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.