Coming from Miami, you’d think I was fluent in Spanish. Unfortunately, the Miami-Dade County Schooling System was no match for my semester in Spain. From the moment I
stepped out of the airport, I was greeted by what seemed like millions of cab drivers, none of which spoke any english of course. Trying to learn Spanish from basically scratch was hard enough, but now I had to try and decipher Catalan? HA, good luck to me. Thankfully I picked up a few phrases living in Miami, such as “vamos a la playa” and “no intiendo.” So, aside from me repeatedly telling the cab driver I had no idea what he was saying, I somehow was able to direct me and my roommate Emily to the beach where our apartment was by.When we got to what we thought was our apartment, we found ourselves lost between the hidden ally ways of the Gothic Quarter. Just two girls, five bags, two backpacks, and a whole lot of cranky from the seven hour flight.
After finally settling into the cozy new pad, we decided to take a walk around our neighborhood, in hopes that something would turn our day around. As if the day wasn’t already bright and shinny enough, most places were closed for siesta. We were about to call a quits for the day, until we found a pot of gold at the end of a beautiful rainbow. That delicious pot of gold is called Bo de B, and the end of the rainbow just so happened to be right around the corner from our apartment. If you don’t know what Bo de B is, I’ll give you the scoop. Imagine the Chipotle of sandwiches, but SO MUCH BETTER. As a Florida native, it kills me to say this puts even a pub-sub to shame. For those of you not blessed with this miraculous grocery store in your area, Publix is only found in the Florida/Georgia area, and safe to say, their Deli know’s what’s up with footlong subs. At Bo de B, all the ingredients were fresh and healthy, at a whopping four euros per manwich. And yes, manwich, because I’ve never seen more food stuffed into one baguette in my life.
Finally, it was Emily’s bed time, and by bed time I mean dinner for Spaniards. She may go to sleep in Gainesville every night at 9:00PM, but when in Rome, am I right? We stumbled across a tapas place called Sensi, that looked pretty good. We didn’t know what to expect since it was so empty, but after about a half hour or so, it finally started filling up. We ended up trying some of the most amazing tapas in Barcelona. I couldn’t believe it was a Monday night, and people were eating their last meal of the day at almost 10:00 PM. Gotta love Spain.
Now that we got a beginners taste of the culture, we were finally ready to see if Barcelona nightlife had anything on South Beach. Coming from Miami Beach, I was used to pre-gaming around 11:00 PM, but nobody told me what a rookie mistake it was to be starting the night in Barcelona so early. When we got to our friends house, they were all just starting their night, and no where near ready to head towards the clubs. When we finally made our way over, it was 2:00 AM and Opium was basically empty. It took another hour until the club was filled. Not that showing up to a club at 3:00 AM in Miami is abnormal, but the Spaniards make it seem like the norm. Aside from the time people show up to the club, there’s also a huge difference in how you get into these clubs. Somehow boys manage to make their way with no table, no bottle, and no boobs. In Barcelona, a stray dog could walk up to the front door of Opium, say the magic word “Kyke” and BOOM, you’re in. Despite popular belief, no one is trying to offend any Jews with that slang. That’s actually the club promoters name. And as if that wasn’t weird enough, there are two of them, pronounced “Kee-Que”. But for a free pass into the most basic club in Barcelona, what more can you expect?
After a great first night out, me and Emily headed home to recuperate for our next big week to come. Upon stumbling home, we found a cute bakery open very early in the morning, that just so happened to be right by our house. Little did we know this would become the bakery we went to every morning on our way to school for cafe con leche y tortilla boquadillo. While we were enjoying our 6:00 AM breakfast (sorry mom), I couldn’t help but think how unique this city truly was. I had always thought of Miami as the city that never sleeps, but we weren’t in American anymore. Well Barcelona, it looks like I’ve met my match. Hopefully my high school days are enough to prepare me for the journey of a life time.