No Spice but Still Nice

Raisa Haque
October 8, 2018

Barcelona! I’ve arrived, and so far so good! The taxi ride from the airport to my home was smooth, and when I got to the house my roommate and host mom welcomed me with a hug. I’m rooming with a friend with college, and she speaks fluent Spanish, so it’s been really helpful! Not only do I get to practice with my host mom every night on my Spanish but also with my roommate.

Even with all the help and encouragement it definitely was difficult in the beginning figuring out the metro, getting our monthly passes, and sweating every second. Haha, the humidity is more than I thought it was going to be! Also, I keep getting bit by mosquitoes, but it’s okay because I’m used to that being born and having gone back to Bangladesh every so often.

I notice a lot of similarities with Spanish culture and my own, so I feel like I fit right in with the time, schedule and ways of living, to be honest. Despite getting a few second looks walking or on the metro, for the most part, I feel like I’m adapting pretty well. Spanish people eat late, don’t care too much for personal space, and really value the home traditions and family. This resembles a lot of my Bangladeshi culture because we have big meals late at night, aren’t afraid to touch or bump people, and love doing things as a family.

For some reason I guess I was expecting more traffic and condense streets? But Barcelona is pretty spread out per say.

I will say, though, I am used to a lot of flavors and spicy food from home. I definitely miss hot sauce with a passion because it was such a big part of my daily life and to find out there isn’t much spice here was disappointing! Don’t get me wrong, I am loving the dinners and conversation, but I find myself putting black pepper on everything along with a sweet sriracha bottle I found in a cute little town near mine called Gracia. I had to jump to it when I saw it! I was so excited. Turns out it’s sweet and not spicy. As well as the Takis here. Even so, I am appreciating Spanish food and snacks. I’ve had the best vegetarian paella, patatas bravas, and sangria. It’s been a sweet life so far.

My internship here and school definitely is picking up though. I love all my classes. I’m taking photojournalism, international marketing, storytelling, Spanish of course, and an internship seminar. I’m interning at this company called Talent Garden which is a coworking environment for digital nomads, creatives, and entrepreneurs. I’m helping out with the social media and communications portion! It’s a beautiful space and I love that I can do homework there too after hours. Our homestay room only has one desk so it’s nice to have another space with wifi to do work other than the center.

Anyways, it’s been an eventful start and looking forward to the rest of it!

Raisa Haque

<p>Hi&nbsp;I'm Raisa, and I usually introduce myself by saying my name is pronounced like a bowl of rice and then uh. I enjoy writing poetry, taking photos of nature, and making playlists of all musical genres.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2018 Fall
Home university:
University of the Pacific
Hometown:
Milpitas, CA
Major:
Business Administration
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