Daily Life

An open letter to building contractors in Spain

Dear Spanish contractors of today: I appreciate that you understand that humans, for the most part (though I can think of a few exceptions), do not like living in cold, dark, airless cave-like dwellings.  I don’t know why this escaped your ancestors who built the antique dwellings that pass for apartments here, but evidently it […]

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Daily Life

City dogs

It’s 9PM and I’m in the pijo part of the city center, waiting for friends. Because I am actually on time–which in Barcelona is early–I am the only one to have yet arrived for dinner. It is a nice night, so I  wait outside and watch a group of dog owners gathered for some evening […]

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Daily Life

No tacos here

Due to the fact that a third of Americans and even Canadians I encounter through work don’t even know that Spain is in Europe (link is to a personal blog but I ranted about this very subject one day), I have taken to stating that I live in Barcelona, Spain and add that it is […]

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Daily Life

European wardrobe vs.California wardrobe

Living in this general area of Europe–Northern Spain, Southern and central France, Northern and central Italy–requires modifications to one’s wardrobe. Not to try to fit in, mind you, but simply to deal with the climate, the terrain and the lifestyle. I’ve tried to make my CA wardrobe work here, I really have. I’ve brought countless […]

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Daily Life

Three accomplishments in five years

Having just passed my five year anniversary here, I thought I’d sum up what I might call accomplishments. There aren’t many, three to be exact. But their impact is big! 1. I can finally converse on the phone in Spanish without complete bewilderment. The lack of body language and facial expression combined with the softening […]

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Work

Coworking in Spain

Posted on 08 September 2013

If you find yourself in Europe, working independently in whatever profession and thus working from a “home office”, you might find yourself in the same position as me: Easily distracted in your “home office” constantly taking a quick break to do laundry, play with the cat, clean the windows, take out the recycling, run to […] Continue Reading

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Open Letters

Stop with the winter already….

Posted on 02 March 2013

Dear Spain, So…yesterday as I was running through what I thought was a break in the rain, actual hail ricocheted off my uncovered skull. I arrived to the cafe where I was meeting with my friend with wet hair and mascara blobs sitting on my lashes, because I use this kind of mascara that makes […] Continue Reading

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Money

The cost of living question – answered!

Posted on 09 February 2013

About once a month in the winter and once a week during the 3 other seasons, I receive a question regarding the cost of living in Barcelona, usually in the form of: “What do you think is the minimum someone needs to earn per month to live comfortably in Barcelona?” Sometimes there is more to it, […] Continue Reading

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Work

The average work day in Spain

Posted on 03 February 2013

The average work day in Spain is negotiating its way between tradition–when no air conditioning existed, the country was poor, and business was 99% local–and the present day, which sees multinational corporations making Spain their home and the technology industry pulling the old corporate culture into the global economy. This means people work long hours, […] Continue Reading

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Spanish Celebrations

The holidays may be over for you…

Posted on 05 January 2013

Back home, the holidays are Over with a capital O. Come January 2nd, gifts have already been returned, re-gifted, put into use or put away. The new year has been rung in and work resumes uninterrupted. But not here – the holidays are still in full swing. Today, January 5th, there is an additional Xmas […] Continue Reading

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Spanish Celebrations

Have a Sh*tty Xmas.

Posted on 01 December 2012

Editors note: Since it is Xmas time, I’ve brought back an oldie but goodie for the holidays. Enjoy. It’s Navidad time here in Barcelona (aka Christmas or Xmas to us North Americans), and of course that means many, many days off for the Spaniards. For example, I am at the tail end of a 5 […] Continue Reading

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