Adjusting to a Different Culture

In Spain by Eller Student

Fernanda Varela, Eller Business Management, ’15

Paella

I have been living in Barcelona for approximately 10 days. I am absolutely in love with the city, the laid back atmosphere, and the people. When I first got here everything was new and different. I spent over 3 days fighting the terrible jetlag, missing my family, friends, and most of all my food. After sleeping for many hours, it was time to go into the city. To be honest I thought coming here would be easy because I am fluent in Spanish, I never realized how different the Spanish is or that their first language is Catalan.

I come from a place where the distance to get from one place to another is very small. People use cars and sometimes buses. The metro was a whole new experience while learning to get around it. People are always rushing and they told us some scary stories about pickpockets. The atmosphere at work is much more laid back than I expected. We were warned about it, but I still thought it would be less laid back.

The food is what I still cannot get used to. I am a very picky person when it comes to food. Every meal is served with water and no ice, which I am not used to. Since I am Mexican I am used to having all kinds of spicy foods and there is no salsa here at all. I am not a fan of cheese and here everything has cheese and ham etc. Still, I have tasted as much food as I can and have found something I like in every place I go to.

Now, after 13 days I can honestly say I am practically an expert at traveling around the metro and it feels nice when people stop to ask me for directions. Still, transitioning from a tourist to feeling like a local is still a process in the making.