Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Barcelona, etc.
Hi, I am Bobbie Nicole and I´m from London. I moved to Barcelona 10 years ago after visiting the city with my sister one summer and totally falling in love with the place. I just knew in my bones that this was where I was going to live one day.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
A year ago I had a eureka moment. I realised that the thing I spent most of my life thinking and talking about was being completely overlooked.
Over the years I flitted from one job to another trying out all sorts, believing, I´d eventually find the one. Until it occurred to me, that it had been staring me in the face the whole time.
I simply love food. Even as a child I was always the first at the dinner table and the last to leave, not wanting to miss a tasting opportunity. So the fact that I can document my food experiences and share them makes so much sense. I have a vision for SomeSeeds and that in itself is inspiring and motivating.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
Here are some favourites. I have selected the following restaurant reviews to give you a taste of the great variety of food in Barcelona. The first is a traditional Spanish restaurant followed by Japanese, Japanese fused with Brazilian, a brunch place and finally my experience at one of Barcelona´s leading cook schools.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Barcelona differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
Barcelona is a breath of fresh air. You can walk absolutely everywhere, you simply cannot do that in London. What I also love; You´ll be walking down a street you may have visited a week earlier and suddenly go “oh! I´ve not seen this place before, this is new?!” New places pop up all the time and it´s so refreshing.
The thing I found difficult when we first moved here was the lack of diverse food at the local supermarkets. I remember every time I went to do my shopping I´d think “where´s the fresh coriander, chillies, mangoes, soya sauce, tofu, basil. Where´s the hot pepper sauce!” It´s not like that now though, you can find pretty much anything.
Culture shock, no not really. I suppose the laid back-ness of customer service was a bit hard to adjust to but like anything you get used to it.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Barcelona? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
Definitely not fully prepared, as I had never lived abroad before. If I could turn back the clock I would immerse myself more in the language and listened to my friend´s advice. He said “If you really want get to grips with the language, become Spanish, Think in Spanish” As a result I have developed some bad habits and they are a little hard to shift.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Yes. One day I decided to cook a really nice dish for me and my partner, so off I skipped to the fish market in Gracia, it was my first time. Overwhelmed by the noise, the crowds and the crazy hustle of locals bidding, I became lost in it. I was so completely intimidated by the shouting, not understanding the language I felt like a hamster in a wheel. Every time the fishmonger shouted “quien va (who´s next) I raised a finger, but each time I got outdone, still convincing myself I would grab the next fish. However I was far too timid to defend myself and I didn´t speak up. This went on for about an hour. So, I watched the stock of fish slowly deplete until the very last one got snapped up by an old lady. The crowd by this time had practically dispersed, stall holders had already started packing away and the lights were dimming down. I went home empty handed. When I got back my partner was like “where have you been you look really stressed and where is the fish?” I just looked at him and said “don’t ask” We ate pizza that night.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Barcelona?
- You must not compare the way things are done in your native country to the way things are done in Spain. The pace of life is different. What I´m saying is, do not wind yourself up. I have learnt it is a complete waste of energy and adapting to the culture is much better for your mental health.
- If you are looking to rent long term do your homework! For instance estate agents charge you, the client, one months’ rent equivalent as their fee.
- Here are a couple of useful websites to get you started if you are looking for an apartment or looking for a great bargain. Idealista.com & loquo.com.
How is the expat community in Barcelona? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
There is a large community of expats so it´s very easy to find people.
How would you summarize your expat life in Barcelona in a single, catchy sentence?
Never ever a dull moment living in Barcers!