Don’t Panic in Barcelona!
I think it is about time that I tell you my genteel readers and loyal audience (yes I am talking to those two people actually reading this 🙂 ) about my living arrangements here in Barcelona. I, like many others here, am sharing a flat. We are four of us at the moment with two Spanish girls who work, a French girl who is currently learning Spanish and wants to soon start a semester at a university in Barcelona and myself.
Luckily the French girl speaks very good German, so that makes my life easier. One of the Spanish girls does not speak any English, the French girl is only a beginner in Spanish and my reading is much better than my understanding, but with six languages between the four of us (Spanish, English, Bask, Catalan, French, German and a few words of Arabic and Italian thrown in) and a bit of arm waving and miming we manage to communicate surprisingly well! I might not start discussing astrophysics with the girls anytime soon, but then when does this ever come up in casual conversation with native German speakers?
Admittedly I was a bit sceptical about the idea of flat sharing. When I first started university I was also sharing a flat and it was a disaster. I might not be the worlds’ tidiest person but I can at least keep my mess to my space / room. Not the case with my flatmates (all of them male). Back then I was greeted by mountains of rubbish and semi-sentient life in the fridge.
With that in mind I must say the flat here has so far been a very pleasant surprise. Not only are my flatmates nice, clean, tidy and helpful (explaining where to find things etc.) but the flat itself is good as well. We have a kitchen with a washing machine (what a luxury), the bathroom (with a bath tub), the four bedrooms and a living / dining room. Attached to this dining room is the flats’ best feature – a balcony overlooking a large part of the city. We are on the eighth floor and you can see the Sagrada Familia, the Torre Agbar and the sea.
The point or points I am rambling on about are the following: It will be okay! If you, like me, tend to worry about all the things that could go wrong, then stop.
Neither did I get lost, nor did the flat turn out to be dreadful. And don’t hesitate to use a foreign language. You might not be perfect, but let’s be honest; most of us manage to mangle our mother tongue fairly regularly. Most people will be delighted that you are at least trying and you know what they say: practice makes perfect.
So pack your bags and go! Maybe even to Barcelona. 🙂