after a succesfull party. The taxi-driver seemed to be a very gentle and kind man, and as we spoked, my second assignment in "approach to catalan culture" came into my head(it must have been the alcohol). He told me that he was borned in Malaga, but moved to Barcelona as a little child. Allthough he didn't feel catalan because his family came from Malaga. I asked why he didn't feel catalan when he has lived in Barcelona for the whole life..."Of course I feel a little catalan!". But again he said he's family and routs came from Malaga, therefor he couldn't be catalan.
If catalalonia should be independent or not, he said he didn't care that much and that it would be very difficult to get catalonia independent from Spain. And because of his family and that he felt castillan the answer was no.

My second interview-object was the economy-lady at the company which we are renting our apartment from.
She was from Barcelona and has lived in town for all her life. Because of that, she felt catalan and her family was catalan. In her's point of view catalonia should be independent, but she agreed in what the taxi-driver said, it would be wreally difficult to get catalonia independent from Spain. Anyway, people in her family had a strong feeling of being catalan and if you ask them where they are coming from, they answer catalonia and not Spain.

My third interview-object was a waiter in a restaurant at Tibidabo. I didn't ask about he's age, but I'll guess he was in the fiftees. He was also from Barcelona and he felt catalan, but because of Franco's regime and what he did with catalonia the waiter wasn't fanatic catalan( I didn´t ask him more about Franco because he was at job and I´ll guess he didn´t have time to explain). If catalonia should be independent or not, he said he didn't wreally care, but he liked that catalonia has it's own impression. Before saying goodbye, he mention that his son Luis was very catalan, and that I should come to the restaurant tomorrow when he was working. Of course it would be interesting to listen to his opinion as well, but I answered friendly, "maybe another time".

I found the assignment very interesting and that people want to be independent from their own country is very strange in my point of view. I didn't met the very catalan-fanatic person, but after this assignment I am going to ask more people the same question. I agree that it would be very difficult getting catalonia independent from Spain, and If it is sometime, I hope it's not coming from a war...

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Coming back

I´m almost sure that I´m coming back, and I also drank from the fountain at La Rambla (so as the story tells, I have to come back...)

Yes, it does take a long time to get to know a city. But after to months I don´t really feel like a tourist anymore. In the beginning people was not that friendly, but after a while when you talk to them about Barcelona(catalonia) and things that interest them (and what you have been discovering), they are much more friendly.Even though I don´t speak that good spanish. But with my bad spanish and theyre even bader english we can understand eachother. I think the best way to get a impression of Barcelona and it´s culture is to speak to the local people, and I am looking forward to meet new local people everyday.

Impressions of Barcelona

Hola chicos!
First of all I want to say that this weblogg is a great opportunity for us students to express ourself, and tell about our experiences in Barcelona. It is also a perfect way for you as a teacher to inform us about the course and happenings in Barcelona.

What kind of expentation did I have??
At our hotel management school in Stavanger, erasmus-exchanges to Barcelona started last year. Therefor we had lots of preperations before leaving to the catalan capital. Because this is my first time, the biggest expentations came from students who were here last year, from internet, brochures given about barcelona and the school at Sant. Ignasi. From last years students, I got a little guide living in barcelona. Theyre experiences from Barca were only positive and the most negative thing was the return back to cold Norway in December.
They told me about the city, the spanish livingstyle, food, the catalan culture, and things we had to discover. I am not sure what my biggest expentation was when I landed at the airport in Barcelona 1.august, but I´ll guess the nice weather, style of living and to live in a big growing city in Europe was one of them...

Now, 2 months later, I´ve got different experiences about Barcelona. I´ll guess my first week was little frustrated. No one was speaking english, I was always taking the wrong metro, and there was hundreds of things to fix with the apartment ( contract etc). After a couple of days the metro became easier, the apartment was fixed and it was time to explore the city - I became "the tourist". With my map on the left hand and the camera on the other, I at least found the beach and a couple of bars... Of course, I have also discovered the most common sights of the town like Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Tibidabo, Montjuic, and a couple of museums.. What was Gaudi thinking when he came up with the idea building Sagrada Familia?? It´s the most fabulous construction I´ll ever seen. With all the sculptures, themes and paintings it´s just amazing. After the visit he became my biggest idol! It´s not only Gaudis archetecturs who are great. The whole city are full of old buildings, sculptures, and plazes. There is always something happening, and every week are fulled with festivals, conserts and other happenings. It´s a huge different from Norway... In Barcelona tourists are coming to see all those architecturs and Barcelona as a metropolitan city. In Norway they are coming for fjords, mountains, glaciers and the landscape. It´s wreally to unlikely attractions. One made by the nature, and one made by people...

I have just explored a little bit of this beautiful city yet, and I´m afraid that 5 months are to little. But I´m looking forward for the next 2-3 months, to explore and see new things in the city and to learn about it in the school. I´m also looking forward to know the people in the class better, and to share our experiences from Barcelona.

Hasta luego!!
-Eivind-