Jaza's World Trip

Welcome to Barcelona

I made it to the Kabul hostel by about 4pm this afternoon — only to find the hostel staff hopelessly knee-deep in some sort of paperwork (how much paperwork can a hostel have?), and a queue of about 30 people waiting to check-in before me. Bloody Spanish: they really are an inefficient bunch, aren't they? Anyway, at least they're inefficient with a smile. I grabbed a sandwich for lunch, and played a game of pool in the hostel lounge, while I waited to check-in — which I was eventually able to do, about an hour later. My introductory first night in Barcelona wasn't a massive one, but it was good relaxed fun nonetheless.

As a semi-fluent Spanish speaker, there was one thing that I couldn't help but immediately notice, upon arriving here in Barcelona: the presence of the city's local language, Catalàn. You don't hear it spoken so much on the street — although in this amazingly international city, you hear virutally every other language on the planet. However, you do see it quite a bit: on road signs, in shop windows, and on advertisement billboards. Catalàn is one hell of a strange language: superficially (which is the limit of my observations of it), it appears to be somewhere in-between Spanish and French, although I think it's significantly closer to Spanish. The locals here in Barcelona — and in the rest of the Catalunya region — speak it amongst themselves; however, everyone here also speaks fluent Spanish, and virtually everyone also speaks excellent English. As such, it really doesn't matter that next-to-no-one who visits Barcelona speaks a word of Catalàn: you absolutely do not need it.

My first night here in Barcelona was basically spent hanging out at Kabul. I enjoyed the nightly hostel dinner: it's bloody small and it's no-frills as can be; but hey, at least it's free! Other than that, it was just drinking and chatting — mainly with my new-found Finnish friends, and with the Chilean boys at the hostel. The Kabul bar is a great place: if cheap beer and a cosy atmosphere is what you're looking for, then you can easily make it your one-and-only destination for the night.

Filed in: BarcelonaBarsCheap livingWelcomeChilled