Thursday, February 24, 2011

Exploring the world of attempted photography skills!

My brother is a photographer as well! I wish I had his talent but unfortunately Matthew got the "artsy-fartsy" genes, as my mom would call it! So here is my attempts at taking "artsy" pictures! Now just keep in mind my camera is not some high tech, zoom in, zoom out camera -- it's just a plain and simple $95 digital camera!

The first picture is a candid shot of a couple in Italy. This is one of the first points Pat mentions in lesson one -- about not taking still photos and of photos straight on. This is a natural shot, showing people in their environment.

The following photograph is an example of a vertical shot taken of my friend Allison in Rome. Here we are on the Spanish Steps watching the sunset. I wanted to get a glimpse of her looking out at the sunset and Rome's skyline. Such a beautiful site to that can only be fully appreciated in person but I did my best to capture the moment!

And here are a few examples of some horizontal photos. I used a horizontal snap shot when I thought I needed to get a long span of something in the picture, such as the Barcelona Skyline.

Pat's tip number 3 is to use different angles. The following example is a picture that I took at the Vatican. Although I am already at a different angle since the building is so tall I squatted down to one knee to take this picture so that I could experiment with different angles.

Rule #5: Be aware of the light. This is my favorite rule because I love working with different lighting so here are a few pictures of me playing with the light. Most of the times I love the way the sun hits something and creates a shadow so most of these photos are playing with the sunlight. I also like how the sun hits water so there is an example of that as well!

The following picture is an example of the 1/3 Rule. The girl photographer, who I am photographing, her head is in the upper right hand corner where the lines intersect and I left space in the left hand side so that you could see what she was taking a photograph of. Same goes for the picture of me in the super market in Barcelona.

These are only a few examples of my photography skills! I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Barcelona Advertising

Above is a wedding dress that I walk by everyday to go to school. Although this is showcase advertisement, window displays are the primary form of advertisement for stores in general -- restaurants, clothing stores, supermarkets, tobacco shops, hotels, newspaper stands, hair dressing stands, etc. Signs are not very prevalent like they are in America, however, graffiti takes the place of "signs" and decorate the doors or walls of the stores. But I chose this because I walk by it everyday...two I want to buy this wedding dress...and three it represents how elegant and sophisticated the area I live in is.

Rhetorically Analyzing the display:

-Kairos: The occasion is very apparent -- a wedding dress, so the display is for women who are getting married and are looking for a dress. This store targets women who are engaged that are getting married but it also targets women who are considered upper class. The store only sells designer dresses and in order to get a dress you must make an appointment as well as you must spend a minimum of 2,000 Euros  on a dress.

-Logos: The display appears very elegant. The mannequin is a dark silver to appear expensive. The silver mannequin also is a great background color against the white dress so that your eyes are drawn more towards the dress than the mannequin. The writing on the windows is also silver as not to take away from the display itself. There is also a dim lighting that shines right down on the dress so that the intricate beading sparkles and grabs the attention of window shoppers.

-Pathos: Well, this display has already done its job -- makes you picture you in your wedding dress and makes you dream of your perfect wedding! And, well I fell in love with this dress the first time I laid eyes on it! It pulls at your heart and that inner hopeless romantic comes out!

-Ethos: Because the store is more elegant and classy the relationship between the buyer and seller is more trusting and reliable!

If the advertisements are not window displays or for certain spanish named brands then of course America's advertising decorates buildings, with the exception that it is in Catalan. I stole this advertisement from one of my friends who went on the bus tour with us on the first day we arrived in Barcelona. So I am not sure exactly what the picture reads because I cannot see the writing. But large billboards such as this one that drape along buildings are usually American Advertisements.

Again, lets Rhetorically critique this Hyundai Billboard:

-Kairos: This add's target audience is directed toward someone who is buying a new car. So this means that the person must be old enough to drive some 17 and/or above...have enough money to make a down payment on a car...and due to the scenery of the add someone who might be looking for a car that is durable on various terrains.

-Logos: The car is what is in focus in the picture. The fact that the car is blue allows the audience to clearly see the car in against the background they have chosen. Using mountains as the background portrays that the car is durable and there for is a great car to buy. The letters are big enough to read but not too big as to take away from the car. The writing is also white and bold so that it is legible and clear. 

-Ethos: Using bright colors and beautiful backdrop establish a friendly and welcoming relationship between Hyundai and their audience. 

-Pathos: The advertisement has a friendly and inviting tone. Its appealing, its bright and sunny, and its cheery. They want you to be happy and excited about buying their products! 

The Golden Arches...Delicious anywhere you go!

We all know the famous "golden arches"...Of course because well McDonald's is on every corner and in every country. This fast food chain has been around since the 1940's, is known world wide, and is still as popular as ever! We have grown to love the friendly Ronald McDonald, the burgers and fries, for some the icecream, and for others such as the kids the play ground...and well of course the cheap menu! Well, let me take that back -- McDonald's is cheap in America. McDonald's in Spain...lets just say my first visit (yes, not the only visit I have made considering it is only one block from my apartment) I spent 8.90 Euros. Which actually translates to about $12 dollars or so, give or take a few cents. 12 dollars on A/ONE meal at McDonald's. Also, this McDonald's did not have my favorite sandwich...Double Cheeseburger. It was such an upsetting day to learn that the McDonald's in Barcelona don't have the double cheeseburger. Needless to say, the McDonald's in the US is nothing like the McDonald's here in Spain. Okay, well yes of course they do sell the Big Mac...but you have to have the big Mac! Anyway, I am here to compare and contrast the McDonald's at home to the one here in Barcelona!

Above is a photo of one of the McDonald's in Barcelona, ironically located right across from La Sagrada Familia, a beautiful cathedral that has yet to be completed but started by the wonderful architect, Gaudi. It is safe to say that the McDonald's at home and the one in Barcelona look the same. However, lets focus on how each promotes and advertises their different products. 

Comparing websites:

-Kairos: The McDonald's in Barcelona focuses on targeting adults that are more on the upper part of the middle class side of the ladder. Where as the McDonald's at home targets children and young adults that are more on the lower part of the middle class ladder. The McDonald's at home overtly intend for a young audience by providing play grounds for the kids, giving out toys in their happy meals, and by using the character Ronald McDonald to promote their food. However, in Barcelona, although they do give out toys in the kids happy meals, they do not have play grounds nor do they have Ronald McDonald. The McDonald's here are also located in nicer areas of the city. For example the photo above is right near the La Sagrada Familia and the McDonald's near my apartment is one block from one of the nicest hotels in the city. Why? Because their audience is different than in America. The McDonalds in America...well are located everywhere...really. But generally they are located in more suburban middle class communities. Even the menu shows a difference in targeted audience. In Barcelona the Mcdonald's sells cheesecake, donuts, brownies, and other delicious homemade pastries. In America, they don't sell these types of deserts. 

-Logos: The US's website is simple, clear, and efficient. On the left margin is a list of everything one would like to know about the restaurant nearest them -- Menu, Nutrition, Promotions, History, Contacts, Search Bar, Home McDonald's website, etc. There are a lot of pictures, which is appealing for their audience because what they are trying to sell is their food. They also are trying to tell us that we have great food, for cheap, and our service is excellent (fast and efficient). The website for the McDonald's in Barcelona is difficult to find the information one would like to look up about the restaurant. Their main menu bar is centered in the middle of the page and also includes search bars on the top and bottom of the page to look up information. They don't have many pictures at all and if their is a picture it is not appealing to the audience. 

-Pathos: American's seem to create a happier environment than the McDonald's here. The McDonald's here is fancier and uses a lot of yellow in their buildings and tables outside -- they don't use lots of color. In the states the McDonald's uses more color, advertisements, pictures, etc. The McDonald's in Barcelona is not as desired by the people as much as it is in America. 

-Ethos: American's seem to show more effort to create a friendly and inviting environment by using pictures, colors, toys, play grounds, and other advertisements to get adults to come as well. McDonald's here in Barcelona don't appear to have any commercial advertisements. I searched their website and the only video clip that came close to a commercial or advertisement was one that showed how they make a Big Mac, which I don't find very appealing. I know McDonald's doesn't have the healthiest food so I sure don't want to know how these burgers are made. And from watching TV here in Spain, I have yet to see a commercial. 

So, overtly, Mcdonald's are everywhere you go...but are not all the same! 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Everywhere we go...Google wants to know! Who we are...So we tell them!

Okay so I will admit according to Nicolas Carr's article and his belief in this new revolution of literacy's, I caught myself skimming his article. My first reaction when I clicked on the article was to look at the scroll down toolbar on the right side of the screen...and the little "scrolly thing-a-ma-bob" (sorry I don't know the technical computer language for it) was tiny, thus I took a huge sigh laid down on my stomach and prepared myself to read what I would like to consider a REALLY long article. Yes, I am an English major and rightfully so one would think I like to read. Well you guessed wrong! I hate it! But I love to write! So, as technology has shifted so has our minds. When we want to look up something fast...who do we turn to? Google. When you want to know who won the 2007 MLB World Series...who do we turn to? Google. When you need to look up information for a school project...we no longer walk to the library and use call numbers and break our backs trying to find a book that ends up not being there all along...Nope. The library has come to us! Virtually. And then If you can't find an article in your schools virtual library...who do you turn to? Google! So remind me again...what did we do before we had google?

However, lets look at Kevin Kelly's comments about Gutenburg's is more where I find my stand point on this revolution. Gutenburg's Shift states:

"...from book fluency to screen fluency, from literacy to visuality."

A majority of us no longer like to sit down and just read a book. Some will probably argue with that...but hey...when I say majority I most importantly mean me! But if you do like to still don't sit down and read a book. You sit down and you read off a Kindle. Am I right? Like the lecture states "changing times demands changing literacy's". People communicate in so many different ways with the advancement of technology.  Books are no longer the door to knowledge. We also learn from videos, podcasts, online articles, etc. Possibilities are endless with the internet!

I will tell you my experience when I realized Google was taking over my brain, which might I add was just this past weekend. So I am here, in Barcelona, Spain because I am a Spanish minor. I feel like the best way to learn the language is to be immersed in the culture! Fact. I was not learning the language in the classrooms because teachers never demanded us to speak it. And If they did they would give up if we just completely butchered what we were attempting to say. Fair enough right. Well I told myself I was not going to come back to the states not knowing the language. So, with all the confidence in the world and very high hopes I set out on this mission. First things a Spanish dictionary in Spanish. Good Sarah! Good! Second...I bought a journal to write all the vocabulary words down that I did not know so that I may look them up later! AWESOME! I was well on my way to learning the language right? Ha Wrong. When I got home that day to do homework for you know what I used to look up the words that I did not know in the literature I was reading? Thats right  So, after all of journal is blank and my spanish dictionary is still in the bag! Convenience is the way of the world these days. I mean we have even gone as far as to having it on our phones. Luxuries, of course! Kevin Kelly mentions that "changing times demands changing literacy's". I agree. But I think he should also throw in the mix -- where you are in the world changes literacy's too! Spain is far behind the states with technology. There are newspaper stands at every corner and tons and tons of bookstores. No one is here to judge though. I kind of like it that way. I needed someone to open my eyes to what all America has to offer!

Well thats it for now! Thanks guys! We went to La Sagrada Familia today so there will be a post soon about it! Alright! Chau!

Friday, February 4, 2011

My "other" is "southern"

There is something about a southern girl...

Hey yalls! 

Sweet Southern Draws

Cold Ice Tea

Long Hot Summers

Short Mild Winters

Snow? No. 

Take your time

Sweet southern hospitality 

No ma'ams! Yes sirs!

Homestyle cooking 

BBQ and Fried Chicken 

Mashed Potatoes and Mac and Cheese

Biscuits and Gravy

Grits...My Favorite!

Football Season 



Long relaxing days on the lake

Mini Skirts

Cut off Jeans

Cow Girl boots with Everything

This south is where I am from and where I will always be no matter how far away from home my life may take me! I am studying abroad through the API program and I proudly stand strong to my southern roots as my fellow group members all come from the north! I like where I am from. My accent is just a mere representation of my upbringing but is one that I take great pride in. My sweet southern twang, although not strong, is very apparent to those who represent big city living and fast pace life styles in cities such as New York and Boston! On this trip the first sign that It was going to be awhile until I was back on my stomping grounds was the flight into Newark, NJ. Flying into the airport there was still inches and inches of snow stuck to the ground. Now, as my fellow followers who know South Carolina and most of the south, snow still on the ground at the end of January must mean the world is probably going to come to an end soon! After leaving Newark the next stop was Barcelona, Spain where I met my group members! Upon first meeting my group members, we of course like any standard greetings go, exchanged names and where are you froms? When It came time for my introduction of course my "hello" was a good "Hi"...with of course the emphasis on the "I".  My name is Sarah. Of course, not how CJ (group member from Boston...with a thick Boston Accent) would have said my name. He would had pronounced it with a hard R. And then comes the Grand finale...I told them I was from Sowwth Care-liiiina! Sound it out! Hey at least I was able to get a good giggle in right? After our greetings we had a night to explore the city. Being in a huge city for one, was completely new and overwhelming to me. I wish you were there to see my amazement. I'm pretty sure it was apparent that I was in AWE by the tall buildings, the fast pace life style, the flashy signs, the many lights illuminating the streets, and just by all the people that I was surrounded by. Little southern girl...Big City! So as we walked down the streets and even took the metro (yeah um what's that?) I noticed the biggest difference about the people than what I am used to -- I don't know if rude is the appropriate word, maybe inconsiderate? No, most likely this is their way of life. But these people will not move out the way for anyone. They have a one track mind set and thats all they are concerned with. However, like I said I don't know if rude is the right way to describe these people but to me we consider it very selfish and inconsiderate for someone to just run into you or not move out the way for some one else. I'm not lying when I say I got bulldozed by a man who was probably 6'2 and 200lbs. It hurt. Where I am from men open doors and we use phrases such as "excuse me" or "thank you"! I mean for them it would be "pardone" y "Gracias"! Its just their nature not to. Different strokes for different folks. And then of course if we want to look at the bigger picture...I'm an American! And boy do I SCREAM AMERICAN! Hey world! Here I am...Blonde hair! Blue eyes! Tan skin! American! Girls here have olive complexions, dark hair, and dark eyes. It is so interesting being immersed in such a rich culture though! Like I said before I am southern and I am so proud to let everyone know! My "other" is "Southern" yall! 

Below is a song written by Buddy Jewell and is one song that I love and that takes me back to my roots! 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

News Flash: Beware the terror (ists)

The following message is an Email we received from our program director about news happening over here in Europe. Scary.

Consulate of the United States of America
Barcelona, Spain

U.S. Consulate Warden Message

The following Message is for maximum dissemination to U.S. Citizens.
Worldwide Caution

January 31, 2011
The Department of State has issued this Worldwide Caution to update
information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence
against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world.  U.S. citizens are
reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps
to increase their security awareness. This replaces the Worldwide Caution
dated August 12, 2010, to provide updated information on security threats
and terrorist activities worldwide.
The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of
terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against U.S.
citizens and interests overseas.  U.S. citizens are reminded that
demonstrations and rioting can occur with little or no warning.  Current
information suggests that Al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to
plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including
Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.  These attacks may employ a wide
variety of tactics including suicide operations, assassinations,
kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings.
Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and
target both official and private interests.  Examples of such targets
include high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices,
hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, and
locales where U.S. citizens gather in large numbers, including during
U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public
transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure.  Extremists have
targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and
maritime services.  In the past several years, these types of attacks have
occurred in cities such as Moscow, London, Madrid, and Glasgow.
Current information suggests that Al-Qaida and affiliated organizations
continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. and Western interests in
Europe.  European governments have taken action to guard against terrorist
attack and some have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions.
In the past several years, attacks have been planned or occurred in various
European cities.

Credible information indicates terrorist groups also seek to continue
attacks against U.S. interests in the Middle East and North Africa.  For
example, Iraq remains dangerous and unpredictable.  Attacks against military
and civilian targets throughout Iraq continue.  Methods of attack have
included roadside improvised explosive devices, mortars, and shootings;
kidnappings still occur as well.  Security threat levels remain high in
Yemen due to terrorist activities there.  The U.S. Embassy has had to close
several times in response to ongoing threats by Al-Qaida in the Arabian
Peninsula (AQAP).  U.S. citizens as well as other Westerners have been
targeted for attack in Yemen.  U.S. citizens have also been the targets of
numerous terrorist attacks in Lebanon in the past (though none recently) and
the threat of anti-Western terrorist activity continues to exist there.  In
Algeria, terrorist attacks occur regularly, particularly in the Kabylie
region of the country.  In the past, terrorists have targeted oil processing
facilities in both Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

A number of Al-Qaida operatives and other extremists are believed to be
operating in and around Africa.  Since the July 11, 2010, terrorist bombings
in Kampala, Uganda, for which the Somalia-based, U.S.-designated Foreign
Terrorist Organization al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility, there have
been increased threats against public areas across East Africa.  The
terrorist attacks of August and September 2010 against the Transitional
Federal Government (TFG) and African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces in
Somalia, as well as the bombing of hotels and minibuses in Somalia,
highlight the vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks in East Africa and around
the world.  Additionally, the terrorist group, Al-Qaida in the Islamic
Maghreb (AQIM), has declared its intention to attack Western targets
throughout the Sahel (which includes Mali, Mauritania, and Niger), and has
claimed responsibility for kidnappings, attempted kidnappings, and the
murder of several Westerners.

U.S. citizens considering travel by sea near the Horn of Africa or in the
southern Red Sea should exercise extreme caution, as there has been a
notable increase in armed attacks, robberies, and kidnappings for ransom by
pirates.  Merchant vessels continue to be hijacked in Somali territorial
waters, while others have been hijacked as far as 1,000 nautical miles off
the coast of Somalia, Yemen, and Kenya in international waters.
The U.S. government maritime authorities advise mariners to avoid the port
of Mogadishu and to remain at least 200 nautical miles off the coast of
Somalia.  In addition, when transiting around the Horn of Africa or in the
Red Sea, it is strongly recommended that vessels travel in convoys and
maintain good communications at all times.  U.S. citizens traveling on
commercial passenger vessels should consult with the shipping or cruise-ship
company regarding precautions that will be taken to avoid hijacking
incidents.  Commercial vessels should review the Department of
Transportation Maritime Administration's
>  suggested piracy countermeasures for vessels
transiting the Gulf of Aden.
The U.S. government continues to receive information that terrorist groups
in South and Central Asia may also be planning attacks in the region,
possibly against U.S. government facilities, U.S. citizens, or U.S.
interests.  The presence of Al-Qaida and its affiliates, Taliban elements,
Lashkar-e-Taiba, indigenous sectarian groups, and other terror
organizations, many of which are on the U.S. government's list of Foreign
Terror Organizations (FTOs), poses a potential danger to U.S. citizens in
the region.  Terrorists and their sympathizers have demonstrated their
willingness and ability to attack targets where Americans or Westerners are
known to congregate or visit.  Their actions may include, but are not
limited to, vehicle-born explosive attacks, improvised explosive device
attacks, assassinations, carjackings, rocket attacks, assaults, or

Examples of potential attacks in South Asian states include Pakistan, where
a number of extremist groups continue to target U.S. and other Western
citizens and interests, and Pakistani government officials and military/law
enforcement personnel.  Suicide bombing attacks continue to occur throughout
the country on a regular basis, often targeting government authorities such
as police checkpoints and military installations, as well as public areas
such as mosques, and shopping areas.  In Afghanistan, remnants of the former
Taliban regime and the Al-Qaida terrorist network, as well as other groups
hostile to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)/NATO military
operations, remain active.  There is an ongoing threat to kidnap and
assassinate U.S. citizens and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) workers
throughout the country.  In India, there is a continuing threat of terrorism
as attacks have randomly targeted public places frequented by Westerners,
including luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations, markets, cinemas,
mosques, and restaurants in large urban areas.
Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan,
Al-Qaida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic
Movement are active in the Central Asian region.  Members of these groups
have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and have attacked U.S. government
interests in the past.  Previous terrorist attacks conducted in Central Asia
have involved improvised explosive devices, suicide bombings,
assassinations, and kidnappings.
Before You Go
The Department of State encourages U.S. citizens living overseas or planning
to travel abroad are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment
Program (STEP) <> .  By
enrolling in STEP, we can keep you up to date with important safety and
security announcements.  Enrolling in STEP will also make it easier for the
Embassy to contact you in the event of an emergency.  You should remember to
keep all of your information in STEP up to date; it is particularly
important when you enroll or update your information to include a current
phone number and e-mail address.

U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance,
be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their
personal security.  For additional information, please refer to "A Safe Trip
Abroad" <> .
U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert.
These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public
services to assess their security posture.  In those instances, U.S.
embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency
services to U.S. citizens.  U.S. citizens abroad are urged to monitor the
local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
As the Department of State continues to develop information on potential
security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat
information through its Consular Information Program documents
<> , such as Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as
well as Country Specific Information, which are available on the Bureau of
Consular Affairs website <> . Stay up to date by
bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website <>
.  Follow us on Twitter <>  and the Bureau of
Consular Affairs page on facebook <>  as

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in America anymore...continued

I thought of a couple more things

America: time goes like this 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1...and so on
Spain: they tell time like this 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 And how you figure the time out here in comparison to at home. Whatever the hour is here you subtract two and drop the 1. So for example say its the 17th hour. Subtract two making it 15. And then drop the that translates to 5 we would say it. Also the time here in Spain is six hours ahead of the US

America: dollars of course
Spain: Euros. The exchange rate is 1 Euro = $1.70. rude. But things seem to be cheaper here. Food is definitely cheaper and haircuts. However today I signed up for a gym...EXPENSIVE it was 170 euros for three months. That translates into about 250 American dollars. Say what? However, they do not work out like people in America because I mean you walk EVERYWHERE and the food is so much better for you!

America: hit or miss. on and off. you know the deal.
Spain: Cold. Hardly rains. It is very rare for it to rain. However, we hit the jackpot with the rain...rained for 3 days straight. boo. But the seasons are very similar to that of America because we are in the same hemisphere. But it is absolutely zero fun for living accommodations when its winter here. They do not have heating systems in houses and apartments. I live in an Ice box.

America: depends on where you go. But department stores are very popular.
Spain: no grocery stores. no department stores. very expensive shops like Gucci and Channel and Coach. And we live in the rich area of the city so we live near all these stores. You have to wear gloves when you go in these stores as not to put finger prints on the clothes? hmmm. That just shows you how nice these places are!

America: Cars. Cars. Cars. Cars. unless you live in the city and they have subways.
Spain: Mopeds. Mopeds. Mopeds. Mopeds. Cars. Taxis. The metro. bikes. walking. and more mopeds.

America:Normally Breakfast is around 7 am...lunch is around noon and then dinner is around six. We don't usually have a main meal...all are meals are important to us! And then we go to work from 9 to 5. If you go out on the town you usually go out around 10. Fair enough?
Spain: Breakfast is pretty standard you wake up and you have just a coffee around 7 am. They go into work around 10 or 11. Then they have what you call siestas which are naps and time for them to eat lunch. So siestas are around 2 or 3 and all the shops close down for this. And then they open back up around 5 or so and close around 10 or 11. They eat really late dinners. Like 11 or so! And they don't start going out until 1 or 2 in the morning. They are what you call insane!

I'll keep adding to the list as I keep thinking about things. Let me know if yall have any questions! Enjoy!

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in America anymore...

America vs. Spain? SPAIN!

America: Independent. Self-centered. Competitive. Materialistic. Ignorant. Naive. (In general)
Spain: The people of Spain take great pride in their country and their family. They worry themselves about others before they do themselves and they work together as a whole. They don't just look out for themselves. Their values are completely different from Americans. As far as materialistic...everything here is so much smaller and when I mean everything I mean portions, housing, and even spoons are smaller. They value the more important aspects of life than say jobs and money and just things in general. Also this city is Considered a romance city, and its very obvious to why they consider this a romance city. People greet you by kissing you on both cheeks. When they talk to you they really talk to you. They look you in the eyes and they show affection to you. Also it is very normal to see a couple on the metro just kissing kissing and kissing. It was hard not to stare at first because that is considered inappropriate in America. But shoot you like a person I guess letting everyone else know is not a bad things.

America: Modern. colorful. high tech. clean.
Spain: It seems as if every building and all the houses are made of stone. It is absolutely amazing the architecture here. I am literally going to school in a Castle. Okay, thats dramatic but I mean there are columns and doors that are 30 feet tall (if not more) and gorgeous glass windows and courtyards with waterfalls and orange trees! I have not taken a picture yet but there will be pictures to come! And Gaudi just paints the city with his incredible artwork. Its so moving! And they do not use colors at all. Its very neutral dark colors. The city is very clean considering how large it is. There are always people on the streets sweeping up trash! But the buildings are old and worn so it makes the city appear a bit dirty. Who cares though...its still gorgeous!

America: colorful. modern. sophisticated. sometimes scandalous. flashy.
Spain: Well all the boys wear tight skinny jeans with either large chunky boots or Ked like tennis shoes. They wear a lot of sweaters and absolutely no shorts. It is very common to see boys with scarfs where as in America most men consider scarfs to be kind of feminine. Their hair is usually long and shaggy or they have dreads. Dreads for both girls and boys is very popular here. A symmetrical hair is also a big thing. Girls usually have one side really long and then the other side is buzzed. Different. There are absolutely no blondes. Girls wear little to no makeup. They wear a lot of baggy clothes. Like big shirts with leggings or stockings and knee high boots or moccasin like shoes. And of course they DO NOT wear any color. I of course stick out like a sore thumb. They know I'm American so why not SCREAM IT!

America: So much variety country. pop. hip hop. rock. rap. classical. techno.
Spain: Same. Just minus a year from America's most popular songs. Lady gaga...oh gah she is a huge hit here. I want to rip my ears off!! And yes they do listen to country. I have not heard much rap here but I am sure it is somewhere!

America: Americans live off of technology. Without it they would die.
Spain: Technology what? What is that? Kidding but they are not nearly as advanced as we are. NEARLY! But their lives are definitely not centered around computers and gadgets. Lazy Americans!
And I have yet to see anyone on the phone. And I say anyone...I literally mean anyone. When you walk down the streets in America everyone and anyone is on their phone...either taking a call...or texting...or checking emails...or on twitter...or facebook. No when you walk down the streets people are aware of their surroundings and they are talking and really listening to the person they are walking with. It is so unreal...and such a breath of fresh air! Also they do NOT use driers. We hang our clothes on the balcony to dry! I love it! I think it is so awesome how non materialistic these people are! ITS SOOO GREAT!

America: Large portions. Fried. Lots of butter. Fattening. Tons of choices. processed.
Spain: FRESH FRESH FRESH FRESH FRESH!! There are no grocery stores here! Just fresh markets! They eat a lot of seafood and hardly any red meat. There are tons of fruits and vegetables! Also there are a lot of bakeries around here that look absolutely amazing! There are not a lot of choices like you get in America...for example with Milk...there is whole milk and "semi"/half milk. Thats it. For salad dressing...oh well lets just say they have one...Oil and vinegar. Thats it. You never pour your own drinks here. And you cannot buy anything in bulk!

Language (lets not state the obvious)
America: English mainly.
Spain specifically Barcelona: Catalan.

This is my beautiful home (o:

Alright well that is all I can think of for now...I'll keep ya'll updated on this big culture shock thing of mine that I have going on! Chau!

"Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet." — Bob Marley

Sorry for my absence! With everything going on I've found myself neglecting the "real world". Officially, I can say I am living my life to the fullest here in Barcelona. Everyone dreams of doing something as life changing as this experience and well I am the lucky little girl that is living that dream! Its been eight days since we have been here and I have never been more emotional (good emotions that is) than I have been! I am all kinds of emotions -- happy, excited, curious, anxious, nervous, etc. Everyday here is a new adventure or full of new experiences to encounter. We haven't really gotten to go see any places because the weather has been kind of bad. Lots of rain. Rumor has it that it never rains in Barcelona...lucky us days 3, 4, and 5 pour down rain. How rude. But leave it up to us girls to make the best of the rain! Lets see where do I begin...usually we've just been wondering the streets looking for new restaurants to eat at or bars to go to at night! We have eaten at several restaurants. The first restaurant we ate at was called "Tapa Apat" If you did not notice the second word is just Tapas spelled backward! I got some amazing fresh crawfish with a side of vegetables that make my mouth water just writing about it! Om nom nom nom! Oh and of course we tried the notorious sangria! At this restaurant it was was extremely sweet though! That same night we went to a bar called Oveja Negra, which translates into black sheep! Apparently, a lot of locals love this bar. We met some Italians that were "bloody" awesome! The next night we ate at Un Fresco...which is a wonderful salad buffet! These type places are extremely popular here...and of course I loved it! Salad...can never go wrong with salad. But all the food is SO fresh here. Its almost as if they had picked the vegetables that very morning! And that night we decided to try out the club scene! So crazy...but there is a downfall about this whole trip...being American! They know that we are American and they take advantage of it because we don't know prices and sales and what have you. Rude. We ran into this problem at the club trying to get in! And then the past couple of nights we have been going to an Irish Bar called George Pain and Queen Vic! We are official groupies of Queen Vic! I absolutely love the people that work there and the atmosphere is GREAT! The people are in love with us as well! We've met several other Clemson students at "The Vic". Apparently Clemson has made their mark there because they have a Clemson bumper sticker on the mirror and a Clemson basketball ticket on display! How awesome is that! Well tomorrow school starts and I am extremely nervous! EVERYTHING is going to be in Spanish! Ahhhhh! If my Spanish does not get better here then I am just going to give up trying to learn the language. It would be next to impossible to not learn the language! But I need to try and get some sleep so I will be well rested for my first day of school!! Below is a picture of the breakfast I had this morning with a new friend of mine that I have met here! He took me to have an Irish breakfast...and it was absolutely delicious. The picture will speak for itself!