Barcelona Day 1

I have started a new chapter in my book of living around the world. I have finally lived to see Europe. I have been jetlagged and busy doing tons of stuff so I haven't had a chance to post until now. This is my first day in Barcelona. Here is a little Barcelona briefing to put things into context for you. Barcelona is Spain's 2nd largest city with 1.6 million (Madrid is first with 3.4 mil). Compare this to Beijing's 14 million, Shanghai's 18 million, and Tokyo's 12 million. Barcelona sits on 101.4 km2 (39 sq mi), compared to NYC 790 km2 (305 sq mi). This means barcelona is really small and easily bikeable. It's a biking city with bike paths and even free bike stations all over the city (for residents). It's the most popular destination in Spain and 12th most visited city in the world. This means tourists galore. I'm talkin about the whole lower part of Barcelona looking like times square. It's gross. This makes me sad/angry. Marco says Venice/Florence and Paris are even worse. I can't even imagine. Barcelona was the host of the 1992 summer olympics. It is the Capital of Catalonia and was founded as a Roman city. Catalonia is an autonomous region and once used to be it's own country so there is a movement here for that to happen again. Catalans are prideful and snobby sometimes, and some don't feel they are Spanish. Spanish and Catalan are both the officially spoken languages here so that makes things confusing sometimes. 20% of the population is non-Spanish with the majority coming from South America, Morocco, Pakistan, and China.

I awoke many many times on the floor of the Moscow airport but finally got up around 6 am. I was super nervous about the amount of carry on luggage i had with me because I had read everywhere that Aeroflot and the Russians were strict about that. My huge backpack, suitcase, and x-large totebag were grossly overweight and you're only allowed to take 1 thing that is a way smaller in size than the things i was carrying. I got through without a hitch and continued on with the 2nd worst flight ever. I mean Aeroflot is just not good, there have been worse flights where i have been hungover or something but their service and super old planes are scary. Everyone was clapping when the plane landed in Barcelona. Here is the Aerobus, the airport shuttle bus that is super frequent, costs 5.5 euros ($8) and takes 30 minutes. awesome.

Plaza Universitat is the second to last stop on the Aerobus. Its a 15 min walk to Selena's (Marco's girlfriend) house from here

this is what i have been dragging around for 2 days. the weight limit was 20kg on Aeroflot, horrible! the suitcase was 9 kg overweight which equaled $280 in overweight charges at the airport! each of the 3 other bags weight about 15kg each, that's 45 kg all together, and a huge suitcase allowance is only 20kg. So i was sweatin' at both airports when it was time to board out of fear of being denied my huge backpack, roll-y carry on suitcase that is expanded to the max, and x-large tote bag.

The first thing i see when i get into the apartment is this. You know how i feel about cats. Her name is Lola and is missing a patch of hair because she recently had her lady bits taken out which has made her crazy and sometimes mean. I would be crazy and mean if i was robbed of my reproductive organs too. She yowls in the night and the day and the best part is she p!ssed all over my kungfu pants that were on the floor. Yes bob, go on, laugh it up. I guess that's the yin yang of the universe righting itself because i get to live in awesome Barcelona.

this video is a tour of the apartment. it's 3 min long

Dining room

one of the kitchens. there are 2. it's a 6 bedroom apartment. The lease holder is an older Spanish woman who has been in Madrid on business for the last week so i haven't met her. There is one girl from Agentina that works at a design agency. One hairstylist guy that is from the Canary Islands of Spain, Selena (marco's lass) from Madrid, a French girl who is a chiropracter, and now me, a gorilla from the Korean Americas. But in Spain I am just "Chino". We'll get to the "Chino" topic later.

welcome to Europe, where olive oil is king.

someone stole this Easyjet life vest.

the view from the lease holder's huge room. Awesome.

my room. it's 355 euros a month($515)

The best part, the view from the balcony. It reminds me of the scene in "The Piano" where Adrian Brody is holed up in some apartment and is looking out on the street like this. You can see the Mediterranean from here on clear days. It's a 15 min bike ride to the beach from here.

View to the right.

Lots of nice benches and trees below. It reminds me of the upper west side.

Yes and elevator! and its a really nice one.

Mercadona is a grocery store chain in Spain. These baskets have wheels on the bottom and you look like a little kid pulling around his box of toys.

Paella ingredients. Selena would make this soon

They sell rabbit everywhere.

and pig legs.

the Area we live in is super nice.

Down by the gallery that Marco and Selena have a studio at. It's a different vibe.

Gotico neighborhood during a bike ride. Barcelona Cathedral. Yes i'm still waiting for my new camera because it was shipped to an APO (military) address they can't track it. I am steaming.

a shop selling spray paints and other graffiti/street art supplies. there was a real Sam Flores piece in the back.

this artist has throw these birds all around Barcelona. there are also shoes on wires all over too

Barcelonetta beach. will check this out later.

Estrella beer from spain. I lot of these have been and will be drunk. So this is just a look at the first day. Its weird not being in Asia anymore. More fun stuff coming up!


David Gonzalez said...

soo cool! whata transition from asia to Spain. It's been exciting following your adventures. very inspiring. hope to start my own adventures soon.

Anonymous said...

I came across your website and found it alluring and exciting. I am a big fan of travel and design. If you could e-mail me back at that would be great. I just had a couple questions.
I look forward to hearing back from you soon! Have a great day.

sohyun said...

Hi JASON!!!! :D
Guess who this is...
It's your smiley face friend from Korea,So Hyun.... AHAHAH...Will gave your blog link a couple of days ago and now i'm technically a big fan of your blog... All those pictures are great and exciting.. Thanks for keeping me inspired and motivated...Looking at all pictures of barcelona makes me feel like i'm actually there..
Looking forward to more updates!!

So Hyun said...

it's me again... how's your life in Barcelona so far? I'm only asking this because .. i'm jealous.. ahaha..
I've added barcelona to my travel destination list inspired by you..
Seems like you're having a great time there!

Oh.. Your blog still say you currently live in Seoul, Korea... Guess your soul is still here in Korea??


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