Descubriendo Cataluña 2.0 / Discovering Catalonia 2.0

The start of March marks the third month in Esparreguera for me. I have now been in Spain for a total of six months (three here, one and a half working in Alicante and one in a half in hospitals in Alicante), so you’d expect my level of Spanish to be quite good. I should be able to barter in markets and chat with locals in bars, right? Alas, my Spanish isn’t so good. I have just about mastered how to order a beer but rolling the ‘r’ is impossible for me and leads many of my friends to ask “You live in Espallaguela?? Where on earth is that???”. Aside from language difficulties, life here is good. The town’s beautiful and the weather is just perfect… Not too hot and nowhere near as cold as back home (where it snowed last week). I’m loving the rarity of Catalan traditions from Le Passio to the Castellers and Correfoc. Unfortunately, where I’m from the biggest cultural event we have is St Patricks’ Day, which only involves getting drunk very early in the morning and possibly seeing some parades if you can stay awake long enough. Fortunately, the people here are as nice as in Ireland; everyone always says “hello” in the lobby of the apartment block or in the street and I keep bumping into my students whether it’s in Pilu or Caprabo. People are always happy to help with anything and they’re so polite, even as a foreigner I’ve been made to feel welcome in this town. One pleasant surprise was the discovery of ‘Calçots’… Before trying this I did...

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