Sunday, December 4, 2016

Spanish third division match

l'estadi Narcis Sala
Today I went to see 17th round match of Spanish third division. The match was Sant Andreu against Vilassar de Mar. The entrance was for free but still the crowd was small. The capacity of the stadium Narcis Sala is 18 000 but there was only around 2 000 spectators. The match itself was not very entertaining as there was only one goal and very few chances to score. Both of the teams were focused on playing with short passes on the ground. Even though the third division football players are not professional the level was good and not far away from the level of Finnish league. Some third division players are getting offers outside of Spain to live by playing football. For example some players get recruited to united states of america or Australia and get paid 1 500 - 2 000 EUR/month.

My previous football match report is from Georgia.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

Neighbor who sells drugs

In one expat group of Barcelona one woman asked help what to do with the issue of neighbor selling drugs. In this case the neighbour is selling heavier drugs like cocaine. Drug selling neighbor naturally means shady visitors in your building which can cause trouble. The woman was thinking to report the neighbor to the police but the experienced expats in the group advised her not to report to the police as it can make her a target of criminals. It was clearly advised to just try to ignore the issue because you do not want end up in black list of criminals. According to a Spanish news article assasination in Spain costs from 500 to 5000 euros. It seems that getting someone killed in Spain is pretty cheap. Some expats were also saying that such drug dealers have likely connections to the police officers who are corrupted.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Parks of Barcelona

There are many parks in Barcelona and the three most famous ones are Parc de la ciutadella, Montjuic and Parc Güel. These parks are beautiful and crowded with tourists. Beside the most popular parks there are also other beautiful parks which are more calm compared to the three parks mentioned before. Below I am going to introduce five parks which you can consider visiting when in Barcelona.

Parc Guinardo
There are basically four parks on top of a mountain in Barcelona from each of them you can see a city landscape. The parks on the top of a mountain are Montjuic with a castle, Tibidabo with a attraction park, Parc Güel with art of Gaudi and Parc Guinardo. Parc Guinardo is in the middle of the city and you see a city landscape from every direction. Guinardo was also used for defensive purposes in the past.

Parc del laberint d'Horta
Parc del laberint d'Horta has a labyrinth like you could guess from the name. There are also other nicely taken care areas in the park and the labyrinth is not the only nice thing what you can see in this park. Good place for taking a relaxing walk.

Parc de les aigües
Parc de les aigües is outside of Barcelona in Cornella. The park is on an old water pumping place where the drinking water is being pumped. You can also visit a museum to learn more about the water pumping. The park is small so not good for having a walk.

Parc natural de la Serra de Collserola
Behind the Tibidabo mountain is Parc natural de la Serra de Collserola. The most of the tourists stay in the attraction park and see the impressive church but behind the church is a big natural park with good and long paths for walking. You can find good views of nature and the old ruins of Casino de la Arrabassada.

Parc del Clot
Near Torre Agbar (the building what looks like a dildo) you can find Parc del Clot. The park is surrounded with old ruins which give nice atmosphere to the park. In the middle of the park you can find area to play football and basketball.

I have also visited many other parks and in the future I will write also about the other parks.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Payment in 14 installments

In Finland yearly salary is generally paid in 12 installments. In Spain it is common that yearly salary is paid in 14 installments.It means that monthly payments are smaller as yearly salary is divided to smaller portions. Though the interval of the 14 payments is not even. You get paid monthly but the 13th and 14th installment are paid usually on July and December. Basically you get double salary on these months. The employer basically saves money for the employees for summer holiday and Christmas shopping.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Vermouth

Vermouth (Vermut in Spanish) is a traditional alcoholic drink in Catalunya. It is typically enjoyed as an aperitif or with midday snack. It is typical to bring your own two liter bottle for a refill which costs about 6 euros. The drink is served with ice and olive. The taste of vermouth is sour. The base is wine and many different aromatic herbs are added to create the flavor. Naturally manufacturers have their own recipes. Probably the most well known internationally is Martini Rosso which is considered as vermouth if you want to try.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer heat in Barcelona

View of Barcelona from Guinardo
The summer weather is hot in Spain and I have experienced it in Madrid and Barcelona. The sea makes the air humid and therefore it feels even hotter in Barcelona. The sea gives a chance for refreshing during the summer but on the other hand it makes the climate more uncomfortable. In my opinion the biggest problem with the hot summer weather is the heat during the night which makes sleeping difficult. In Madrid I was able to sleep without a fan but in Barcelona I have had a fan running the whole night and it still has felt too hot. This issue can be naturally solved with air conditioner but I have not had such luxury.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Broken pipe

One day I received a call that my apartment is flooding. I was asked to come home as soon as possible. Once I arrived I found out that a pipe under my kitchen sink had broken and water leaking on the floor for some hours. The leak was discovered because water was dropping to the street from my balcony. I was naturally concerned about the damage caused by the water and also about possible mold issue in the future. I was thinking that some company specialized on drying flats would be needed. To my surprise all Spanish were saying that the mold will not be an issue and just opening the windows and doors will dry the wetness. Apartments in Spain do not have isolation materials which might get wet like in Finland. In Finland it might be necessary to tear down some walls after such leak but apparently it is not needed in Spain.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Comparing prices of grocery baskets in Finland and Spain

Oats, bananas and minced beef from Spain
I saw a table of grocery price comparison between Finnish supermarkets. From there I got an idea to compare Finnish prices to Spanish prices on the selected products. In the below table you can see that the selected food basket is 2,25 EUR cheaper in Finland than in Spain. The result is surprising to me as I expected the prices to be lower in Spain than in Finland. Though comparison is not 100 % accurate because of the differences in product specifications and package sizes. For example In Spain fresh milk was not available.I guess that the selected coffee is also different in each country.

There is a big difference between the oat and Edam cheese price. Oat is considered as a special health product in Spain and not as an every day ordinary product like in Finland. Edam cheese is not similarly consumed in Spain as in Finland and therefore it is more expensive in Spain. On the other hand tomatoes and coffee are cheaper in Spain. As basket includes products typically consumed by Finnish people it is understandable that it is cheaper in Finland. My guess is that if the basket would include products typically consumed by the Spanish people the basket would be cheaper in Spain.


Finland Spain
Oats/kg 0,75 1,78
Flovoured yogurt/1 liter 0,85 1,19
Minced beef/kg 6,83 6,2
Coffee/500 grams 3,25 2,5
Bananas/kg 1,25 1,29
Fat free milk/1 liter 0,65 0,6
Margarin 60 %/kg 1,18 1,7
Edam cheese/kg 3,66 6,35
Tomatoes/kg 1,79 0,85
Total 20,21 22,46

  • Prices of Finland are taken from Prisma Helsinki by Kuluttajaliitto on days 24. - 27.5.2016. Prices from Spain are taken from Mercadona in Barcelona on 10.6.2016.

On 2010 I wrote about my living costs in Alcalá de Henares

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Local Holiday

Each town in Spain has two local holidays in a year. It means that there might be a bank holiday in Barcelona but in a nearby city which is in the same metropolitan area you have a normal work day. For example I live in Barcelona but I had to go to work even though it was holiday in Barcelona because my work is in another town nearby Barcelona. Luckily the public transportation is also quite frequent on holidays and going to work was not an issue. In addition to local holidays there are naturally holidays which are common all around the Spain.