Hi. I still exist, don’t worry.
This was going to be in the form of a video, but I have been struck down by “princess flu” (ok, a cold…). Safe to say, the camera lens isn’t exactly my friend, unless it involves Snapchat’s handy time limit function.
Anyway, in this hypothetical video that will no longer exist, I was going to talk about how I’d found Barcelona after three months of living there, why I’d been so quiet, and, most importantly, how good I’d looked whilst steadfastly not making any party. HA!
Let’s take these burning questions in their rightful order, shall we?
1. Three months into a nine-month residency – are Barcelona and I still madly infatuated?
Well…no. It’s not a big city, I haven’t yet developed a love of football, and my longstanding love of avoiding any remotely tourist-filled spots means that I’ve done an unbelievably poor job of seeing the sights. Whoops.
More than that, though, being an Erasmus student is a really, really strange experience. You’re not a tourist in the traditional, DSLR around your neck, screaming “HONEY WOULD YA LOOK AT THIS” at the Museum of Erotica sense; although my language skills have picked up, I could never pass for one of the gabbling locals; and even being at the university equals being part of a clique you don’t really remember signing up to.
My solution? Make far too much party.
2. Why’ve you been so quiet?
Wait, that wasn’t what you wanted? My apologies, I know better than to answer a question with a question. I’ve been quiet because I didn’t really want to write about what was going on with me. It’s an open secret that I was seeing someone just as I left for Barcelona, and out of respect (and in the interests of my own dignity), I won’t divulge the whole, ugly story. Safe to say, it doesn’t make either of us look particularly good, depending on how you look at it.
Being in Barcelona has been a huge, huge shock to my system, above that. I don’t know how my friends in Latin America are coping with the changes, but I went more than a little bit crazy and found myself being not very happy at all, especially latterly. Again, in the interests of my dignity…I didn’t really want to share just how utterly exhausting it can be to forge a brand new life. It’s not all that easy to be single and twenty, much less when you’re surrounded by the kind of culture that puts tiny clay figures of men defecating behind their nativities, and does such a terrible job of mangling “Polly”, I’ve given up and adopted Anabel as a Starbucks name.
Other than that, who really wants to hear about me being a typical university student? Really? It involves Grecolatin Thought, reading leaflets about the common cold, and fending off the advances of Spanish men everywhere. They are a law unto themselves, they are…or just lawless. I’ll get back to you on that one.
With all that said… you can see how it’s much easier and less painful to pop up carefully curated images that show me having a fabulous time and soaking up all sorts of culture (and cava). That’s the beauty of a blog, no?
3. Stuff all that, I’m here for the pretty stuff.
Now we’re talking. I envisaged endless trips to Sephora upon my arrival, already laden down with all the goodies from those meccas, the European pharmacies. That wasn’t really the case. I did go to Sephora, but my first purchases actually took place in New York.
Products I have used and loved since I have been in Barcelona:
Caudalie micellar water – I took this with me to Marbella first, but bought another bottle to take with me to New York.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
Avene Hydrance moisturiser – I spent one week on five flights (two long-haul). My face would practically have been filo pastry if I’d just left it to do its own thing.
Urban Decay Naked Basics palette – just that. All the nudes I need, and it’s petite enough to fit in my carry-on toiletries bag.
…and I’m looking forward to taking my new baby back with me – the NARS and Guy Bourdin Crime of Passion palette. NARS has no link, I’m afraid.
For clothes, all that needs to be said is that Zara has my debit card in a very well dressed stranglehold.
As for how I look? I think I mentioned before that I hit goal weight just before I left for Barcelona, in the nick of time basically. Since I’ve been in Barcelona, I’ve drunk too much, made a half-hearted attempt at flirting with the notion of exercise, and then, when things got stressful, discovered stress eating. It’s therefore safe to say that I’m now human size, rather than Polly Pocket-sized, and I’m trying my hardest not to stage a giant-sized meltdown. That bit takes so, so much dealing with, and there are lots of days where, not to sound dopey as anything, but I can’t even. That’s probably to be saved for another whinge, though.
Before anybody thinks that I’m unhappy to be where I am, doing what I’m doing…I’m not. For every time I’ve wanted to throw a tantrum on La Rambla (or just given up and done so…), that my heart’s been tugged at if not outright broken, or I’ve just wanted to pack it in and flee home, I remember that actually, I’ve “lived” more in the last four months than I did in the eighteen that preceded them. I wouldn’t swap that to be anywhere in the world, even London.