Shaking Things Up.

So Halloween ended up being a blast here! Halloween is a thing here, but not as big of a holiday as it is in the states I would say. On the actual day of Halloween, Cass and I went to Damian’s family’s apartment for a festive dinner (there were even Halloween cake-pops involved)! What I had thought was going to be a normal dinner at their house was quite the evening – Mar’s parents came over and we had Halloween themed paper ware, not to mention quite a spread of grilled meets.  Later we went to the popular beach clubs here for Halloween night; I dressed up as a pirate and Cass went as Waldo, which here instead of saying, “where’s Waldo?” they say “Donde está wally?”

The day after Halloween, Cass and I went to our very first flamenco show at the Palau de la Música; we were amped to get to go to this show because the venue is arguably the nicest in BCN and the tickets were gifts to Cass from her old-employer. It was a cool experience, but let’s just say I couldn’t go to a flamenco show every weekend. Nevertheless, it was fun to get dressed up for a show like that and cross another item off of our expansive to-do list.

Work wise, I still do several private English lessons weekly.  I am hoping to get a personal assistant gig soon so cross your fingers on that for me! A few weeks ago I started an English-Spanish weekly intercambio at the local library; I meet with a handful of locals to speak and we speak in English for the first half-hour and then the next in Spanish. They are nice, interesting individuals and it’s great practice in terms of conversation.

Things with Damian are still going really well. This last weekend I went with his family to watch his futbol match on Sunday in Sant Cugat; I enjoy cheering him on and listening to his dad rant obscenities in Spanish. Cass and I went to Petra’s house for lunch with her on Monday before she went to Andorra for the week! There we made plans to spend Thanksgiving with her! Equally exciting, we are actually going to go to the FCB match against Granada in two Saturdays with Fino, Will, and Maggie! Tonight Cass and I are going to Marta’s to have our long awaited pancake dinner gathering – I haven’t tasted a pancake in months people!

Blog family, a trusted friend of mine recently lamented that my blog has devolved into a blubbery mess of nonsensical updates that are essentially of want for real value.  Granted those were not his actual words, I have taken the liberty to interpret his criticism as such. Now this is not to say that his evaluation was not warranted; I’ll admit that my blog has turned into more of a light travel blog than what it once was. He went on to suggest that what I’ve been writing about lately is all fine and dandy, but that what the people crave to read about is the deeper side of things… how living in Barcelona is changing my world view, my perspective on things, my paradigm if you will. So here goes folks, from now on I will endeavor to offer not only an update of what I’ve been up to here, but also a bit of literary substance pertaining to my experiences.

Off the top of my head, the first thing that comes to mind in terms of an evolving paradigm would have to be the topic of materialism. Materialism you say? Yes, materialism aka one of the most defining characteristics of my generation. Perhaps it is an exaggeration to say that materialism runs any more rampant in my generation than in any other, but it certainly seems accurate to me. So how has my perspective on this topic changed after now living in Barcelona for several months? Well, I would be lying to you if I said that I didn’t miss my full wardrobe and my closet full of clothes, coats, shoes, bags, etc. back at my mom’s house. Having admitted that, I am also baffled by the amount of clothes and shoes that I have there and how unnecessary it is to own that many articles of clothing.  Here I have a pretty limited wardrobe, but I get by fine; not having a million choices of how to outfit oneself for the day makes things simpler. Moreover, I am more consciously grateful of what I do have and take things less for granted by having less.

Another example of what I’m talking about- when Bri left to go back to the states in August, she kindly left me her bright pink and tan canvas tote bag. It is a simple bag and has visibly gotten a good amount of use in its short lifetime. Back in the states, I would have used that bag through summer, and then promptly changed it out for a more appropriate fall tote bag as the seasons shifted. However, I am still using that bag today as I sit and type this in a café near our apartment. I could go out and buy a new fall/winter bag but I’d rather just keep using this one – it still serves its purpose and that is money that can go to other things.

Speaking of serving a purpose, I have also come to realize that so long as something gets the job done, one does not need name brands. I feel dumb even typing this, but I was definitely someone who preferred to use fancy shampoos and body washes, not to mention was a Starbucks addict. Nowadays, I make my cheap but tasty coffee at home and we use whatever shampoo and body wash we have left. Hence, I still get my daily caffeine fix and my hair and body are still clean and fresh smelling. Win all around! I’m sure to some people reading these last few paragraphs you’re thinking: “thank you captain obvious,” but sadly for me these were real breakthroughs. Whether I owe said mental realizations more to living here in Barcelona on my own or to being on a tight budget is hard to say; I like to think it’s an artistic combination of the two realities. So that’s it for today friends! Until next time…

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