So I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it on here, but I only have classes on Thursdays and Fridays, so basically every weekend is a long one for me.
It sounded delightful at first, but after a while it gets boring, having all this free time and nothing to do. My workload isn't that heavy (when I don't procrastinate, which I do all the time, but it can still be considered light) so I have this idea for a while about exploring different areas (or barrios / neighbourhoods, as they're called) in Barcelona.
One of my favourite things about the city center is how well-connected every neighbourhood is to each other. With strong will and determination and lots of time, you can actually walk everywhere (and the locals love walking). So far my free time is spent around La Rambla, El Raval, El Born and Barrio Gotico because I just love the whole vibe of these areas in spite of the tourist crowds, but I'm going to explore other neighbourhoods soon too. Maybe this will give me more material to blog about, haha.
Today on one of my aimless walks (I usually go on the Metro and just get off at a random stop), my friend Juwi tweeted me an article on bookshops in Barcelona. I've been to a couple of the stores mentioned in the article but the rest are new. This takes me back to my family vacation in Melbourne last year where I basically went on a bookstore hunting trip based on a list from an article (I had the time of my life with that one), and gives me the idea about doing a similar one here (I have a lot of ideas that don't involve studying).
I started Google Map-ing every place mentioned in the article and found one closest to my current location in Gracia. It's called Laie, and it's a bookshop-cum-cafe, which is one of the greatest combinations of all time, of ALL TIME.
|Big sign so you can't miss it|
|Immediately to the right after the entrance|
|Immediate front after entrance|
I think it's one of the biggest bookstores I've been in Barcelona so far, after La Central in El Raval, and one of the Casa de Libro outlets I went in Gracia (they have five or something--gotta
catch visit them all!). It's double-storeyed, with the lower floor served as the bookstore and the upper as the cafe (which I forgot to take pictures of, drat).
|I adore the Bookseller Recs sections of bookstores. The first line is in Catalan while the second is in Spanish.|
|Arts and History section|
|The one book that's EVERYWHERE here, translated in both Catalan and Spanish|
Most of the books I picked up did not have a price tag on them, and that's when I noticed all the little barcode readers fixed on the walls like WHAT A GREAT CONCEPT??? I AGREE??? BAN ALL PRICE TAGS ON BOOKS 2K16!!!
|My purchase plus free bookmarks (I should have taken more)|
My mother told me to not "waste money on silly books", but I usually don't buy silly books so... *grins*
I'm beginning to make peace with the fact that Catalan conversation guidebooks don't exist here so I'm settling with the next best thing: a dictionary. I know that dictionaries are not that useful when you're trying to learn a language; it's not really a vocabulary thing rather than a grammar thing, but I learned English through reading so I reckon this is as good a means as any. I chose The Little Prince because it's a kid's book, and I have read and loved the English version. I was willing to settle for a less complicated storybook (I still have that book about Mateo the Cat in my mind--I will find you again) but guys, children books are so expensive??? Most of them are in the range of 15-20 euros and I as a broke exchange student must prioritize food over books.
So yeah, that's the highlight of my Monday. I still haven't decided where to go tomorrow, but hopefully I'll have something interesting to blog about. Ciao!