Tag Archive | "Living in barcelona"

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Moving around

Posted on 07 March 2010 by American expat!


I have to move again.  No, I’m not moving back to Italy, I’m just moving house.

I am leaving a great place, right next to the Parc de la Cuitadella, 5 minutes walk to the beach and 5 minutes on a bicycle to the center. It also has the best views in Barcelona, being on the top floor (or Sobre Atico, which means like top penthouse). I share it with three other people but have my own bathroom – very rare – and very appreciated since two flatmates are boys.

This room was sublet to me, and now my friend who owns the lease on the flat has moved back to Spain. It was his room I rented, so I have to go – that was the deal. (Though we never thought he would be back this soon).  He is now staying in the living room, waiting for me to leave. I kind of want to make him live in the living room for as long as possible – months even – for kicking me out. But his crap is all over the place and I have to walk through it to get to the kitchen (which, while working, is often) or leave the house (sadly, not as often because work is very busy and intense lately and I must feed my brain plenty of sugar, coffee, tea, crackers and yogurts to keep it happy).

Here are the grand views I have had for 5 months:

Sunset from my terrace

My terrace

View around the rterrace corner

View from my bedroom

My flatmates have an even more amazing view from their terrace:

Parc de la Cuitadella

You cannot appreciate views like this until you have seen (and especially if you’ve lived in) one of the dark, sometimes windowless (or interior windowed, meaning your windows open into the staircase, elevator shaft or onto a dark airshaft) flats of which there are many. It’s too bad- I only had this place for the fall and winter, and it’s a VERY cold room in the winter. There is no central heating in any of these old buildings, no insulation, no seals on the windows…so you buy an electric heater and sit in front of it to stay warm. Having a shower is a pretty cold affair, especially since sometimes the hot water only lasts for 4 minutes. (I have been showering at the gym all winter, where it is warm).

But I am not complaining at all, this was a great place to live and with great flatmates for the most part. Oh there is always the trash and dishes that pile up and the usual annoyances that come with living with other people. And the occasional “who used the last of my milk?!”  But mostly it has been fun and interesting.


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Open letter to Spain: I’m back

Posted on 05 September 2009 by American expat!


Dear Spain:

When I left you the first time, you knew I would be back, didn’t you.  As much as I complained about your glacial pace of getting things done and how you wouldn’t let me own a vehicle, you knew what Italy had in store for me better than I did. I know I threatened to leave you for Italy before, so when I came running back to you, you could have made things really difficult just to punish me. In fact I was expecting it. I thought I would have to live in a rat hole (and there are oh so many to choose from) until finding a decent place to live after three months of searching. And sure, my wallet got stolen again pretty much the second I returned.

But you came through for me in the end, didn’t you? You gave me a room with my own bathroom and some pretty decent flatmates, the very hour I arrived back into your arms. Oh, and this view right outside my room’s french doors:

barcelona view

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is… thanks, Spain, for welcoming me back.  I promise I won’t ever take you for granted again. Just keep these sunsets coming.



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