Travel Log 5 “Conversations” By Nicholas Daniele, Barcelona Spain

It has become a problem, really. Almost every day I stop at this local café and grab a pastry and a coffee on my way to class. It’s genius – putting a café right where the entrance to the metro is so suckers like me will spend his or her money there out of sheer convenience. Except that’s not entirely the case this time. This café called, Crossanterie, is better than any pastry shop that I’ve been to. No matter what time of day it is the pastries there are as fresh as can possibly be. I can get a delicious croissant for one euro. ONE. Back at home there’s this really expensive bakery called, Blue Moon. People come from all over to get their home made bagels, muffins, croissants, you name it. I would pay eight dollars there for the same thing I can get here for a single euro. So while they did get me to go there all the time due to its location, they little café backs it up with delicious pastries. To give you an idea, this place is about the size of a shed!

So you probably wonder why I am telling you why I go to this café on my way to class. It’s because I have become a regular. We talked about this at the workshop in December. I didn’t think it would happen, but it has. The man who presumably owns the shop knows me and I know him. Oddly enough, he isn’t even Spanish! He is from India living in Barcelona. The situation is pretty funny because I use him to practice my Spanish while he uses me to practice his English. We both found out that are ancestors come from a nearby region in India. How wild is that.

Fast forward to the other day and I am asking some questions about guide nine – pretty casually. One that jumped out was number six: Equality vs hierarchy and rank. This goes back to us sharing the same ethnicity. In India they have a cast system where people are actually ranked and there is in fact a hierarchy. Someone born in this family will automatically be more important and greater valued than of another family. It’s pretty different from the culture back in the states – or really anywhere. When he asked me where I was from in India and what was my mother’s family name, I was a little hesitant. In India you can assume a whole lot just by the way a person’s name spelled and pronounced. Questions like what if I couldn’t come back here or what if he looks down upon me entered my mind. I just said screw it at that point and told him. There was no negative reaction at all. He reacted normally. I like to think that living in Barcelona where equality is to be honored got to him. This concept relays back to value one: Change versus tradition. The U.S. culture states that change is usually good. Spain is similar from what I am getting. The man at the café shop seemed to change his views while living in Barcelona (or at least put them on hold). He looks at me equal – I look at him equal. We are both foreigners living in Barcelona, Spain, and it’s pretty great.

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