All posts filed under: Portraits

Portraits of: Barcelona

There are many forms of travel. Some may travel for work, some to get away, some to learn more about the world. For some, it may very well be their livelihood or life. Yet travelling by its very definition connotes movement; a journey where we are transient visitors. In those short visits, how much can we really learn about a city? How much of the architecture, history, culture, customs and people can we be exposed to and discover? I was in Barcelona for a little over a month to take a TESOL course which would certify me as a globally accredited English speaker and teacher. Indeed, a month is minute, and I was determined to not waste this time. I wanted to learn as much as I could about this city beyond its more famous aspects: Gaudi’s architecture, Picasso and Dali, sunny beaches, crazy partying, etc. The quieter everyday moments can say more about a city and its occupants as intricate details of their lives. At the same time, it was a personal challenge to choose …

Portraits of: Barcelona

                                                                       Barcelona, 2013 (Fuji Neopan 400) Alejandra was brought up in Chile but has been living in Barcelona for the past 10 years. She speaks a thousand miles a minute, translating much of the Spanish language and quirks into English, but always listens to what others say. She taught me things that were simple yet profound – for example, whilst many of us may naturally shun touters on streets, she never ignores them because to her, they are human beings who deserve the basic form of respect; an acknowledgement of their existence by telling them “no, thank you” no matter what they were trying to sell/do. I hope this picture captures the fire of her spirit, a fire to enjoy life to the fullest and be true to herself…and love. Name: Alejandra And your dream? To be happy and try not …

Portraits of: Barcelona

Jordi came up to me, intrigued by the OM-10 SLR I was using. He picked up English while working as a tour guide, and now works as a physiotherapist for children. He feels like a fellow traveller, and I believe it is this curiosity and open heart that will allow us to see the beauty in things no matter where we are and live. Thanks to him, I got to know of the Gay Pride Festival that was happening that evening – at the very place I was moving into that day! Name: Jordi And your dream? to be myself The best thing that has happened to you? to meet interesting people (To love someone) One thing you would like to change? (It can be about anything) There are too many things. Hard to pick up one. Poverty One thing you don’t want to change? (It can be about anything) My delicious breakfast. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? No idea Favorite things about Barcelona? Climate, cosmopolitan city Things you don’t really …

Portraits of: Barcelona

                                                                       Barcelona, 2013 (Fuji Neopan 400) Noemi was sitting at a tiny flight of steps round a corner in Barri Gòtic, playing a ukelele and singing. It was her last day working and staying at the heart of the city, and she would be returning to her hometown about 30-40km away the next day. Her ideal life would be to be a volunteer, singing and writing poetry while helping those in need. Her voice was keening and sweet, and made me think of lovebirds that sweep the horizon as I stare out the window, or the feeling of leaving a place you can’t bear to leave to another place you can’t bear to be apart from. Name: Noemi And your dream? I would love to work doing the hobbies I like, so I can feel free The best thing that has happened …

Portraits of: Barcelona

                                                                       Barcelona, 2013 (Fuji Neopan 400) I was at the beach with Mhairi one day, and immigrants regularly passed by with cans of beers and prepared icy mojitos for sale under the blazing sky. She told me about how these beer cans would be hidden in drains and unhygienic areas pre-sale. Yet after we watched a lounging English man attempt but fail to get a beer as he didn’t have small change, Mhairi only wanted to run after the immigrant with smaller notes so he could have sufficient change to make a sale. Throughout the short time I knew Mhairi, her kindness and generosity towards everyone, including total strangers, shone through her small quiet acts. Honestly, Mhairi made me feel pretty ashamed of myself.  I thought of the times that as a teenager always gave away whatever I had in my …

Portraits of: Barcelona

                                                                       Barcelona, 2013 (Fuji Neopan 400) Juanjo taught me how his name ‘Juanjo’ is actually a combination of his first name and middle name (Juan José), only to be used by his friends. He insisted on me using it, and chose to call me what some of my friends back here would call me – ‘Lim’ – rather than Alexa, the name I used in Barcelona. Because we are friends. Also, he started replying in Spanish in our emails, so that I could pick up Spanish through our exchanges. Name: JuanJo And your dream? Be happy The best thing that has happened to you? Get married and have a child. One thing you would like to change? (It can be about anything) The inequality. One thing you don’t want to change? (It can be about anything) Love. Where do you see …