How to Pre-Game for Cheap in Barcelona

Maybe you just found an irresistible flight for a weekend trip to sunny Barcelona, booked it, then remembered the cost of accommodation, food, and sight-seeing. Maybe you’ve just moved here, and finding more than a few hours a week of work has been harder than you expected. Maybe you’re just a generally frugal person and like to find the cheapest price for everything no matter what.

Whatever your situation, I got you homie.

I made a list of the cheapest bars in Barcelona, but I know you like to pre-game, so here are my tips for how to do that on the cheap too.
Buy your booze from Grocery Stores, Supermeercats, or pick up some Sewer Beers on the street for optimal savings.

Grocery Stores
The cheapest place to pick up your pre-game dranks. Look for Condis, Dia%, Mercadona, Carrefour, and Lidl. Beer will cost almost the same across the board, but keep in mind that if you’re picking up snacks too, Carrefour is generally the most expensive, and Lidl the cheapest. A 330ml can of Estrella will be about 0.60€ no matter where you go, but sometimes you can find beer on special.
I once found 500ml tall cans on for 0.50€ at the Carrefour. Yah. Best believe I stocked up. Grocery stores offer a ton of other, nicer, beer brands too, and if you want to get hella thrifty, Dia% sell its own brand for 0.44€. I wouldn’t exactly recommend it, though.

As for Liquor, if you’re looking for brands like Jameson, Absolut, Barcardi, or Jose Cuevo, expect to pay between 12 and 20€ for a 750ml bottle. If you don’t care and just want the cheapest booze around, I respect you, and am happy you tell you that there are lesser known brands for 5€. John Cor Whisky or Knebep Vodka, anyone?

Wine in Barcelona can be found for as little as 0.62€ for a bottle at Lidl, but I suggest you treat yourself to the 2-3€ bottle so you can actually drink it.

Supermercats (or, meercats, if you will)
This is probably the most convenient place to pick up your booze. You can find at least two supermeercats on every block in the centre of Barcelona. I don’t know how their businesses even survive because they’re so abundant.  Avoid anything on La Rambla, the main streets of Barceloneta, or any other highly populated tourist area. Here, A 330ml Estrella will cost you 1.25€, and the same can near Plaza España is only about 0.65€. Of course, if you’re staying/living near a tourist area, you won’t want to make a metro trip to save 60 cents, but least get off La Rambla and find a supermeercat down one of the less popular side streets.
Wine and Liquor prices are similar to the grocery stores, but tend to be slightly more expensive.

**Supermercats are open all night, but they can’t legally sell alcohol after 23:00.
Which brings me to the sewer beers…

Sewer Beers
Sounds appealing, right? You can easily find these being sold by random guys on the street, which is illegal. To keep the cans cold and hidden from police, they are wrapped in plastic bags and kept down below the grates. Hovering above Barcelona’s sewer system. Yummmm.

You judge now, but when it’s late, the shops are closed, and you’re on your way to a club, wanting one more cheap drink before facing 12€ cocktails… you’ll change your mind. Don’t pay more than 1€ per can. If you buy a bunch you can usually haggle them down and get one or two for free!

Happy Partying!

Carnivale in Sitges 

Apart from the trip I made to Madrid and Valencia when my parents were visiting, I haven’t left Barcelona. Not once in the 6 months I’ve lived here. So this weekend we’ve decided to switch it up and go to Sitges! The town is an easy 30 minute train ride south of Barcelona, and is known for hosting a boss ass Carnivale parade. 
Carnivale is totally different in Spain. It’s more like our Halloween, actually. Kids dress up and wear their costumes to school on Friday afternoon where they have a little party. Then, parades are held both Sunday and Tuesday to celebrate the beginning of lent. Never having thought too much about it, I always assumed Carnivale was a Brazilian thing. Clearly they throw the coolest party, but I’ve learned Carnivale actually originates from Venice, Italy. Somehow the tradition went from opera masks in Venice to dancing half naked in what seems to me like the most random locations around the world. What places can you think of that throw the most rad carnival parties? New Orleans, Rio, Trinidad and Tobago…even Toronto has a super fun Carnivale inspired week that we call Carabana…but it’s also in June and doesn’t seem to have much to do with lent so now I’m just hella confused. Point is, I’m going to a cool parade this weekend. 

We hit up a costume store for something festive and affordable to wear. Apparently costumes are not really optional, they’re a must. We walk in without a plan or creative idea for a squad costume, which results in the boys buying old school sailor outfits, while Lindzee and I buy sequinned opera masks and feathery wrist cuffs. 

Sitges is a famously gay-friendly town in Spain, which is probably why they throw such epic parties. I don’t think John and Adam understand how much they’ll be hit on and/or assumed to be a couple in their costumes. It’s going to be great. 
After our Spanish lessons on Saturday morning we all meet up and head for the train. It’s pretty jam packed with people in costumes or covered in glitter, but we manage to find 4 seats together. I have a deck of cards on me at all times, and we’ve gotten into the habit of playing basically everywhere we go. We were told to stop by a manager at a bar the other night, which was weird. We make a little table out of our backpacks and play a few rounds of President to pass the time. 

Our version of President is different from your version of President (or Asshole or whatever other names have been given to this game). I taught the game to Lindzee and John one night without really remembering the rules. When Adam got back from the rig he told us he played by a totally different set of rules. I assumed it was just a Kiwi thing, but we’ve since played with other people who’ve all said my rules are wrong…but what’s learned is learned. This is how we play now. 

We arrive in Sitges and walk up to our Air BnB. It’s about 20 minutes from the centre, and all uphill. It may have been a slight mistake to have booked so far away, but it was way cheaper. We’re trying to keep our weekend as budgety as possible, and booked an Air BnB for 2 guests with the intention to cram all 4 of us in there. It’s just for one night. 

I thought we were getting the whole flat to ourselves, but turns out the owners are home too. Whoops. Clearly they notice we are 4 humans, not 2, and charge us an extra 15€ but are super nice about it. Still cheaper than staying in the centre. Carnivale is the busiest weekend of the year in Sitges. Air BnB and hotel prices were going up well over 100€ per night, while this one outside the centre was just 45€. Okay, 60€ with our extra charge, but still significantly cheaper. 

After making dinner we head down to where the party’s at! It’s still pretty early so we sit by the water and chill for a bit before hitting the main street. Sitges is your classic tiny beach town, so it’s easy to find the place to go for all the bars, we just follow the music and the people. Its legal to drink in the streets in Spain, and every bar is jam packed full of people, so the parties are literally pouring out into the street. It’s chaos but it’s good fun. 




People’s costumes are hilarious. One group has dressed up as Donald Trump, a group of Mexicans, and the wall. Pure gold. 

We all have a crazy time, and spend the next morning recounting the events of the night, and dying of laughter while laying on the beach in the sun. Spring is finally here and I’m so looking forward to more good weather! 

Barcelona’s Cheapest Drinks

 

Because the further your money can go, the further you can go 


1. Tasca El Corral
Unusual décor that is reminiscent of your eccentric uncle’s log cabin, with a hint of dry storage dungeon… in a good way. Garlands of peppers, corn stalks, garlic, and traditional Spanish jamon legs hang from the ceiling, with a random array of plates, bells, pots, and even a pitch fork adorning the walls. The bathroom stalls are collaged head to toe with photos of boys for the boys, and girls for the girls. El Corral is a quirky little spot to say the least, but the atmosphere isn’t all they have to offer. A half litre of beer goes for 2.75€, but if you want to be really penny-wise (and trendy), you can drink a glass of red vermouth for just 1€.

Closest Metro Station: Barceloneta (L4)
Address: Carrer de la Mercè, 17, 08002 Barcelona

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Decor at Tasca El Corral
2. 100 Montaditos
Okay, so it’s not exactly one of Barcelona’s coolest or most underground spots, but it’s certainly one of the cheapest. 100 (as the title suggests) sandwiches, salads, and snacks for absurdly low prices, but more importantly, drinks for absurdly low prices! A small caña of beer or sangria is just 1€, or get a half litre for 1.50€! This is my cheapest find so far

Go on a Wednesday or Sunday and take advantage of their promotion: everything on the food menu for 1€. Yes, everything.  If that’s not thrifty af, I don’t know what is. 

This is a chain restaurant (thus why I don’t really consider it overly cool) but as a result they have like 10 locations and that’s pretty convenient!

You can find 100 Montaditos near these metro stations: 
Urquinaona(L1/L2), Catalunya(L1/L3), Liceu(L3), Parallel(L2), Diagonal(L3/L5) & more.

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Cerveza and montaditos on a sunny patio
3. The Lime House
Sexy red lighting and cozy seating spaces make this a good spot for a casual first date. If you’re a gin fan, you can choose from an entire wall of infusions, including cinnamon (yum!) and garlic (what?) for 7€. For the budget conscious, the 4€ mojitos are the real steal, but they’re made strong so watch out! There’s always beer if hard liquor isn’t your thing, and a bottle of Estrella goes for 2.50€.   

Closest Metro Station: Jaume 1 (L4)
Address: Carrer dels Carders, 31, 08003 Barcelona

*Try their sister bars, The Mint in Barceloneta, and Rubi in El Born. Same atmosphere, same drinks, same prices, and sometimes even the same bartenders; just different titles. 

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Wall of Gin at The Lime House
4. Taber Cafe (Two Locations!)
A perfect place to sit and chat without having to compete with too many voices in the room. As the name suggests, it’s a cafe, not a bar, so don’t go with your rowdy squad. This is great for a couple casual drinks, and most importantly, it’s an easy place to make good, fiscally responsible decisions! Taber Cafe is super budget friendly, with a small “caña” beer and side of olives priced at just 1€! Just got paid? Upgrade your beer to a mediana and pay an extra 0.80€. Trying to impress your date? Order cocktails without breaking the bank; Mojitos and Gin & Tonics are 4€ each.
*They also offer an array of cakes and coffees if you’re nursing last night’s hangover.
No hamsters allowed. 

Closest Metro Station: Universitat (L1/L2)
Address: Carrer de Joaquin Costa, 47, 08001 Barcelona

Closest Metro Station: Urquinaona (L1/L4)
Address: Carrer de General Alvarez de Castro, 5, 08003 Barcelona

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This is what 3.60€ looks like at Taber Cafe
5. Blai Tonight
This isn’t just a spot for cheap drinks, but cheap pintxos too! Sit on the patio* to enjoy the sunshine and do some people watching; Blai is one of Barcelona’s most charming pedestrian-only streets. At 1€ for a half pint, and 1-1.50€ for each pinxto, you can comfortably rack up your glasses and toothpicks for under 10€. If you’re feeling fancy, treat yo’self (and hopefully some friends) to a 1.5L pitcher of sangria for 12€.

*0.20 patio fee

Closest Metro Station: Parellel (L2/L3) or Poble Sec (L3)
Address: Carrer de Blai, 23, 08004 Barcelona

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Photo stolen from @muntagood on Instagram
6. Bar Jardin
Quiet, calm, and nearly impossible to find if it weren’t for the large plastic camel at the door, Bar Jardín is a hidden rooftop gem above what seems like just another “mercat” in the Gothic Quarter. The quirky patio decor and inconspicuous location make this a great spot to bring friends and enjoy a drink on a sunny Barcelona day (so, every day) or warm summer night. Order a bottle of beer for 2.50€, or a refreshing mojito for 5€

Closest Metro Station: Liceu (L3) or Jaume 1 (L4)
Address: Carrer de la Portaferrissa, 17, 08002 Barcelona

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Photo stolen from @lienyte on Instagram
7. L’Ovella Negra (Two Locations!)
Poble Nou Location: Set up in an old warehouse that’s kept its industrial decor, this bar has a pretty hipster vibe. Great for large groups and cheap drinks before dancing the night away at club Razzmatazz. Drink a small San Miguel for 1.20€, push yourself a little harder and crush a litre for 5.60€, or share 5 litres with friends for 25€

Closest Metro Station: Bogatell (L4) or Marina (L1)
Address: Carrer de Zamora, 78, 08018 Barcelona 

La Rambla Location: A deceivingly large bar that reaches back into what feels like a little cave. With dim lighting, sticky floors, and tables big enough for you and 15 of your closest friends, this is a great spot for a casual night out or some cheap drinks before getting down at Jamboree. Prices are almost the same as Poble Nou, but as most things near La Rambla, they are a little more expensive. Here it’s 27.50€ for 5L. They make up for it with free popcorn! Just ask at the bar. 

Closest Metro Station: Catalunya (L1/L3)
Address: Calle de les Sitges, 5, 08001 Barcelona

#Bonus – The L’Ovella Negra in Poble Nou hosts a second-hand market on the first Sunday of every month! Some furniture, books, and collectibles can be found, but the majority of stalls offer clothing and small hand-made goods. Check out Two Market for details and dates. 

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Two Market in January

More to come friends, I just gotta keep drinkin’.

2 months later…

Oh hey! I know it’s been two months. My day to day life doesn’t seem worth blogging about. Though I should do it anyway, for myself if no one else. You don’t have to read it if you don’t like it! …But you know you do.
Anyway, here, I’ll try to catch you up.

My seemingly friendly and helpful roommate Gary has become insane, so I’ve moved out. He’s doing everything in his power to keep my 400€ deposit, which I really can’t afford to lose. He’s also kicking Max out, even though they’re supposed to be besties. According to Max, Gary hasn’t been paying the rent to the owner, and just pocketing the money we’ve paid him. Poor little Max is on the lease too, but thank the heavens I’m not. I have escaped mostly unscathed. Though, Gary is now claiming I was the messy roommate, never cleaned the apartment, and now needs to “pay” someone to clean it, so instead I’m going over to clean it myself. Pathetic, I know, especially considering I was certainly NOT the messy one, but I’m determined not to lose that 400€.

On the bright side, I’ve found an absolutely beautiful apartment right in the heart of Barcelona. I’m on a classic vintage European fourth floor walk up, that has a view of a historic church from my living room, and am a mere 2 minute walk from Las Ramblas.

My brother, checking out my sick view
I also live much closer to Lindzee, John and Adam, who are still basically my only friends, so I guess not THAT much has changed. The new roommates in my flat are great though so that’s positive. I’m still settling in because I moved just before the holidays when my family came to visit and we did a little road trip to Madrid and Valencia.

Oh yah! My fam came to visit. I lived a temporary luxury lifestyle, staying in hotels and dining at real restaurants. I finally went to see Montserrat, and the inside of the Sagrada Familia. I saw some famous art work at the Prado in Madrid, and visited an epic “Oceanographic Museum” (glorified aquarium) in Valencia.

Here are some pics.

Sagrada Familia – Under construction since the 1800s

View from Montserrat

Walking up to the basilica

My brother and I, entertaining ourselves at the Prado
I didn’t say anything about being overly mature or culture-absorbing at the Prado.

Valencia has some insane architecture

We had paella at an underwater restaurant

Photo next to a garbage can because we are trash
Oh, and I’ve also started some Spanish lessons and am doing a 4 day mini-intensive course to really get a jump start. I’ve been here almost 4 months now and I still have a very limited vocabulary. Time to up my I’m-a-local game.
Alright, I think that about sums it up. Which brings us to the present day, as I try to get comfortable in my new flat.

All I’ve got in my kitchen is a bag of pasta, tomato sauce, rice, a block of cheese, and kraft dinner. Yes, kraft dinner. I had asked my parents to bring me a few boxes so I could show my students. They’d never heard of or seen it before, which surprised me. But guess what? I’m going to keep a box and make it for myself today.

Both of my roommates end up in the kitchen around the same time as me and we all cook our individual lunches. I am full of absolute horror and shame as my Egyptian roommate makes a wonderful and healthy looking octopus salad, and my Spanish roommate heats up her mothers home made soup… my neon noodles look offensive next to their real food.

I get ready and head over to my Spanish lessons, giving myself a little extra time because walking up Las Ramblas is a nightmare. Tourists. Everywhere. All of Barcelona is like this, but Las Ramblas is undoubtedly the most concentrated area. The only downside to such an otherwise fabulous location.
I think it goes without saying that Lindzee, John, and Adam are all taking these lessons with me. Our teacher for the mini-intensive is different from our normal once a week classes, and she seems a little nervous. She seems like she’s winging it a little, but I remind myself thats exactly what I do in my classes almost daily.

I’m not one for New Years resolutions, but I resolve to do a little more to organize and plan my lessons for each of my students.

Sunday Nights

Last week I was invited to a Facebook event that looked kinda cool, though I wouldn’t know how to explain what it is. Music, art, some other stuff. I don’t really know, but it’s only 6€ and it’ll turn this lazy Sunday into something a little more interesting. I rally the troops (my standard 4 person squad) and we head over to the venue, which is in a kinda sketchy looking area, but also super close to the coast. It’s a warm November evening, sitting at about 15 degrees. We head down to the beach before going into the event and share a bottle of wine poured into plastic cups. I’m starting to drink, and even kinda like, red wine! This is huge news.
As we’re approaching the venue I can see a crowd of people standing outside. Even from a far I can tell everyone is so much cooler than I am. So hipster. So chic. So many dreadlocks and tattoos. I’m wearing a top with flared sleeves and floral embroidery…

we pay our 6€ and step inside a dimly lit space with a little bar in one corner and a small make-shift stage across the room. There’s a guy giving someone a stick-and-poke tattoo, and a woman with giant pink eyelashes and gold rhinestones dotted along her cheeks doing “fantasy” makeup. Like a cooler, more hipster face painting station.

Someone is spray painting a canvas straight on the wall, and we watch her create a beautiful piece of a woman’s face right in front of our eyes.

Different artists have their work displayed all over the gallery, where I find a super cool drawing that only costs 5€, and is now my brother’s Christmas present. Pretty sure he doesn’t read this, so I can post it.


Then a horrible thing happens, when a girl sitting on a couch has the painting directly above her fall off and hit her square on the head. She’s got vibrantly dyed red hair, but you can see blood streaking down at an alarming rate. Obviously, a ton of people rush to her aid, and an ambulance is called. I’m certain she’ll be okay, but it’s still a terrible freak accident.

We don’t hang around too long. The event is on for 12 hours and runs from 2pm to 2am, but unless I plan on sitting and getting a full body stick and poke tattoo, I can’t imagine I’ll need to stay that late.

We move on to a cool cocktail bar in El Born, that has a drink of the week for 4.50€. Much much cheaper than the majority of their other cocktails that cost 7€ or more. I feel like it’s impossible to go wrong in El Born. There is ALWAYS something cool to be found. Just another thing to add to the list of what I love about Barcelona.

Bunkers

The bunkers. An activity listed pretty high up in all of Barcelona’s tourist guidebooks. No idea what they are, but today we’re going. I really haven’t done anything touristy in my time here. Sure, I’ve wandered around the city and looked at all the beautiful Gaudi buildings from the outside, have become pretty familiar with the beaches of Barceloneta and the winding side streets of El Born… but I have yet to enter a museum. I can justify this by saying I’m waiting for my parents to visit at Christmas. They’ll want to do all the touristy things anyway, so there’s no point in seeing them twice!!
I currently have a 4 person squad. They are the only people I spend my time with, no lie. Lindzee (obviously), John (who we met a couple weeks ago and have seen almost every day since), and Adam (who was the first person I met here, but he disappears to work on the oil rigs in Angola every other month).

The four of us meet at our designated halfway-point metro station and make the journey up to the bunkers together.

We take a long city-bus ride to the bottom of the…hill? Mountain? I don’t know what to call it, it’s somewhere in between. Not an epic hike, but I’m out of shape af so it feels like a more painful journey to the top than it really is. It’s only about 10 minutes.

The bunker itself doesn’t seem so special (though it’s dark and I can’t see much of anything), but the view of Barcelona is incredible! I would argue that it’s even nicer than the view I experienced from El Tibidabo, because from here you can actually make out landmark buildings and main roads. It’s much closer. It’s a beautiful night so we sit with some cheap convenience store wine and enjoy the view.

Odd Jobs

I heard the term “imposter syndrome” for the first time the other day, and it’s exactly how I feel here as an English teacher. The woman who said it was using it to describe her own feelings about her occupation as a travel blogger (which I ALSO relate to), and was saying that she basically feels she is winging it every step of the way. Sames, girl. Sames. 

However, the “syndrome” part is key, as she pointed out that real imposters wouldn’t stress about it the way we do. That gave me a little bit of comfort, but still doesn’t actually say anything about my ability to be a GOOD teacher. 

Each of my classes is different, I’ve received no training or even so much as a guideline…so I just show up to these people’s homes and try to teach them stuff. I have no idea what I’m doing. The first few weeks were fine, you play some games, build some vocabulary, get to know each other. I’ve basically been hanging out with these kids. Trying to be a “cool” teacher…but am I even a teacher? One parent referred to me as a professional once and I found it alarming. Me? Not me. Then realized that I’m an adult and that IS how they should see me…it just SO doesn’t feel that way. I’m hardly an adult let alone a professional anything. 

I have a job interview with a company that provides online English lessons to business people in Vietnam. I would get paid in American dollars and work as many hours a week as I’d like. They provide lesson plans for me to follow, and I am given a random student for each 45 minute session. Seems pretty legit. I did a quick Google and found reviews of the company from other teachers. Apparently it’s super easy but I’ll hate my life in 4 months. That’s okay, though! I just need money now! 

The interview is actually more of an info session, but I’m “hired” anyway. I have to go through some un-paid training first, but it’s not like I am low on spare time. Por qué no? 

I also picked up another job as an “app tester”, but it’s not as glamorous as it sounds. My job is to walk around Barcelona and input shop information. Like a sad version of the Google Street-view guy. The game-to-be is called Forbidden City, and I think my job is to create something like the pokéstops in Pokémon Go. Any restaurant, bar, convenience store, fruit market, etc. that I find, I input the name, address, telephone number, then take a photo of the entrance, and categorize it. Super easy right? True, but I look like the biggest weirdo when I’m standing outside of a laundry mat, taking a photo of their sign, and can’t explain to the disgruntled employee/probably owner what I’m doing because I don’t speak any Spanish. On the bright side, I’ve learned to ask for a business card in Spanish, because phone numbers can be pretty hard to find for the smaller shops. Now I know the words for both card and business. On my way to full fluency, I tell ya. 


Oh yeah and I get paid 0.15 per shop. Yup. If I log 500 shops in 2 weeks I am paid 0.30 for them all, but that seems extreme. I’m sitting at like 60 and I’ve been at it (kinda) for just 5 days. Whatever. Even if I make an extra 20€ a fortnight, I’m happy. 

Salaries are paid monthly here, unlike what I’m used to at home where I’m paid every 2 weeks. Having to budget yourself (especially when you’re broke af) for an entire month is really really hard. 

Jumped

I am jumped by a man with a knife on my walk home from the bar. He grabs me by the arm and holds the knife up to my neck.

Turns out it’s a plastic knife, and just some kind of HORRIBLE Halloween prank, but terrifying all the same. Lindzee is with me and of course once we realize what is going on we erupt into a fit of laughter with my almost-murderer. Realistically though, that shit is not okay. In North America, especially right now as murderous clowns are roaming the streets of the USA, that’s a prank that could get you arrested. I love how relaxed Europe is when it comes to hosting things like the Correfoc, but not so much when it comes to making me feeling like I’m about to be stabbed. I need to learn how to swear in Spanish.
But of course this is only happening because Halloween is coming up! Spain doesn’t actually celebrate Halloween, they have another holiday called Castanyada. Stalls are set up along the streets, where people sell chestnuts or sweet potatoes roasted on open fires. Panallets (a dessert featuring pine nuts) are also a tradition of the occasion. I will be eating a lot of fun snacks this coming Monday…

The day after Castanyada, November 1st, is a public Holiday specifically for people to visit graveyards and the resting places of their loved ones. Children sometimes get the day off for Castanyada, but both schools and workplaces are cancelled on November 1st. Which means I won’t have classes. There are SO many holidays here in Spain.

Halloween has only become a thing here in the last few years. Globalization, am I right? I’ve spoken to a lot of my students about it and the degree of celebration varies. The rich kids with the yacht are wearing full on costumes and trick or treating around their neighbourhood. The really young ones have made some Halloween themed crafts at school but won’t be trick or treating, and some of my students barely know what I’m talking about. Best believe there are a ton of epic parties going on this weekend though. Clearly geared towards expats, every clubs and bar is going all out with decorations and prizes for the best costumes etc.

I can’t really afford a true costume, so I’m going to H&M or Pull and Bear to purchase as much cheap gold stuff as I can, and will go to a convenience store to find a toy shovel…making me… a gold digger! GET IT GUYS?!? If this doesn’t work I’ll just be extra lame and purchase a generic gala mask…but I’m trying not to be THAT boring.

1€ Yoga

Waking up for 10:30 feels impossible, which is pathetic because I went to sleep at midnight. Well, I tried, but with my job starting at 4pm or later every day, I’ve been staying up late. Today, 10:30 feels like 6am. I’m apart of a Facebook group specifically for TEFL teachers, and someone posted an ad offering 1€ yoga classes. This is what has brought me up at such an ungodly hour. I need to start doing something fitness wise, because between all the time I spend sitting on the metro, and my inability to cook causing me to eat basically nothing but sandwiches…things aren’t looking good for my health. Not to mention all the Estrellas… 

Lindzee and I meet at our half-way point metro station and head down to the address listed on the Facebook page. I was expecting someone’s damn basement or like a park or public space, but somehow it’s in a legit studio. Way too cute for this to be 1€, I don’t understand. Especially when it’s a class of 5 people. He’s not exactly profiting here. 

All of the instruction is in Spanish so I spend a lot of time peeking at what other people are doing instead of focusing on my breathing and such, but I think that’s okay. I pick up a couple of Spanish words in the process. 10/10 would (and will) do again. 


I find myself walking through the shopping area at my home station of Clot. I have -5847373€ to my name, so I can’t really buy anything but I accidentally purchase a cheap necklace and a cat hair lint roller thing. At least the second purchase is practical. I’m really not used to having cat hair on ALL of my shit, and I’m not a fan. Having a cat is fun, but it’s not as glamorous as it seems. 

Then onto my Monday lessons. I did some rearranging and instead of having the 3-back-to-back-class-Monday-of-death I’ve had for the past two weeks, I now only have 2 classes. My evening class switched to Thursdays and I’m stoked. 

Or so I thought. They text me two hours before their lesson would have started to tell me that they’d like to start their new schedule next week instead, and still want me to come tonight. They’re by far my favourite and most chill class, so I forgive them, but now this means I have to run around all over Barcelona tonight. At least I know it’ll be the last time. 

In anticipation of my soon-approaching first pay day, I do the math for all the hours I worked and am relieved to find that I’ll have enough money to cover my rent! Success!! 

Local

Another sign that I’m now a true local: I got a Spanish bank account today. It was surprisingly easy, I basically just needed a passport, address, and phone number. Now all I need is some money to deposit into it…
I get a text from Lindzee who is actually staying in Barcelona this weekend (for once). She’s usually out visiting other countries or cities, leaving me alone with just the boys to hang out with. She’s downtown, and I have a few hours to kill before my classes tonight, so I go to meet up with her.
Have you ever had a friend that you just want to tell everything to? I don’t mean everything that’s going on in your life right now, but someone new who doesn’t know anything about your history. Like EVERYTHING. Someone that you feel needs to be filled in on every moment of your life leading up to now? That’s what Lindzee and I are doing. We’ve become pretty close, being each other’s only female friend and all. I remember doing this with my roommates in first year university. We sat down at our kitchen table and talked at extreme speeds for hours, just filling each other in on who we’ve been, the experiences we’ve had and the people we’ve known. I love this. It’s as exhausting as it is exciting, as I’d rather they just KNOW instead of me having to explain it all…but at the same time I love remembering things about my past as they come to mind during these kinds of conversations.

I love learning about other people; I have a tendency to just binge on new people I meet, especially when travelling. I like learning everything all at once before they (or I) have to leave. You tend to be able to be the most honest with these people. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Of course, Lindzee is staying for the school year as well, so neither of us are going anywhere…but we’ve hit that traveler level friendship.

We spend our Thursday afternoon wandering around El Born, a super chic area of Barcelona, where shops, bars, cafés, museums, and more can be found along the winding cobblestone side streets of the district. It’s easy to get lost, but it’s the best kind of lost.

I head out to my classes which are extra chill on Thursdays. I have two sisters for one hour each, back to back, and they basically run the lessons which is so ideal. The eldest sister just likes to speak about anything and everything all the time, I never have to force conversation. By comparison, her younger sister just wants to play Clue today. That actually works out well because I get to teach her some vocabulary for different rooms of a house…and weapons. Useful stuff. She wins fair and square both times, I’m pretty shit at board games unless it’s Monopoly.

Our friend Francisco is playing another DJ set tonight as the usual spot, KosmoBar, so Lindzee and I go to check that out. We are spoiled with a couple free drinks, and actually get to hangout with Francisco a bit because he’s not the only DJ on tonight. Around midnight we leave to go in search of food. We find a doner shop that claims to be open until 2:30am but they’re closing the gate when we arrive. All restaurants close surprisingly early in Barcelona. We don’t even beg, but the owner is an absolutely legend, actually lets us in, and whips up two final wraps for the night. He literally closes the gate behind us as we walk out. If we had been 2 minutes later we would have been hungry and out of luck. I swear I have never had such a delicious doner in my life. Ever.

We walk back to the closest metro station (even though all metro lines are closed after midnight) just to sit and enjoy our fantastic food. Out of nowhere, as I’m taking a giant bite of my doner, a group of people we know walk by. They all work at our favourite English bar (open mic night every Tuesday!) and invite us out with them. Most bars are officially closed by now, but one of these guys owns his own spot and opens up his bar for his friends whenever he feels like it I guess. We follow them through a maze of side streets within El Born, and arrive at a tiny, dimly lit bar.

I love nights and places like this. Totally unplanned, random, and most importantly, not touristy. Just another step towards being a local.