Henry. 1984. Bogotá, Colombia.
Who are you?
My name is Henry. I’m 33 years old and I’m an Industrial Engineer and I’m living and working in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
I like videogames, the Art and the storytelling behind it.
When did you arrive in Barcelona?
The first or the second time?
The first time.
5 of October, 2015
And why did you say there’s a second time?
Because it was part of my thesis. The first half was in Barcelona, the second half was in New York. The second time I came here was the 13th of June 2016.
Why did you come to Barcelona again after your time in New York?
I had met a girl in Barcelona before going to New York, and also I wanted to seize the opportunity of my double nationality as I also have Dutch nationality, this way I could search for a job and build a professional career here in Barcelona.
In which other countries have you lived before Barcelona?
Colombia and the US (New York).
Why here now?
I got a professional opportunity and I also met who is now my girlfriend. We live together now.
What do you do?
I work for a multinational company of cosmetics.
What is it what you like the most about Barcelona?
The city itself. It’s a good city both for locals and for foreigners. It welcomes many people, it gives many opportunities. It’s a city full of culture, with many people from all over the world. It’s a first class city from any point of view: Cuisine, food, places, Art, music. Everything.
In Barcelona you can easily go out in the street and you can find from one corner to theother a huge variety of things, for example if you want to eat out, you can find all thypes of cuisines.If you try a little, Barcelona will always surprise you, there’s always something new. And that is amazing. It’s constantly changing. And by this I mean, there are bad things too but the good things overcome the bad things.
What do you like the least?
Everything closes early hahaha.
Sundays are like dead days.
What do you miss from other places?
Exactly what I don’t like about Barcelona. In New York, for example, everything is open any time of the day.
Do you feel integrated?
Yes, I do. The only thing missing for me is to speak Catalan but I do feel integrated.
Do you feel it’s very difficult in terms of language?
I don’t speak Catalan but I do speak Spanish. Everybody speaks Spanish.
What is your favorite place in Barcelona?
I would go for Gracia area. It’s very cozy and welcoming. It feels artistic and bohemian. You can see how the city surrounds it. Sure, the city has many contrasts but at the same time, you can tell this neighborhood has kept itself kind of separated of it. Like if time passed around it and stopped in Gracia. The new part is just a few meters away and it’s relatively new, whereas Gracia, the buildings are old and it looks as if the time had stopped. That is very interesting for me.
And now, tell me something I don’t know, something that shocked you the first time you came here.
Something different for me… Well, I was born and raised in Bogota and, if you think about it, it’s a city that is only… from the 1500s, so it’s more or less 500-600 years old. When you come to Barcelona, one of the things that I’ve seen is that the city goes a long way back. There are cities in the world that are much more ancient than Barcelona but, one of the shocking things for me is going to a city that still… it’s very modern but at the same time it resembles some parts of the city that are older than my whole country.
You can go to Rome and you can go to other cities that go way more back in terms of western civilization but, you can see here in Barcelona the Roman columns, still erect. There’s an actual Roman column still standing in the middle of the city. They found it, they didn’t know what to do with the column, they just built new buildings around it. It’s in the patio, in the middle of a building and as some buildings have an arcade or a garden, this one has a Roman column. For me that was mind blowing. Every time that I have people coming here for the first time, although they may have gone to Rome or to Italy… where you see this very often, but for me this is like “hey, you know, those columns are here in Barcelona”, at least one of them. So with this you come with a little bit of understanding of where things come from, in terms of… I look further back and you see what happened, where things come from. All western civilization come from what this guys did 2.000+ years ago. I find it kind of surprising. Coming from South America, it’s very amazing to see those things physically. That’s pretty cool.