Sophie's Portfolio Weblog

lunes, enero 03, 2005

Last Assignment

First of all: Sorry I´m so late with this last assigment. I totally missed it!I wanted to put a last ´thanks for everything-word´on the site and I saw this. Other students told me you also said it in class, but I´m afraid I didn´t hear that. I hope I´m still on time.I want to say that I really liked this autum course. I had so much fun and Barcelona is a great city! In these 3 months I´ve done a lot!We´ve been to different festivals. When we just arrived here, there was already a big one. We saw the typical Catalan things like the ´castellers´ and ´correfoc´. We also went to the ´Cava- tast in Sant Sarduni. We could tast alot of different Cava´s.Graham, Thanks for all your great suggestions! I think we followed alot of them. We´ve been to the museum you recommended, were you can see the old walls of the city. I also went to Bar Tomas with the best Patatas Bravas! I especially liked the boss who was walking around as if he was tired and had a rough day! He talked very loud and took sometimes a little snack between serving (funny to watch).I really like the gastronomy here! All those little bars and tapas restaurants. In Holland it´s much more expensive to eat somewhere. People stay more in their houses. Here there´s always life on the streets!In Barcelona I´ve seen a lot! I think we (dutch girls) did allmost everything that was in my touristbook! The famous things like Park Guell, the Sagrada Familia, Camp Nou, the Cathedral, houses of Gaudi, Mont Suick and Tibidabo.Most of these things I visited in the first month. After that I also went to more places witch were less touristic or outside of Barcelona.I went to Sitges. I liked it because it was by the sea and very quet with nice little shops.I would also recommend Mont Serrat. Me and my brother made a long walking trip to the top. Great view!With the dutch girls, I´ve been to Valencia. We rented a car and drove. It was a very clean city (compared to Barcelona) with nice buildings and less people on the street. I liked it, but in Barcelona is much more to do, I think.The things I liked most about Barcelona:Barcelona has a lot of different things to offer! Museums, some parcs, nice architecture, the city, the beach! In the beginning we went to the beach a lot!To go out here! There are so many bars and dico´s. I liked the erasmus party´s the most! I also liked the ´Oveilla Negra´. There are a lot of international students and you can drink nice Sangria. like I said before, I like the gastronomy very much. If you want, you can have a nice meal for only 5 or 6 euros! There are a lot of nice and cheap restaurants in the Raval and also ´Quin se Nice´ (don´t think I write it the right way) at Placa Reial, is very good.Barcelona is also a great city for shopping!There are nice places outside Barcelona witch you can visit for a day (Sitges, Mont Serrat etc.)I like the arcitecture of Gaudi. Before I came here, I didn´t know his work very much. Here you can find a lot (I like his style: the round forms, the use of colours and mozaic, and his inspiration of nature witch you can see back in his buildings) Also I liked our class very much. It´s nice to meet so many people from different nationalities. I felt really comfortable at school, the teachers were very nice and helpfull. The program was good organised.Thanks for everything, It was a great experience and I would recommand it to everybody!With best regards, Sophie van de Berg

miércoles, octubre 20, 2004

interviews catalan or spanish?

For the asignment I interviewed 3 people and asked if they felt more catalan or more spanish and what they think about catalonia being independent from Spain.
I got really interesting conversations.

The first interview was with Sonia Rubio Fernandez, 23 years old.
She is feeling more Spanish. Her parents are from Madrid, so she is not raised with catalan traditions. That´s why she doesn´t feel really catalan.
About the independence, she said, there are lots of people who want that, but not in her surroundings. Her family and friends don´t want it. She doesn´t want it as well, because there are a lot of Spanish people in Catalunya. Then they have to be part in it and speak catalan all the time. The differences between both cultures (Spanish and Catalan) are to big.

The second interview was with Iban Serrallo, 20 years old.
He is feeling more Catalan because he lives here and he thinks the catalan culture is very important. For example, he thinks the national parties (polical) are not as important as the Catalan ones.
About the idea to make Catalunya independent from the rest of Spain, he is not sure. He said: It could be a good idea, but I don´t care. It´s nor nessesary.
The good thing about it are maybe less taxes. The bad thing about it, is that you´ll have to cross the borderline and show your passport. It´ll take more time to go.

The last interview was with the gate-keeper from the house I´m living in. He is a typical Spanish man, so I thought that would be a good idea! It was also very good for my Spanish, because he doesn´t speak English. I forgot to ask his age, but I think he is around 50 years old.
When I asked him the first question, he allready gave me an answer on the second quesation:
He is feeling more Spanish and he told me that he is ´anti- independiente´. He said the politicians make problems, when there are no problems. Things are good now. The people don´t want to go indepentend but the politicians are making troubles. The reason would be ´democracia´, but there will be only more problems.
He named the ´Pais Basco´and the ETA. They want to be independent to. They have killed a lot off people by shooting them or placing bommes (in shoppingcenta´s etc.)
When Catalunya will be independent, people are getting devided in two sides: right and left. There will come fights and war between them (´fuego´). He named examples from other countrys in the world.
He thinks much more terrorists and arabs will come to Catalunya when it´s independent.
In his opinion it´s a very bad idea!

I realy liked the last interview because the man had a clear opinion about it and he told me a lot.
I think this is a good asignment, because you´ll see what´s living under the people in Catalunya and what the different opinions are.

Sophie van den Berg

lunes, octubre 04, 2004

my expectations

My expectations:

When I heard, I could do the autum course in Barcelona, I was very excited.
I´ve never been to Barcelona before, so I didn´t really knew what to expect. Off course I heard a lot about the city and about the course (from students who were here last year).
I like the beach, nature etc. but I also like the city. In Barcelona you have it all.
I pictured it to be a big city with a lot of monuments, churges and nice architecture buildings.
From a girl I heard, Barcelona is very poluted and dirty, but I don´t think it´s that bad. There is only a lot of traffic (some how more than I imagened).
I expected the Rambla to be smaller whith more stands.
I knew Barcelona had nice beaches, but I didn´t expect the wetter to be that good in oktober!
I also didn´t knew that it was so easy to go from one place to an other. You can take the metro everywhere.

About school and the course:
I thought that it would be more official, that the people at school were very strict and that the distance between students and teachers was bigger than in Holland (but I think it´s the same).
The atmosfer is good. The teachers are very friendly, they want to help you if there are any problems.
The school is bigger than I expected, but also more beautifull and friendly (looking). I really like it!
I thought we would visit more things in the introductionweek (visits to Parc Guell or Sagrada Familia). I also expected to have more subjects in the second week.
I knew about the optional subjects. I can´t say anything about them, because I haven´t had them yet.
The people here in Barcelona are more helpfull and friendly than I expected. I can imagine that they are bottered by so many tourists, but they don´t act like that.
A lot of people do speak English (I didnt expect that). One one hand, it´s good, but one the other hand: I don´t learn it this way. I should practice it more.
I expect to learn a lot during my stay in Barcelona. To learn more about the city, the language the culture and about tourism. I also think I learn a lot about myself by living here on my own (without my family and friends). It´s good for my personal devellopment.


viernes, septiembre 24, 2004

Welcome to Catalonia!

Hello and welcome to the course!