- Cafe con Leche
Say goodbye to Pumpkin Spice Latte, because cafe con leche is your new order. Half expresso, half milk, in a cup an eighth the size of a venti. It is the wake me up of Barcelona, and every 10 seconds you will pass a cafe with locals sipping their cafe con leche and reading the newspaper before heading off to work. Nevertheless, cafe con leche will become your new favorite drink, every single day.
The deadest of dead days aka the perfect travel day. All stores are closed and a lot of restaurants, so going shopping or finding someplace to eat is a struggle. Not even the darn grocery store. Therefore, it is quickly learned Sunday’s you travel back home from your weekend trip or if you are in Barcelona, walking around aimlessly or watching Netflix are your best bet.
The word that will become ingrained in your mind. Basically, it means “ok” or “I understand and acknowledge” or even just to end a conversation sometimes. By the end of the semester, you’ll find yourself spitting out Valé left and right and at the end of every sentence without even realizing it.
Eating out struggles
Study abroad student at 6pm: “Hey, you wanna go get dinner”
“Yeah let’s go here”
“Oh wait it doesn’t open until 8pm…”
Spain eats late, I get that, but man it’s sure an adjustment when you just want a big meal at 6pm so you can carry on with the rest of your evening. When you finally go to a restaurant to eat, forget about being in and out in 45 minutes. If you want to leave, don’t expect the waiter to come around and check on you and give you your check because they don’t want to bother you when you’re enjoying the after meal socializing. You have to flag the waiter down to get your check to pay and leave.
The city of Gaudi. Gaudi this Gaudi that. It here, it’s there, it’s everywhere. Gaudi’s presence and influence is throughout the city even if it’s a gift shop on every street.
The icon of Barcelona nightlife for student abroad students. You will without a doubt have a love-hate relationship with this place. It will probably be your first nightlife spot you go to, and despite getting your wallet stolen, sweating, or always say you want to go someplace new, you somehow end up at here. All you need is to say Aashi’s list at the door.
The Renfe Tunnel
If you take weekend trips from Barcelona, there’s and good chance you understand the torture of the Renfe tunnel. Renfe is the train that takes you from the city to the airport for the whopping price of on metro swipe. After a 30 minute ride, you get to the airport, and you think you’re there but are then faced with a tunnel from the train to the actual airport that feels and looks like it’s never ending when it’s only a few minutes. The worst is coming back from the airport and thinking you’ll catch the next train back into the city and then you remember you have the tunnel that you have to sprint through.
Tapas and tapas and tapas and tapas. The fun, shareable finger foods that are eaten every day practically. They range from the traditional and addictive patatas bravas to more gastronomic tapas like steak tartar with wasabi ice cream (absolutely delicious). You go from saying, “Hey wanna go get burgers and milkshakes?” to “Hey tapas tonight?”.
Buenos Dias o Bon Dia? In Barcelona, it’s Bon Dia. Barcelona is located in the Catalunya region and therefore speaks Spanish and the regions special language, Catalan, which kind of sounds like a mixture of Spanish, French, and Latin. Good morning in Catalan is Bon Dia, so you’ll find everyone including yourself saying, Bon Dia.
Cava is Catalunya’s version of champagne. It’s light and a great treat to have for dessert and also an awesome souvenir and gift to bring back home.