Molly Vossler is a student at the University of Florida and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Barcelona, Spain.
I’m in Barcelona, Spain. It’s 6:57 p.m., and I’m fairly annoyed. This mood has nothing to do with the blister on my foot that I’ve acquired from walking the 17 blocks it takes to get to Barceloneta Beach from my apartment in my new and arguably fashionable clunky sandals which I knew would hurt but wore anyway due to their arguably fashionable nature. No. It has to do with the fact that after putting on a (incontestably) fashionable ensemble with the intention of having dinner by myself at a cozy restaurant in Barcelona, I’m sitting on a wooden chair outside waiting for take-out. I didn’t even ask how long the wait was for a single person, but I presumed it was non-existent. You see, mysteriously dining alone in a foreign city has been a dream of mine for quite awhile. Countless times I’ve imagined myself sitting outside, sipping on a glass of reasonably priced chardonnay and nibbling on a Brie sandwich.
So that’s why I’m simultaneously loathing myself, scribbling this soon-to-be blog post in my journal and sitting on a wooden chair outside of the same restaurant where I wish I was mysteriously dining. As I sit here waiting for my Brie sandwich to be delivered to me in a transparent plastic container, I have some time to wonder about various things. Currently, I’m wondering who decided to deem Paris the “city of love.” I don’t know who that was, but they’ve clearly never visited Barcelona. On every park bench, metro seat and beach towel, you’ll find two Spaniards publicly portraying how deeply they’re in love. If I were to witness such intense affection back home, it would most likely ruin my day. Here, I live for it. I’ve seen so many amazing things here–La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, La Pedrera, and beautiful people.
I can’t figure out whether people are genuinely more inclined to be in love in this city or if there’s just something in the water (that you must purchase with every meal). And I’m not complaining–it’s definitely a great sign that the worst thing about Barcelona is an uncomplimentary hydration situation. Also, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t exchanged a smooch at a beach club predominantly inhabited by tourists. But that’s not the native Barcelonian kiss I speak of. I’m talking about a kiss goodbye that’s actually a reenactment of “The Notebook” rain scene (sans rain of course, since it doesn’t actually rain in Barcelona).
Although I’m not so unrealistic as to hope I’ll find the Spanish Noah to my Allie during my six week stay, I do want to accomplish a couple of other things. These things mainly involve mysteriously eating by myself, sampling the majority of the city’s sangria supply, and having a meaningful conversation in Spanish with someone who isn’t a) my Spanish teacher, b) another American student who coincidentally is also hoping to have a meaningful conversation in Spanish, or c) my waiter asking me if I want that sangria a copa or a lanzador.
Also, I’m not actually lobbying for Barcelona to be officially crowned city of love, even if there is something about this city that just makes people fall in love. I have way too many things to do here other than figuring out how to make a petition, distributing a petition and getting my hopes up regarding said petition’s success. I guess the point is I really, really like Barcelona.
The world awaits…discover it.