November 1, 2016


Whoa, it's November already? That can't be right.

I counted yesterday and found that it's been 2 months and a week since I first stepped foot in Barcelona. I have 3 months left... This is a distressing fact and I try not to think about how my days here are numbered and soon I will have to leave. I'll be one of those ungrateful people who keep bringing up "When I lived in [place]-" in conversations because I can tell that I'm going to miss this city something fierce. 

As cliche as it sounds, living in Europe has always been a longtime dream of mine, so to get this opportunity is just amazing and I'm so grateful for it. Therefore I'm going to compile a list of things I love and don't love about living here, away from home.

Things I Love

The transportation system - I know this is mundane but oh gosh do I appreciate Barcelona's transportation system and how it's so easy to navigate around the city by just switching metro lines or bus-hopping, and how you can go everywhere in the city with just one ticket because the system is integrated. I drive my way around in Kuala Lumpur because it's easier and spend fifty bucks* a week more or less on petrol and then fret because I hate parking, and it only cost fifty bucks* here for a monthly transport ticket with an unlimited pass around the city so...

*relatively, of course. Barcelona will always be more expensive a city to live in than Kuala Lumpur because of the currency exchange rate and whatnot

The culture - I love how the senior citizens here are all active; I see old people walking in the mornings and evenings all the time. I love how hola and adeu are exchanged between strangers. I love that I see little helpers all the time around the city; people giving up seats for the deserving, helping those who need help up and down the stairs, calming down hysterical people in the metro. 

Cars and motorcycles that actually stop at red lights and pedestrian crossings? Amazing. 

And I love paella.

The architecture - Just look at my Instagram feed.

It's also worth mentioning that I feel safer here in Barcelona than I ever did in Kuala Lumpur. I'm comfortable going everywhere and exploring the city alone because it's safe to be alone, even at nights as I make my way home from class. This place feels safe. That being said, I still keep my eyes open every time I go out, store cash at three different parts on my person, and make sure that I get home before dark and avoid going out at nights. You can never be too careful. 

Things I Don't Love

The chill - It's autumn right now and it's cold as hell for me. The temperature is 12 degrees on the coldest days, which doesn't sound like much but the WIND. My Malay ass is not adjusting to it quite smoothly. I've taken to wearing layers and socks all the time in the house (a fact that amuses both my landladies) and sleeping under multiple blankets. I'm kind of concerned because this house doesn't seem to have a central heating system...

The excess PDA - I love that the people here are so affectionate with each other and I'm not a prude or anything but por amor de dios I don't need to see you making out with your significant other and making me pissed I don't have anyone to make out with like, keep your tongues to yourselves, thanks. Seriously, people just do it everywhere. Everywhere. And it makes me feel so awkward every time a couple sitting next to me on the metro start going at it.

Not having my family here with me - Generally speaking I'm not homesick; I mentioned that Europe has been a dream and I'm living my dream on a limited time period so there is absolutely no time pining for home haha but I just wish I had them here with me to do touristy things. I do everything alone here and most days it don't bother me but yeah, some days I wish I had my siblings here. Traveling with my family has always been a different kind of joy. I'm people-sick.

Overall, October's been a great month, I think. Bookish-related, I only read seven books this month. SEVEN. Remember when I used to finish a book a day, sometimes three? Yeah, those were the golden days. 

Until later,

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