beyond the 49th
usa (un)patriot act
who am i?
Thu 27 Oct 2005
well, i don't really have much of an update, but i figure i should at least try to keep this thing updated semi-regularly. this coming weekend is a four-day weekend here in badalona (right next to barcelona), so i'm trying to figure out what i'll do since the buses are going to be running on holiday schedules. maybe i'll go back to the beach. or maybe i'll try a different beach like the beach here in sant adrià de besòs which i understand is pretty close to where i've been staying.
i'm nearly out of time, and money is getting thin, so i'm starting to think of my return trip in a couple weeks. i don't want to use my return ticket, but since i've not yet found a job that would allow me to extend my stay, my hands are somewhat tied. one last ditch effort--i'm going to make a sign announcing my abilities as a translator to see if i get any calls. if not, i'll probably head back to madrid sometime between the 11th and the 14th to catch my plane home.
but the ironic thing is that i'll be in the same boat once i get home! i'll still have no job, too many qualifications, not enough money... you name it. so here we are again: if you're a potential employer anywhere, check out my current curriculum vitae (resume) in english or spanish and let me know if you can give me a job. at this point, i'm almost willing to take anything, but once i get back to the states, i'll be a bit more picky.
so, here i am trying to figure out how to get all the stuff that i've got here home and how to afford to buy the music i need (see that? yes, i NEED music) to take home. i wish our top 40 radio stations in the u.s. were more interesting. i've actually been listening to los 40 principales here which is actually a top 40 station but there are artists from all over the world on the list. american top 40 lists are so terribly dull and very limited.
i've been getting my u.s. news from slate magazine and the political cartoons there. it sounds like things have pretty much fallen apart, but i think that's the international state of things. most of the ports here in spain have been blockaded by fisherman who were protesting the price of gasoline, but it seems that they've reached some agreement. it was quite interesting today to see about 15 ships on the horizon waiting to get into the port of barcelona, and all the passenger ships have been stuck in port. i'm sure those people on their cruises weren't expecting more time in barcelona!
speaking of time in barcelona, i should add to my resume that i'm now quite familiar with the city and the public transportation system. i could be quite an effective tour guide in english or spanish (or even french if you REALLY needed it). i think i'll add that to the sign i'm going to make. wish me luck, eh? and on that note, this is the end of the this post. have a nice day!
Sat 22 Oct 2005
i'm still in barcelona and still loving it immensely, but after having the flu or something similar for a day, i've now COMPLETELY lost my voice. now, those of you who know me will know that being quiet is something that, when among people, is rather difficult for me to do, but i'm learning! this morning i've been wandering around buying lemons and honey, and i figured i should have a "coffee cup" (a ceramic cup with a handle, that is, but it doesn't mean the same thing here), so i bought one.
oh, and yes, mom, there are what you may call 'dollar stores' here called "bazar chino". these are stores that are open on sundays (which most places aren't), and they sell a little bit of evertyhing from school supplies to fake flowers and everything in between for rather inexpensive prices. they have names like "bazar chino" or "100 y más," the latter of which refers to 100 pesetas which is worth about a dollar.
i found a quicker way to get to the beach from where i'm staying that only takes two bus lines, so i've been spending more time down in the barceloneta area. i need to explore some of the nautical stores and maybe find a book of knots in spanish. sailors' knots are the best knots--highly functional and they look pretty cool once you learn how to tie them. it would be good to know all the names of knots and such in spanish. that way, when i get my boat, i'll be prepared to talk to my crew, right? well, one can dream, no?
in the meantime, i'm going to be wandering barcelona in forced silence. there's another knitting group gathering on monday that i hope to attend even if i'm still unable to speak.
if you're a potential employer, check out my resume in microsoft word format and give me a call!
Wed 19 Oct 2005
having the flu sucks no matter where in the world you happen to be. i speak from personal experience, believe me. i spent the day yesterday being hot and cold, sleeping, drinking hot tea, eating chicken soup, and drinking this terrible tasting effervescent vitamin stuff called airborne that seems to be working. it tastes like vitamins *bleah* but it has a hint of orange flavor and it's okay if you eat something right after it to kill the vitamin taste.
other than that, i've been having loads of fun in barcelona. i went to park güell on sunday (which i wouldn't recommend because of the sheer amount of people there), but it was really cool. i'm going to go back sometime this week during the week to avoid the tourist crush. antoni gaudí was truly an amazing visionary architect. there are barely any straight lines in his designs, and they're fascinating. every detail of the buildings and columns and walkways and scupltures is precise and beautiful. i'll also have to visit some of his other works like casa batlló and templo de la sagrada familia.
however, antoni gaudí isn't the only fascinating person to influence barcelona. there were several modernist architects who designed various buildings throughout the centre of barcelona. i'll have to visit more than just the gaudí buildings! there's a building here that (as i understand it) was designed by the same japanese architect who designed the torres kio in plaza de castilla in madrid. the building here looks like a huge pill, and it's multicoloured blue and red. it's pretty cool, and you can see it from several vantage points in the city--even from the suburb where i'm staying. it's called the torre agbar, and it's actually quite interesting. one of the bus routes i take goes right by it, but the last few days have been inclement so i've not yet taken an up-close photo.
i'm running out of time here in the locutorio, so i've got to finish up this post. at this moment, i can't think of anything else to say anyhow. i'm still having fun, and i feel much better than yesterday. i needed a day off, and my blisters thank me for taking it! i finished the pair of socks i was working on, and i made a "cozy" for my mobile phone. now i've got another skein of yarn to make a pair of socks, and i've got a funky pattern picked out. maybe i'll post a picture of them when they're nearing completion. and that's a big maybe, eh? in the meantime, i'm going to continue exploring barcelona and looking for someone who will give me a job. wish me luck!
Thu 13 Oct 2005
raise the humidity!
and bring on the rain! when it decides to rain here, it sure does a good job of it! the last couple days have been a wee bit damp--even walking on the pavements doesn't protect you from getting wet because there's so much water in the streets that the passing cars and buses kick up such splashes that it'll drench you even if you're under a balcony. nevertheless, i'm still enjoying this town immensely.
i tried to make it to the knitting group meetup, but i think i ended up sitting in the wrong starbucks for a few hours. oh well, i finished one of the socks i'm working on. now i have to start the second sock of the pair.
in the meantime, i'm going to continue exploring the city and surrounding areas, but right now i'm running out of time in the locutorio. i'll update this blog again as events present themselves, so keep looking!
Sun 09 Oct 2005
ahh, the sea
if only i had enough money to go on a sailing trip. there are several sailboats that go out on a regular basis from the port here, and if i had an extra 26€ i'd go sailing! maybe i'll have to hang out at the port for a while to see if anyone needs a hand. i don't know, though, because i've never been out on the mediterranean, and i may spend part of the time being... well... as long as i can watch the horizon, i'm fine, if you get my drift.
other than that, i've been having a good time wandering around barcelona. i found a cool little stamp collector's shop that had an entire series of stamps with traditional clothing from the different regions of spain for only 3€. the shop is called filatex olivart, and it's located on pau claris street just up from plaça de catalunya. the semi-precious rocks in the window (amethyst, among others) caught my attention, and the stamps were secondary. the entrance to the store is down from street level, and you have to be buzzed in.
i also went up the hill to tibidabo a couple times, but i didn't get to the amusement park. i don't really care for rides, but the view is worth the trip! i'm going to have to go back up there to get a good view of the city from collserola tower which is a huge communications tower on top of the tibidabo mountain.
in the meantime, i've got several panoramic pictures of the city which i took from a nice pub at the top of the tramvia blau line. the pub is called mirablau, and during the day it's got a bar overlooking the city. the view is great, and the food is quite tasty, too.
so, next week i need to start looking for work in earnest so i don't run out of money, but today i plan on going back up to parc de montjuïc to see if the park bus is running to take me to the castle there. it's going to be a lazy day.
Mon 03 Oct 2005
... i've fallen of the edge of the map in a little town called valldoreix. i had a great time in valldoreix which, if you look at a map of barcelona, probably won't show up. if you can see sant cugat del vallès, valldoreix is right next to it.
yesterday we all took the train down to barcelona to check out the picasso museum which is free on the first sunday of each month. it was amazing!! the collection there is absolutely huge ranging through pablo picasso's entire life.
after the picasso museum we were hungry, so at the request of our youngest companion, we went to udon noodle bar & restaurant which is actually very near to the museum. it was a nicely designed restaurant, and the food was really good!
from there we walked down the street toward the port. the church, santa maría del mar was closed until 16.30 so we kept walking. near the church there is a monument dedicated to those who died in the seige of cataluña in the early 1700s. we ended up at the port area of barceloneta and walked along the passeig de colóm to the bottom end of la rambla where we caught the metro back to valldoreix.
how can i forget? we also saw the famous cathedral of barcelona, but the exterior is under construction and surrounded by scaffolding. i took a picture of the top spires anyhow. near the cathedral is part of an old roman wall. it was impressive to say the least.
i should be here in barcelona until the end of the week at least, so i hope to have hundreds of pictures of artwork by gaudí and miró by the time i'm finished.
i'll try to keep this updated here in case you're keeping track of me. oh, and if you want to surf the barcelona site, you have to click on the last link in this post. the links won't work from the specific church sites.
quote of the moment:
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only that gives everything its value.
-Thomas Paine, 1737-1809
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