Saturday morning i woke as the sun was rising and had just enough mental coherence to grab my camera to capture and share the incredible site
I was so inspired that I did an amazing painting of the sunrise – well…in my dream that is… as I went straight back to sleep and stayed in a blissful slumber until about 11…. After i woke i went into the city centre (catalunya) to do a spot of shopping and pick up some necessities. As i dont know where anything is i decided my best bet would be to try the GIGANTUAN El Corte Ingles.
2 1/2 hours later i emerged looking like i’d been hit by a bomb, holding the few items i was able to locate after wandering the buildings 8 floors! Badly needing some sustainence i went and had a lunch of assorted tapas before deciding my best plan of attack would be to wander until i found what i was looking for. Bad move. again. Found one helpful shop but eventually decided to cut my losses and head home. Lesson learnt – simply wandering in a big city when looking for particular items may be a nice visual experience but in terms of practicality is quite dumb.
Sunday morning I again slept into 11! Clearly my body needed the catchup after the busy working days and new years eve partying! My roommate (probably not the right term as im living in his house but it’ll have to do as my mind is otherwise blank) has returned from an overseas business trip so we had a big chat about the ins and outs of sharing the apartment and after lunch – I learnt to clean.
I know this sounds silly but there is A LOT a young person fresh from their mothers care – especially in this day in age – has no clue about when it comes to domestic duties, and especially in another’s house as each place does it a bit differently. So, mission accomplished I can clean, iron, separate blacks and whites (and know the reason why), mop and vacuum amongst other things (most of this I knew the basics for and improved upon them) and what is most impressive about this is that it was all taught to me in Spanish! Hence there might be some slip-ups in the future but I’m only human.
In the evening I went for a stroll around the lovely residential area and came across a beautiful church (though in Australia im sure it would be granted the status of Cathedral).
There is a space dedicated to the Saint Eulalia (ca. 290-12 February 303), co-patron saint of Barcelona.
She was a thirteen-year-old Roman Christian virgin who suffered martyrdom in Barcelona during the persecution of Christians in the reign of emperor Diocletian.
The reason im dwelling on this detail (there are many saints around the churches walls) is because of the personal link – our house in Australia, built about 120yrs ago is called Eulalia! And it was nice to be reminded of home despite how far i am away. After sitting for a while marveling at the frescoes and ornate detail of the saint statues
and contemplating many a deep question, a small service began in one of the side chapels so I went and joined in. It was all in Spanish of-course but the language of acceptance and spirituality is a universal one so I just closed my eyes and enjoyed it. Afterwards a friendly looking older man wearing a white robe approached me and introduced himself as Father Emanuel, the head of the Parish and welcomed me to the neighborhood and the church with an endearing smile. After a brief conversation helped by another church go-er who acted as a translator he took me to his office and gave me the parish business card so if I am ever in want of something I can give him a call! This generosity and openness is wonderful to receive and shows how valuable it is to explore your surroundings. As if this wasn’t pleasant enough, chatting to the lady who acted as translator in the church as I left, we were met by her friend and after explaining my reason for coming to Barcelona (getting work experience to aid my future studies of international business) it was revealed that she is in the admissions department of Barcelona’s leading business school! WOW! I got her name and the universities web address and will look it up tonight and who knows! Maybe I will do my studies in Barcelona? Calm down parents, its ok, logistically its probably better to go home to Australia where I already have a place at my uni of choice but it has opened my mind and provided me the perfect starting point for a possible exchange during my studies. And all this because I decided to go for an evening walk!