Day One.


Sunset from the Balcony of our Homestay                                                                      January 8, 2016

Friday 1/8

Today was a slow start. We got up and enjoyed our first breakfast in Barcelona. Our house mom, Elisabet leaves a spread of food on the table for us in the mornings and it is chocolate everything; the cereal is chocolate, there is chocolate in the granola, and what every breakfast needs…cookies (with chocolate).

Jessica and Shannon love the chocolate cereal, I am just sticking to an orange, and some toast every morning….I am perfectly content. Although there is Nutella at the table, in case I want chocolate toast.

We left the house super early in an attempt to be on time for orientation…we wanted to start things off right.

Well, we took the right metro station but wandered in the wrong direction before getting to the cinema where orientation was. Which ended up being fine because everyone else was lost too.

Orientation sucked. Four-hundred students gathered in a movie theatre to listen to the police, the consular, and a professor give safety tips for the city and to burn daylight.

We sat in the theatre for an hour and fifteen minutes (orientation was 2 hours) before anyone even spoke to us and while they were speaking an incredulous number of students (mostly frat boys) continued to talk through the entire thing.

When we arrived in Barcelona the process was so smooth, I was shocked at how disorganized this “welcome orientation” was. IES did not even show us or give us advice on how to find the school, which oh by the way is difficult to find. There are no markings outside of the building labeling it as IES.

After wasting two hours of our first day in Barcelona, Shannon, Jessica and I decided to go find lunch in a nearby café. We went to a place called Mucci. Mucci is a café in the morning, a bakery, a pizza place at lunch, and a tapas bar at night.

We were hoping to find seating outside but naturally, there were no seats available. We found seating inside and the waiter told us to stay seated; he would come take our order.

About 15 minutes passed and the waiter (there was only one) had not come to take our order. Another 10 minutes pass and finally he comes to our table. Jessica tells him her order as Shannon and I wait patiently to tell him what we want to eat. After writing down Jessica’s order, he turns and walks away. Shannon and I are confused but think nothing of it.

Fifteen minutes pass before he returns to our table, this time with Jessica’s food. He turns and walks away again. Shannon and I wait another five minutes before turning and looking at each other in confusion and decide to flag him down to tell him our order.

We get up and tell him our orders in Spanish, he writes it down and then we return to our seats. Twenty minutes pass and he finally returns with my orange juice, coffee (no one ordered) and Shannon’s food. I am so confused but decide he must be coming back with my food.

Fifteen more minutes pass and now I am just pissed. What the hell. Orientation was a joke and now I have been waiting for my lunch for a good hour and a half while my roommates have already finished their food and if I do not get my food and eat it in the next twenty minutes I will be late to my Program Orientation.

Finally, Shannon flags the waiter down and asks where my food is. He says oh I forgot.

I am so annoyed I feel like there is a fly buzzing in my face and it just will not go away. First my wallet, then my suitcase (the zipper was broken upon arrival) then my thumb (I got my thumb stuck in the door OUCH!), and now this day?! UGH.

Five minutes later, I have my food and it is delicious but definitely not worth the frustration.

I decided to shake it off and we leave the restaurant to head to IES for our program orientation sessions.

Jessica and I were late to orientation, but fortunately did not miss anything. My orientation was only 30 minutes and the professor really just handed us our program guides and said good luck, have a nice day you are free to go.

Well we were not free to go….

There was another session for each group following the first session. My entire group had left except for two of us who were waiting for our roommates to finish their sessions.

The second professor walked into the hallway and promptly asked if we had been in the classroom earlier, I said yes and he asked what the professor told us, as he explained to me that no one was supposed to have left yet.

I sat through the second orientation with one other student and then met up with my roommates to explore the city.

The start to my first day may not have been great but on the bright side it was 70 degrees and sunny and I was able to explore the beach in what is sure to become one of my favorite cities.

Barceloneta Beach and  W Hotel                                                                                         January 8, 2016

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