Es lo que hay…

I am a little late in starting this blog.  I had this grand idea of becoming a blogger upon landing in Barcelona and capturing all those funny ex pat moments one experiences when moving to a new country and being immersed in a new language and culture -like that awkward moment on my first day of work when all my new co-workers lined up to introduce themselves and the typical handshake was replaced with a kiss on both cheeks.  Being Latina I was accustomed to a- kiss on-the-cheek-greeting, but never two and never ever in the work place!  But as they say in Spain – es lo que hay – it is what it is.

I heard this phrase a lot when I first arrived in Barcelona.

To explain the 1 month delay in getting a cell phone…

Why is my blackberry taking so long to arrive?
There is a lot of paper work to process, es lo que hay.
(In reality it was held up because they were waiting for my second last name which by the way I don’t have)

To explain the 3 month delay in getting internet service…
What is the status of my internet installation?
I can’t check that for you right now our internet is down.
When will it be back up?
I don’t know – es lo que hay.
(I finally gave up and chose another provider and it was installed in a week)

To explain why supermarkets are closed on Sunday…

Was it a holiday on Sunday?  All the supermarkets were closed.
No – all supermarkets are always closed on Sunday – es lo que hay.
(I did eventually find one that is open late everyday – even on Sunday)

Can you see my frustration?  Hailing from a country known for its customer service and where delays mean decreased revenues, I couldn’t understand how people could just accept es lo que hay.  What if I decided to cook on Sunday and needed a few ingredients – what was I to do? How could I live without 24 hour access to the internet?  How was I going to start my blog?

The answer in short was to relax, stop taking things so seriously and just enjoy life. I learned to go food shopping on Saturday and if I didn’t have all the ingredients I needed to make what I wanted – oh well – es lo que hay– I’d make do with what I did have.  Not having a blackberry or internet service meant I was not sitting in front of a computer all day.  I went for walks around my neighborhood (where I discovered that aforementioned supermarket) and met people for a drink or coffee to talk face to face.  I explored new areas and got to see a different side of Barcelona that most tourists don’t get a chance to see.  As for my blog, well as I stated in the beginning of this post, I am a little late in starting it – es lo que hay.  I’ve come to realize that sometimes that isn’t so bad and I hope you agree.

I took this picture on a Sunday stroll through Parc del Guinardó.  From this view you can see the city’s crown jewel La Sagrada Familia overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

because "es lo que hay" isn't always so bad...


12 thoughts on “Es lo que hay…

  1. for me, Barcelona was a huge improvement, as “es lo que hay” in my country is used for many more things 🙂
    all in all, it is a great country with great people… es lo que hay! 😉

    • Yes it is all about perspective – things could be much worse. I completely agree I love this country and especially this city!

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