Barcelona / Touristy / Picture-spam

I thought I had enough of cathedrals but this, this really blew me away. Architectural ingenuity of Gaudi
I loved the integration of nature (advent of modernism as I later found)

dude tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to take a picture of him
Oversized macaronis – part of the Kings Day decor – I would have walked by without a second glance
Thursday, January 9, 2014 

My time with Paco taught me SO much, about modernism and Gaudi and even how to appreciate art. Romanic styles, Gothic and neo-classic – how to identify the buildings associated with it. We walked around the city and looked at the Roman remains of the old city walls, and for the first time I kind of realized the historical importance of these structures…? And could picture it – the colonization, the old city gate, the expansion of the city thereafter, and that’s why the streets are different in different parts of the city. Some narrow, some broad. This side of the buildings dull and sooty (remnants from the train), the other brightly colored.

I must say that this was one of the BEST and most meaningful CS experiences for me because I truly, truly learnt and truly got a very local perspective and guide and FOOD and cultural view. I had my reservations initially, and I don’t deny I was apprehensive and slightly worried. But I had 2 options – pick a hostel and probably roam around touristy places alone, or stay with a local and guarantee minimal interaction. None of the girls / students of Barcelona accepted 😥 (impending exams, i think) and I got an offer, so I went ahead despite that weighing apprehension.

I think one of the things I seek to do this year is to not see age as a barrier / border / restriction in any way. Age can create a distance (understandably) in friendships but at the same time why should it? I’ve always found it hard to befriend people who have a distinct age gap from myself but I feel like age shouldn’t be a constraint anymore. Think Harold and Maude, my favorite film! All the more reasons for this. I feel a little awkward initially but I’m working on this – age should NOT be a barrier to friendship and I hope I keep that in my mind.

Catalonian independence movement. I did notice the flag earlier, but now I know why there’s a blue star, and then I start seeing it everywhere. The ‘independence’ banner I saw at Girona now makes more sense. The graffitti.
It just stuns me that I have, with ALL my life associated Barcelona with Spain, and it never occurred to me otherwise – that they might not like it (??)
I could sense the strong Catalonian identity that emerges from Paco’s words, the ‘us’ vs ‘them’, and I wonder where / how they got this sense of identity. Nationhood, borders and constructed boundaries. How interesting, how fascinating!
What makes one feel so strongly as ‘one’???
What makes a nation a nation, what makes them want independence and how do they see themselves as ‘different’?

Hinda was a Somalian in Canada – talked about… guns (heh), TIPPING CULTURE (dude, 50% tip is craaaazy to me….), US vs Canada, crazy -40 degrees weather (because of the wind), Montreal’s first language as French (never knew!!), edu/healthcare, the whole notion of sexual relations, global warming (!!),

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