My point of view #14

MYBooks, sant jordi POINT OF VIEW 14 (by Tatiana Sisquella)

Roses, books, books, roses, people, roses, books, people, books, people, roses, books, books, more roses and more people…

Because today no other words are needed to talk about this Catalan tradition: Sant Jordi's Day. If you want to know why we celebrate it look it up in Google, because I want to talk to you, describe, explain what happens on our streets for a few hours on April 23rd.

Very early in the morning, when it's still so dark we should really call it night, the florists who sell flowers wholesale at the 'Mercat Central' flower market, have everything ready to receive the last rose buyers. We say last, because the professionals have done all their work days before. This day, and there are a lot of people (particularly young people who want to make some quick money) who spend the day selling red roses together with an ear of corn and a ribbon with the 'Senyera' (the flag of Catalonia). To enter the market you need a special permit, but I can tell you from my own experience that at around 7 in the morning they let everyone in… and the sight is really worth seeing!

Once the flowers have been sold, it is a joy to walk around any of the streets, let yourselves be carried away by the smell of roses and stop at a bar to have breakfast while you watch people putting up the stalls of books and roses that hours later will be immersed in the crowds.

Every year, on April 23rd, all the streets, squares, alleyways and roads around the city will be bursting with people looking for a book for him and a rose for her. On this day there is no rose more beautiful than another or book better than another: there is your book and the rose that you give or the rose you receive and the book you give.

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My point of view #13

MY POINT OF VIEW 13 (by Tatiana Sisquella)

peatonsMost psychologists recommend that we have a daily routine that varies only very slightly. They say that this makes us feel calm and secure, and give us a stable reference point. Having fixed meal times, going to the gym on a certain day of the week or organising the fridge in the same way every week can be small gestures that make everyday life simpler. In the same way, the route we take each day to work, to university or to school has the same importance. It is a good idea to establish certain norms for this journey, since it is after all made at least 5 days a week. En route you very often see the same man on the same corner out walking his dog, the woman who has filled up her shopping basket to feed the whole family and is now waiting at the number 14 bus-stop, or the group of school kids taking advantage of the last few minutes before they enter class to chat about everyone and everything. Every day, practically the same images – not identical, but very similar.

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My point of view #12

MY POINT OF VIEW 12 (by Tatiana Sisquella)

I have learned this week from the media that the Maradona of the Rambla is retiring. My first reaction was a feeling of indifference, due to the fact that this gentleman, who wears the colours of the Barcelona Football Club and does juggling acts with footballs, has never done much for me and has never really turned me on in the same way that the sight of the fountains of Montjuïc may have done, or a view of the sun setting over the port, or taking an aperitif up on the mountain-top at Tibidabo. After thinking about it for a few minutes, though, I realized that I was doing an injustice to a personality who, thanks to his consistency, coherence and discretion, has come to form a part of the folklore of our city.


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My point of view #11

MY POINT OF VIEW #11 (By Tatiana Sisquella)

This week it’s your turn to write the article, because I’ve just put myself in your shoes. Yes that’s right, I played the tourist over Easter and spent 4 days in Rome. It’s also true that I filled my face with all that mozzarella cheese produced by female buffaloes, and which now turns out to be contaminated, but that’s another matter..

touristThe thing is that for the first time I was really aware of what it’s like to be a 4-day-tourist in a strange city. To begin with, there’s the stress involved in finding out about the places you have to see once you get there. Because that in itself is a double-edged sword. On the one hand you can’t avoid the Coliseum, the Pantheon and the Piazza di Spagna, but on the other hand, you feel the urgent need to discover the Rome that’s not described in the guides – a hidden café in some alley that only the natives know about, shops that don’t have branches all over the world and restaurants where they don’t care whether you’re Catalan, Japanese or Milanese: they still serve you good food.

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