Merei's Portfolio Weblog

divendres, de novembre 12, 2004

Last asigment

Hello students who have choosen Barca for 3 months study abroad!!!

First of all i want to say that you have choosen the write option. Barcelona is the best place for study and have fun aswell. In the beginning its like holiday, you can you to the beach everyday, at least if you don´t go to school, and when its getting cold there are a lot of other cool things to do.
What i will rtecoment is to find a nice quite place to live. Its very bussy in the city, and when you are home, you need rest. I live on the Grand via, its very noisy when the door is ope. Not very relaxed. Another thing i will say is to find a place alone. Not with your friends from your country who are going aswell. You will met more people, and you become a real inhabitant if you live alone i think. I feel sorry about that. I live together with 4 people from my glass, from the same school in Holland. Its very nice and cosy, but its easyer to do things together instead of in your own and get to know new people. You stay very ofter together in your old group. Ths a pity, becouse thats what i will do in a different way when i go somewhere again.
But with our 5 its very nice, we became a real team in our house. I am glad with this girls, thats not the problem.
What i also will recoment is to follow a course for spanisch. I didn´t do it becouse it was very expensive and it would take a lot of time. But sometimes i feel sory, becouse i want that i can say more in Spanish. Becouse of my dutch roommates, i never speak Spanish at home. So next time i will follow a course for speaking more Spanish.
I am also glad that i went to a sportschool for sporting. I see and am betweeen the inhabitans of the city. Its feels i am also a real inhabitant. Thats nice.
What i noticed asweel is that the ritme is very different, but after a week i was used to it. I feel myself home withit. They eat sometimes at eleven, so strange. And than in the afternoon, its so quite on the steet. Ik feel like; i want to go shopping!! oeps its not possible, the Spanish people have to sleep and rest. laisy people. ha ha. no, thats not truth. When i sleep, they are still awake and are joing there lives.
I learned of the Spanisch people to go not so fast through my live. I have to stay still somethimes. To enjoy, to evaluate and to realize waht i am doing, and the most importand thing why i do.

So go for it, take everything out of Barcelona what you can, but don´t forget to study. Its not diffeculd but sometimes it comes all together. (schoolwork).

Merel peels



A few times in a week i go to a sportschool. To DIR in Gracia. Its a very well known sporting facility in Barcelona and i see there a lot of different people.
Its funy, becouse during doing my exersighsings i can observate the catalan people. After 4 weeks i can tell you that the people are realy very closed, what you told us before. Nobody is talking to eachother, they are loking to eachother but in secret, and when they leave the changing room they say goodbey, but whispered.
I think its a good example of the identity of the Catalan people. They are looking very arogant, but they are not. Becouse when you try to speak wiyh them they are very in the back, and take a waiting position, but after a wile, they begin to speak more, and becomes more open.
Very funy to see, and interesting to observate people. I like to do that.

dimecres, d’octubre 27, 2004

Hi Merel!

Hi Merei!

I've been reading your blog entries with interest - I'm glad you were able to visit Valencia. I also agree with you that Barcelona has more to offer, but Valencia is changing a lot. The parks in particular are great, and the nightlife is lively.

I enjoyed reading about your interviews too - it seems as if you chose a broad spectrum of people to talk to, and have some interesting results. Have you thought anymore about what you want to do a presentation on?

Hope the salsa dancing is going well


dimarts, d’octubre 26, 2004



Last weekend we rented a car and we went to Valencia. O my god!! Spanish people are driving so wild. In the night we went back and at 9 in the morning we arrived back in Barcelona again. We took Plaza España 4 times becouse we couln´t find the gasolinera. We are lucky that we are still alive.
Valencia was nice, but we are all glad that we are studying in Barcelona. There are more things to do, more opertunities for going out, shopping, culture and restaurants.
It was very quite wat we liked, but only for one day.
An other thing what we explored, was that the people where very nice and helpfull. Very kind.
A nice atmosphere witch many palmtrees and clean streets. There is a big park in an old dry river. There are many nice trees, foodball courts, banks and playgardens

The culture was a bit different from the Catalan. The people where more slower, and they looked different. Nicer and more styled.

So a relaxing day, accept the way back becouse we drived in the night back only me and Jet.

Merel Peels

dimecres, d’octubre 20, 2004

The interview

The interview,

First of all i want to give a small introduction of ther history of Catalonia.
As early as the sixth century BC, Greek merchants established trading posts along the Catalan coast, then inhabite by proto-Iberian tribes. By the third century BC, the Phoenicians and Carthaginians had settled in Barcelona.
In the eight century, Catalan Christians southt helk from Charlemagne in repulsing the Moorish invaders. The period following the Reconquest and the reign of Wilfred the Hairy is recognized as the origin of the Catalan nation, and Barcelona soon became the dominant political and militairy force in the region.Descendents of Wilfred the Hairy acquired the throne of neigboring Aragon by marriage, and from then on, the fate of catalonia was linked, however tenously, to that of Spain.
In 1640 revolt, during which the Catalans changed their allegiance to Louis XIII of France, was crushed with the end of the 1652 siege of Barcelona by Don Juan of Austria.
When the Catalan´s again attempted to secede from Phillip V´s monarchy during the Spanish war of Succession, Catalonia finally lost its privileges with the humiliating surrender of Barcelona on september 11, 1714, today ¨celebrated¨ as Catalonia´s National day.

I wanted to know this again and exactly before interviewing the people. Then i know where they talk about and what they mean.

The first person: Anna
She works in the fotoshop at the corner of my street. I always go there for my foto´s and after a few times she recognized me. We started to talk and i asked her the questions about the asigment.
She was born in Barcelona and she grows up in Barcelona aswell. Her parend and their parents where also growed up in Barcelona. So she said: ¨I´m a typical Catalan girl¨. She is only 22 and speeks Most of the times Catalan. She can speek Spanish, but not that good. All her friend are Catalan too, and she thinks that her children with their friend comming real Catalans too.
I asked her wat she thinks about an independed Catalonia. She said that in her head its already an different country, but not in reality. It don´t have to for her, if she can have her own Catalan culture, her own food, dances and other cultural festivals and stuff its ok for her.
For me its strange to hear, becous i think its a bit old-fashioned for me. I am for the EU and like the globalisering a lot. When i hear that she is completly sure about Catalonia, it fasinate me. The conclusian is that she realy feels Catalan, and always will do she thinks.

Secons person: A girl in my sportschool, i don´t know her name.
I go a few times a week to a sportschool. There was one girl who was working there and she asked me a lot of things about Holland. So we started to talk about cutures. I asked her the same questions like above. She was also 24 like me.
She was completely different from the other girl. She was very open minded and wanted to go to other countries. Fot her Catalonia was just a province of Spain with yes, his own culture, but she don´t see it like an other country, and she even don´t want that it become indipended. The histery she liked, and she is very proud of the inportend things Catalan´s invented and offering to the economi, but as a independed part its not neccesary for her. She feels Spanish and not Catalan.

Third person: My neighbour; Maria Ruiz.
She lives next to me. I wanted also an older woman or man, becouse of a better inpressian between young and old.
I asked only a few questians, becouse she only speeks Catalan, and it was diffeculd to understand for me. So i hope i understood it in the wright way.
She was born in Madrid and when she was 28 she mooved to BArcelona with her husband. So she is not Catalan and her parents either. Now she lives for a quite long time here and she said she it not Catalan jet, and she never will feel like.
Now she is 65 and she liked it very much to live with the Catalan, but to be one its not possible when you are not grown up in Catalonia.

So the conclusion of my interview is that when you are grown up in catalonia, and only have friend and familie from Catalonia, you feel one of them. But when you was grown up in another part of Spain and you move later to Catalonia, you will never be a real Catalan.
I think many young people who are more pointed abroad and open minded they like the culture, but want to do moere, and discover more. They feel not completely Catalan but respect the culture.

Merel Peels

dimarts, d’octubre 19, 2004



Finaly i booked a salsa course. One of the things i wanted to do in Barcelona was to take salsa lessons. We found, after a long lookingtour, a nice and cosie salsa school/nightclub. With the other girls from Nijmegen i went there and lucky us, there was place for 5 more people. Next monday we start and after 9 lessons we are professional salsadancers.

The name of the club is Antilla and is located on the Arogò number 141. Also nice to go on satherdaynight.



Dear everybody,

This weekend i went for my first museum visit. To the mesuem about the history of the city. Very nice and inpressive the things underground. I saw many walls and i could imagian how it was in that time. I an very interested in the roman time so it was interested to see for me. It was big the underground pasr, bigger than i thought.
The museum was very quite on that satherday we went. Only 2,50 euro.

It was a pity that not all information near the sites where in English, so i could not understand all the things.

I would recoment all of you to go to this museum, its interesting.


dilluns, d’octubre 04, 2004

Festivals everywhere

Festivals everywhere,

Whats very nice is about Barcelona, is that everyday there is something to do. Than a exposition opened, than a small festival is suddenly there, than a strike coms up, than a airplaneshow take place..e.c.
I walked with a friend a small rouns before sleeping to the Fontana Magica. And then suddenly we heard music ans saw lights up of the mountain. We wnet there and a small funny Fetival groep with different kind of activities was situates there for a few days. The funny thing was that they where from Holland like us.
There was a theatre build with drama and cabaret, there was a silence disco, a bar and a painter who paints everybody who passed.
Its looks so cosy and the admosfere was so nice.

Also yesterday. We went to the beach of Olympia and when we came out of the metro there where so many people that we could not pass.
After a few minutes we saw strange things in the air. We went to the beach and then a airplane-show started straight above us.
It was so cool so see that. And around us there where thousands of people waching the show.

When you don´t expect a festival of happening than its so much nicer to see it, you just fall
into it and that makes Barcelona so special, everyday you can fall in something els.

Merel peels

expectations about Barcelona

Expectation of Barcelona,

When I started the my study in Nijmegen 2 years ago, I knew already that i wanted to go for an exchange to another country. We could choose about a few countries in Europe like England, Finland, Germany and more, but from the beginning I was sure that I wanted to go to Barcelona. This becouse of the weather, the culture, the food, the music and the program of the University. Espacialy the lessons we have to follow on the university interested me a lot.

In februari we started the preperation for the Autums courses of all countries and I saw that many people wanted to go to Barcelona, more than was alloud. So I got afraid, becouse I realy wanted to go. Otherwise I would stop with my study.
Lucky me, that a few weeks later many people decited to change plans and not to go. Finaly I was for sure that I could go.

Than we got information about Ignasi, about the lessons and the optionals. I was verry happy to here that Ignasi is a Tourism/managment school, becouse I like this a lot and in Nijmegen we don´t get much information about those things.
Also my own preperation started, but very late in june, becouse before that time I was so buisy and I went to Italie for a trainee for a few weeks.
When I came back I started to think about Barcelona. How it shout be. I thought that the differents between Spain and Catalunya where not that big, but that was a wrong opinion. There are many differences. The language is completly different, the histori, the food, the music ans the way of think.
A few years ago I worked for 5 months in Tenerife. So I expected is was nearly the same. Is is realy not.
I like it, even its not what I expected. I like it that the people are so proud of there culture, I like the funny language and espacialy the food.

From the school I exoected that its very easy, more easy than our school in Nijmegen and a less work. Thas what the students who went last year to Barcelona said to us. I still don´t know if its true but we will see. I hope, becouse than we have more time to know more about the city life and the Catalan way of living. The other thing is that we learn more, and thats good aswell.
The students spoke only about positive thins so that was my impression about the Barcelona exchange. And till now its still like that.
At our school in Nijmegen not everything about administration is going fast and write very fast, but here everything is fine. And a nice introduction with clear information. Thas not what I expected becouse the students of last year had an other opinion about that.

I hope will have a great time, i´m sure it will be like that, and that I know everything about Catalunya and the culture.

Merel Peels

divendres, de setembre 24, 2004

Welcome to Catalonia!

Hello and welcome to the course!