Sunday Photos — Flamenco at El Palau de la Música

For me it was a bit strange watching flamenco in such a luxurious place.  The name, Palau de la Música, literally means “Palace of Music.”  Flamenco, which is principally Andalusian, was everywhere in Granada.  But it’s gypsy music!  The very first time I saw flamenco, in fact, was when a troupe of 4 gypsies came into a bar in Granada to dance Flamenco for tips.

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Photoblog — Mercat de la Boqueria

Aside from its fantastic architecture, rich history, world fair and 1992 Olympic site, Barcelona has some beautiful open air markets.

The one most frequented by visitors is La Boqueria.

Located right off Las Ramblas (metro stop L3 Liceau/Drassanes/Plaça Cataluña) it’s a must see for anyone spending time in Barcelona.  Even better, it’s not jam packed with tourists!  You’ll see plenty of locals purchasing their fish, vegetables, meat and embutidos there!

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Sounds of English to Non-Speakers

I’ve always wondered what English sounds like to someone who doesn’t speak English.  Language, after all, is just a collection of organized sounds…so what sounds stick out most from English?

Compared to Spanish, American English is a much more nasal and flat language.  Several people in Barcelona have already told me that they understand British English much better because [a] it is less nasal and [b] British English is what is taught in Spanish schools.

I found two youtube videos that interestingly present how American English appears.

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Life’s in the Street

La vida está en la calle. 

In Barcelona, life happens in the street.  Home is a place for quite, for stillness, but everything happens outside.  One of my favorite Spanish things is taking two hours to finish a coffee.  On a nice day, it’s beautiful to sit on a terrace with your coffee, sit in the sun, watch the people or read a newspaper.

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Thinking of studying abroad? The Four Components

I’ve spent a lot of time in recent weeks wondering how exactly I would describe a “study abroad.”  Now that I carry almost 3 months in Barcelona, it doesn’t strike me to walk past Gaudi’s famous Casa Batlló every morning after getting out of the metro.  I’m no barcelone, but neither do I feel like a tourist anymore.  I’m a foreigner, but Barcelona is a house that is becoming a home.  So WTF is this study abroad business!?!?

A study abroad is no vacation.  Before you depart kind and thoughtful wellwishers bid you safe travels and a happy adventure reflecting on previous trips they may have taken.  They tell you “You’ll have the adventure of a lifetime!”  But a study abroad is more a trip than a vacation, and can sometimes be more a challenge than a pleasure.  Rather, a study abroad is what it says: [1] you study [2] abroad.  Study isn’t limited limited to academics.  Instead there are four aspects:

  1. Language-study
  2. Cultural-study
  3. Self-study
  4. Academic-study

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