5/3/18 – 11/3/18
Another rainy Monday morning and to make it even better, my mentor is out of the office until Thursday and didn’t leave me any work to do. I’ve been getting some tasks from other people on my team which is keeping me busy and getting the time in. I was feeling a bit anxious about my last day because I didn’t want to stand in an awkward circle with my team and stare at each other like we usually do. Instead, I’ve got something even better to worry about. Yesterday, my manager messaged me and suggested a team outing for the week before I leave. I can’t imagine anything worse as I don’t speak to anyone on the team but I couldn’t think of an excuse so I said yes. Should be interesting.
On Tuesday evening Marty and I took a walk into the Gothic Quarter to go to my favourite store Flying Tiger, as I needed to get Hanne a card for her birthday on Thursday. We stopped for a crepe along the way and I felt really guilty until I remembered that in 4 weeks time I’ll be starting the gym again and crepes won’t be allowed. The sun and blue skies are making me so excited for those 2 or 3 days in May that we have sun in Belfast and B&M sells out of inflatable pools and disposable barbeques. Today (Wednesday) I had a coffee break with my team and made friends with two people that have been here since November and December. It’s a bit late now and I kind of wish I had of made more of an effort with people at the time but unfortunately at that stage I was just getting the days in without any extra commitments. One of the girls is Italian and she couldn’t believe it when I said I was Irish. She said my accent was so musical and if she had of known I sounded like that she would’ve spoken to me more. Maybe my Irish charm will make next week’s night out a bit less awkward.
Hanne and I went to a shop called Hema today which is a little bit like Flying Tiger. It sells everything from chocolate to toilet brushes, for next to nothing. There were so many nice Easter decorations but there’s no point in getting anything when we won’t be here for Easter. It’s Thursday 8th of March, which marks International Women’s Day. I received an email stating that Spanish women receive an average of €6,580 less than men every year. This means that women work for about 2 hours per day without receiving pay. Unfortunately I couldn’t take part in the strike but I can hear all of the chanting and cheering from my desk. The rain is pouring so it’s probably for the best. It’s finally Friday after a painfully long week. I’ve been bombarded with mind-dumbing tasks to do which gets the day in but also gives me a headache. It looks like Summer outside and I am dying to get to the beach and absorb 3 final weeks of the sun.
We did the usual Friday night chore of grocery shopping and relaxed for the rest of the evening. After getting ready on Saturday morning, we headed to the train station to get the 40 minute train to Castelldefels. This is a beautiful coastal town near Sitges, with huge sandy beaches and cute cobbled streets. As soon as we got there we headed straight for the beach, which was a 20 minute walk away. The beach literally stretches for miles and the sand is so fine and soft. We plonked ourselves down on a sand bank and ate our packed lunch. Marty (being the gentleman that he is) let out a huge burp, not realising there was a family beside us. It’s safe to say they weren’t as amused as we were. We walked down to the sea to take a few pictures before taking a walk along the promenade. We took a seat on a bench and people-watched for a while, while Marty searched online for footballers houses, as many of them live there.
The houses are so beautiful in Castelldefels, with balconies and private gardens. We decided to walk to the castle, which was harder than anticipated considering it was 19 degrees and all uphill. The castle itself was closed but we walked around it and found a bench overlooking the entire town, with Barcelona in the near distance. A guy walked past us with his Siberian Husky and I almost died when the dog turned and stared right into my soul. I felt like a dog whisperer. We arrived back in Barcelona at around 6pm and chilled for a while before ordering some food. On Sunday afternoon I met with Hanne at a place called Demasié, a café which is famous for its variety of cinnamon buns. Of course, Marty had requested that I bring one home so I ordered a Nutella one for him and a cinnamon one for myself. As with everything that happens in my life, the girl messed it up and put both of them in a takeaway box. This meant that my bun didn’t get heated up and I had to discretely eat it out of the tiny box.
Despite this slight inconvenience, the buns were really good and I would love to go back again. (For a warm one this time.) Marty had placed a bet on a few football teams that were playing over the weekend. He had promised me that if he won, he would treat us to dinner on Sunday night. We remained faithful and he ended up winning 75 Euro! We decided to go to one of the first places we’d been to in Barcelona, Bernie’s Diner. After stuffing our faces we walked into the Gothic Quarter for some dessert. I was completely full but of course Marty had some room. I had saw a place called Ice Wave on Facebook, where they chop up your toppings and roll them up in cream. Marty chose Ferrero Rocher and white chocolate and we watched in amazement as she chopped the ingredients up into tiny pieces. Unfortunately it tasted more like frozen yogurt rather than ice cream or as Marty said: “someone must’ve had lemon before me.” We had a brilliant and eventful week 37, bring on week 38!