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Tips for living in Barcelona

Thursday November 16, 2006

Natasha Young

  1. When in Catalonia, do as the Catalans do. Have two breakfasts. Have lunch at 3pm. Have a siesta. Have a bite to eat at 6pm. Have dinner at 10pm. Go out at midnight. Go to a club at 2am (never before). Go home sometime after 5am. Then get up and do it all over again. It may sound like madness but go with it.
  2. Meat eaters, I've been assured that the leg of ham behind the bar with the mucky tea towel thrown over it is bueeennnnnismo. Veggies: bring a good recipe book and develop a taste for potato omelette.
  3. Don't ask when the Sardanes (Catalonia's traditional dance) is going to get going. That's it.
  4. Catalans like fireworks. Especially ones they can throw. Or wear. Or run with. Health and safety fans stay away.
  5. If you're coming to teach English, be prepared for the fact that you're only likely to get a contract from October to June. You'll have to fend for yourself throughout the summer. Spain's popularity with English teachers keeps wages low and conditions worse. Best months for job hunting are September, October and January.
  6. Revel in your Britishness. When people have a go at your beloved homeland (our driving on the left, insistence on keeping the pound and penchant for buying Mexican sombreros on La Rambla seem to particularly irk them), just smile. It really annoys them.

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