Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Family Meetings in Barcelona

Barcelona is the location where we will be meeting with Mom's half of the family. Our cousins, aunt and uncle, and grandmother have come to Barcelona for a conference, but they're also going to meet with us.

We arrive in Barcelona first. Dad somehow navigates to the apartment, drops us off, and heads to the airport to drop the car off (having trouble finding the way to the airport without any map he sees all of Barcelona). We meet Adina, a Romanian who's managing the apartment, and find out with crestfallen faces that instead of our apartment and our family's apartment being in the same building, we're 7 minutes away from each other on foot.

The only reason Dad paid for such an apartment was because he thought we'd be in the same room. Otherwise, we would have had a much cheaper place!

Another small misunderstanding was where the harddrive was. Because we couldn't find it and thus work on the Romanian translation of the camp presentation we made in Africa, I spent two hours trying to combat absolute boredom.

There were no games in this apartment.

Finally, at seven, we met with the entire family. Romanian greetings involve kissing on both cheeks, first the right, then the left. It's very hard to do that in an entrance hall, so you might end up greeting someone halfway into a conversation.

Not pictured: Dad
From left to right: Mom, me, Ileana, Ioan, Tic (uncle), Alex (Ioana's boyfriend), Bunica Ioana (grandma), Cristina (aunt), Ioana (cousin), and Vlad (cousin)

After having a beautiful dinner, we made plans for the next day.

First day, most of us walked around Barcelona just to see the sights. We spied a kitchen utensil shop. So many knives!

In the afternoon, we split up. The Dascalu family headed home, to work at the Romanian translation longer. In the evening, we went to the Sagrada Familia.

My opinion? The outside is ugly. It's not because I don't have glasses on. I just don't like the outside. 

The inside, however, is awe-inspiring. 

It's so awe-inspiring, though, that it feels more like some sort of museum with no exhibits than a church.

We climbed up into a tower…

Climbed back down…

And headed home.

After a lovely sleep, up we were again. The second day's program was Park Guell.

I like the mosaics here, and the curvy walls that are everywhere. The benches are enormously comfortable. Unfortunately, the sun seems to like beating down on them as much as people like sitting on them. It's very hot.

I also like sitting. But that's another story.

And, we visited Gaudí's house. The one good thing about rarely wanting to see anything is that, when you do express a desire to see something, your father buys the tickets regardless of 5€ price tag and ushers you in with a huge smile on his face.

The house was alright. I loved the furniture.

In fact, if these had hidden storage, they'd be in my future house.

And, on the third day, we visited Museum Picasso.

I do not understand Picasso. Dalí I can try to, but Picasso is useful more as a patience exercise than anything else.

What were the highlights of Barcelona?

The Family Meetings.

After declaring that I would like to do medical school in Romania, Mom's half of the family, which is almost entirely comprised of doctors or doctors-to-be, sat down and explained exactly what is expected in the 6 years of medical school.

Amongst these:
- An insane amount of study, both to get in and to pass the examinations throughout medical school.
- An adaptation to the Romanian system 
- Another adaptation to the American system, six years later.

What we already knew about it:
- Less time (America's medical school is 8 years)
- Less money
- Longer vacation.

The one thing I'm sure of is that I have no idea what I'm doing. Oh well! It seems no one does.

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