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Entries in Spain (2)

Thursday
Aug062009

Tarragona by Megan Benrud

I met two young men from the UK at the hostel I was staying at in Barcelona [great hostel by the way—Centric Point Barcelona; they take people of all ages!] and they asked if they could tag along with me to a smaller city right outside of Barcelona, Tarragona. We took the train there and on our way to the train I lost the guys and thought to myself, “what an adventure this could be if this sort of thing keeps happening!” But, we found each other and missed the train for Tarragona. Luckily, there was another an hour later!


On the train it was fairly packed with people, but luckily we got spots for the hour and half ride. The train ran over something and missed a stop but we eventually arrived at our destination. There we used public transportation to get to our hostel which was really a hotel—with air conditioning and a TV…woo! We took it easy that day and went to the beach, knowing that I’d have to start doing more interviews the coming days.


The next day I headed to the port [Tarragona is on the Mediterranean and is actually one of the busiest ports in the region] to see if I could speak with someone about trade, but was unable to. I was told to come back early on Monday as they would be then be there.

 

So, I decided to wander about and purchase the things I needed to [jump drive, flip flops]. Of course, I love shopping and ended up in another store that has goods from Africa—from masks to earrings. I started up a conversation with the owner and I actually ended up coming back and interviewing him. It was quite the interview as much of the time we spoke of politics!


There it was again—the migrant worker coming to Spain. I decided after that interview that would be the new lens through which this project would be brought to light. I always tell myself coincidence can’t be more than three times… it’s something else telling you something.


Thursday
Aug062009

Barcelona by Megan Benrud

Wow, I’m in Spain, alone—holy crap! I wasn’t always alone, you know, I had a friend with who met me in Brussels—where some members of our EU group started things meeting with different parts of the European Union—and he also spent a week with me in Barcelona; getting acquainted with the city. Even though I’d already been sick for about a week, I’ve enjoyed my time thus far. Now, he’s gone and it’s time to really hit the research. However, I find it more and more difficult each minute knowing that there is some form of Gaudi architecture that I have yet to see, or a spot on the beach calling my name. But I can do it. I am ready to go, and my computer breaks… well what are you going to do? I fixed it at a shop where there were two migrant owners [now residents of Spain] from Cuba. It was at this point I began to reconsider my topic on my project.

 

I had a couple of interviews later that week and they lasted for over an hour. However, they were well worth it. I noticed that those interviews were with people whose origins where not of Spain, similar to the Cuban business owners. I worked on other contacts but for some reason not many of the people I’ve attempted to reach like to use/communicate through e-mail.

 

All in all so far, things have been great. I’ve enjoyed the city and have been able to become more acquainted with the sights, culture and people. I could even see myself moving here for sometime—I never thought I’d have such life changing thoughts out of this research project!