Viva Barcelona!

Physiotherapy practical training in Barcelona

Monthly Archives: November 2017

Local culture and how it suits me


Now I’ll write about local culture and how it suits me. I use term local culture because I don’t like to use Spanish or Catalan culture now in this political situation. So I call it local culture.

Before I came to Barcelona, I had some understanding about local culture. But of course I have learned new things and realized many new things for me what you just can’t learn without living in Barcelona. I have integrated well to local culture but there is still things that I miss from Finland. One thing what I have had troubles to integrated is lack of discipline of people here. Like at work, when we are almost out of a detergent, nobody from the workers doesn’t do anythinig before we really are out of the detergent. And couple times we couldn’t be able to wash towels in a day because we didn’t have the detergent. Also at the work people don’t bring things they have used to the place where they have taken them, electrodes are not treated with care, cleaning heads of ultrasound or deep warm machine is lacking and if people use last paper towels from a ultrasound cart, they won’t get new roll. Those things drive me nuts sometimes. And I know that the people at work know that they could do better with organizing, cleaning and handling the machines, but the always say that they don’t have time. And it’s partly true. If there are 215 clients per day, it is basically impossible to take care of everything.

I have to admit that working habbits were quite a shock for me first. But I have integrated to them pretty well. Except those organizing, cleaning and handling things. That is why I try to do my best with them and show some example for the other students and as well for the employees. But I have integrated to the used passive treatments, the amount of the clients and the tempo of the work. I normally do 7 – 12 clients per day by myself and I also help the other students or employees if they need help with the treatments of the clients. Even most of the treatments are passive, I have started also do more active exercises with the clients.

I haven’t participated to the universitys international freetime programs at all during my exchange. I haven’t feel that I would like to and the university is quite far away. And I like to have some own time here now, when I don’t have all the resposibilities that I have in Finland. Still I have got new friends from the other students from the work and I have meet people who also play american football. Sport always bring people together all over the world. On my freetime I go to the gym, to the city center, meet my friends and I also have gone to the american football practice now.

Now it’s little bit over two weeks left here. I wait to get back to home but it have been a great joyrney so far!

Cultural collision

I have been in Barcelona one month now. I have noticed some cultural differences between Spanish / Catalans and Finnish, and I think all who have visited here have noticed some of these things too. First of all, local people are really helpful and community is really big thing here. People gather together on day offs / holidays with family / friends and have dinner, beers etc. together at someone houses or at a restaurant. In the evenings of the weekend or restaurants are full of people who are enjoying each other’s company with class of wine or beer and tapas. Also very local habbit is kind of brunch on Sundays when people gather together in a restaurant or before midday and have drinks and tapas until afternoon when they go home for siesta. And about siesta. It is one of the weirdest thing for a Finnish. In a normal week day, most of restaurants and shops are open from 9am then they closes about at 2pm and open again about at 5pm. There might be many reasons for the siesta but I really don’t understand it.

The local people also have different meal times. Breakfast is almost at the same time as in Finland, especially if you are still working, but lunch is so late. The local people here eat lunch about at 2-4pm and it is just too late for me. 😀 Then the local people have dinner also very late, about at 8pm when I’m already eating a night snack.

Also different sports are a community thing here. Especially football is really big sport and it brings people together, kids, youths and adults. I have seen a junior football game and a junior american football game here and it was nice to see how parents and other adults are volunteering to do different things for the kids sport during game days. I think it is really important for the junior sports.

Also the political situation have brought people together. The people who want the independence, they organize demonstrations where lot of people are involved. Even from homes. In one evening people started to drum on their balconies and windows all over the city because of the Spanish covernment issued an arrest warrant for former regional leaders.

In the other hand, I have found some things that are not so good from my opinion. The local people are not so discipline and that irritates a Finnish who is really stirct with the rules if there are rules. The traffic is great example about this. With a motorbike it is normal to weave between cars and drive on a sidewalk a block or two if the street is one way and you need to go to “wrong way”. Speeding is normal here everywhere and it’s also normal to drive against “old yellow”. Another example about this is that during the junior american football game paramedics were smoking next to the juniors bench on a half time… It really annoyed me! But for the local people it was just normal…

I have used a lot of public transport here. And I have noticed some cultural differences in there too. Here you don’t queue to the bus or the metro, you just push through from the crowd. And it’s more normal than an exception to sit down on the bench next to the aisle, not next to the window. Of course you can go sit next to the window if someone is sitting next to the aisle but that person hardly give way for you. And you hardly hear “perdon / perdona” if someone is trying to get past you, people just walk through you. One of the most weirdest thing what I have noticed on public transfer is that lot of localt people bite their nails…

Language have been a little problem for me here. At my work place I can manage and ask easily help from my workmates. People always say here that they are shy to speak English and that their English is so terrible. It’s a pity. Sometimes when I say that I don’t speak Catalan or Spanish, people just say same thing again in Spanish or Catalan louder or slower. And I still don’t understand. BUT! I have started to understand phrases and short sentences in Catalan and Spanish, I just can’t really answer more than sí or no. 😀

Even all of these cultural differences my life have been good and fun here. Working is fun and instructice, I go to the gym again after my knee injury, I have met new friends and spend fun time with them. I have one month left here and I’m looking forward every day!

To the next post!