It is better to travel well than to arrive

November 25, 2013

Monday, November 18. Today was the big day: my final partial exam. I did my best and expected to pass but my grade to be lower than on the partial exam. I hadn’t read all of the texts for the Philosophy course and I didn’t understand all of the concepts. On top of that, the question was about the philosopher I had understood the least of and it was a question about this text of which a lot was still unclear. By now, I can, however, proudly tell you that I passed both partials! Yay!

Tuesday, November 19. I had a meeting for the presentation for Modernism. I’m not doing this alone. In my group are 7 Spaniards whom I only know by face. The meeting in itself went smoothly, except that most of my teammates were late or didn’t show up at all. Typical Spanish, right? After the last class my friends and I went to grab a slice of pizza. Just a slice. Which is not enough for me! So, I took this chance to go and try these churros amb xocolate I’d heard so much about. The other members of my presentationgroup had recommended some places to me where I could eat some nice churros with chocolate sauce. I went to this little bakery in the Barri Gotic, which I found without problem, surprisingly! Granted, I like churros better without the chocolate. The sauce is the same stuff they use for hot chocolate, the drink. That says it all, doesn’t it?

On Thursday, Shannon and I went to the Catching Fire premiere! I was over the moon when I found the original version – not the dubbed one – in a Barcelonan theater. I have a thing with premieres: I always want to see and know things first. Going to the premiere is something I would normally have done in Belgium. The movie came out in Spain one day later than in Belgium, but that’s okay. Shannon thought this was great, because the movie came out earlier here than in America. After the movie we went straight home. Shannon and Anjelica were going to Rome the next day and had to leave at 3am.

On Friday I was invited to the goodbye party of two of Anna’s roommates. I had been studying for the most part of the day – like I’d been doing the last one and a half months – and really needed to do something else for a while. Going to the cinema doesn’t count.  When ‘everyone’ had arrived – ‘everyone’ were people from all around the world – our group decided to go to BeCool, a club in a side street of the Avenida Diagonal. In truth, I thought we were going to a chupitos bar to do shots – Johanna had also said she wasn’t feeling like going to a club and I would never suggest going to a club myself. It was an… interesting night. I spent two hours in the ladies room because one of my friends had a little too much to drink. Everyone had brought something to the house party. Who declines free drinks?

Meanwhile, they also lighted the 85km of Christmas lighting in Barcelona. It’s a sight to see! You wouldn’t say the city suffers from the economical crisis at all, especially if you know that they easily spent 2 million Euros on it!

Saturday, November 23. I went to see Catching Fire again. I know, I’m obsessed. I go to movies two times in Belgium sometimes, but this time it was a miscommunication that allowed me to go a second time. First I asked the Erasmus girls to come and when they didn’t answer right away, I asked my roomies. I really, really wanted to go the premiere for reasons explained prior to this paragraph. So I went with Shannon first and with the other girls on Saturday, when I found out they did want to go. The movie is good enough that going twice was no burden at all!

On Sunday, I read all day long, so I’d finish my last book for US Lit. The Monday after next, I’d have to hand in my final essay and that weekend I’m off to Lisbon. Better pull the thing together beforehand. I only went out a short while for coffee at Starbucks because we were out of milk in the apartment. And without milk you can’t make a café con leche!

On Thursday morning I’m giving my presentation on Virginia Woolf and in the afternoon I’ll be celebrating my 100th day in Barcelona in Lisbon. Hurray!

“It is better to travel well than to arrive” is a quote from, the one and only, Buddha. It doesn’t refer to traveling literally, but to my stay in Barcelona as a journey, a journey on the road to getting to know me. I will probably never discover all of the angles and corners of myself, but I can try to reach my goal – by experiencing, by having good intentions, by trial and error and reaching parts of my goal in the meantime – and these moments on the journey are probably more important than reaching my goal, my destination, in itself. Virginia Woolf is the one who said “Desires lose their value when one achieves them. A life without desiring things is death.” What I want most right now, besides learning things about myself, is to go to Lisbon, visit Belgium and pass all of my exams. And secondly, the discover more of the world. Desires galore!

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