This is the GLOCAL experience we weren’t expecting.
In our second semester, we were all scheduled to be in Barcelona until at least June. At the time of writing, it’s the first week of April and some of us have already had to leave. Many of us are still here in the city for, well, we aren’t quite sure either. With the university shut since March 13 and the nationwide lockdown imposed in Spain since March 14, ‘Barcelona’ to us is now the views from our room windows (also balconies/rooftops for a lucky few…) and short trips to supermarkets.
Of course, there’s a lot going on behind our four walls: online classes and assignments, online meetups and parties (yes, we have a dedicated #Glocalsbeyondquarantine calendar!), honing our cooking skills and self-reflection, among others. We decided to create a GLOCALs in Quarantine survey to check in and share how all of us are coping. Here are stories from 13 GLOCALs from cohort III, 9 in Barcelona and 4 back in their countries:
On the scale of 1-10, how are you feeling at the moment?
Best word (or a few) to describe your life right now?
Although most of us rated ourselves quite high on the scale, we admitted we have to adjust to stay inside. Some are calmer than others:
Also, to these struggles:
5 Top Things You have from Grocery Stores During the Quarantine?
While staying at home could be boring, we are curious about what people get from the grocery store, as this is one of the limited number of reasons people can have for going out of their home. This question is basically the quarantine version of ‘the three things you would bring to a deserted island’
Among the 13 answers, carbohydrates stood out as a clear essential, with four mentions of rice, three of pasta, two of cereal and 1 for bread. Eggs, milk, yogurt, veggies, fruits, coffee, chocolate and ice cream are also popular options, since they keep us healthy and energetic (yes, chocolate and ice cream are healthy during quarantine). We also want to congratulate avocado and banana for being the most popular ones among their fruit peers, as two folks mentioned that they got avocado, and one highlighted banana as it ‘increases their serotonin.’ From experience, alcohol is an essential item for us GLOCALs too, with popular choices being wine, tequila and beer. Keeping true to the toilet paper memes, we had three people mentioning that they got toilet papers (hope everyone has enough!)
Beyond these general choices, everyone’s food preferences is when you can see our cultural differences and similarities, which is always an interesting topic for GLOCALs. Here are some examples:
Jinny from Thailand and Lilac from China both mentioned instant noodles. Instant noodles seem to be a shared ‘survival food’ for our East Asian group.
Liya from Russia shared an interesting story about a special Russian crop:
What are some creative ways in which you’re coping with the current situation?
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We counted over 30 activities!
Activities included binge watching Netflix TV series (no surprises here!), movies, games, Broadway shows, online museum collections, comedy channels, chat, memes, blog, photo editing, lending an ear to friends, journal writing, personal reflection, having cry break, drinking, eating, cooking, doing school assignments, reading, taking up online courses, finding a summer internship, meditating, practicing yoga, hula hooping, practicing BTS cover dance for the K-Pop lovers among us, and basking in the sun on a terrace.
Some picks on staying healthy:
- Special full body workout for quarantine: Heria Pro app (Chava)
- Follow swing dancers for live classes: Instagram (Lilac)
And on staying productive and inspired:
- Learn Spanish and Catalan culture online: Government of Catalonia website (Silvi)
- Free study and business books: Studentenkorting website, in Dutch and English (Tynke)
- A book and a game recommendation, by Mateusz:
The secret of Quantum Living by Frank J. Kinslow (book),
Lord of the Rings Online (a wonderful free online multiplayer role-playing game (MMORPG) that can take you to the Middle Earth for a while)
Lina is happy to share her impressive collection of self-quarantine activities, including literature and movie recommendations, learning platforms, food recipes and much more (in Spanish, English and Portugese).
Finally, we present you roses, folded by Tynke:
Last but not least, we left open a space for anything else our classmates perhaps would want to share. Except for two persons feeling worried about the deadlines for schoolwork (well, as we always do), most of the answers express the need of reflection of the current situation and the love between us. While we’re only listing answers below, all the answers are equally touching, honest and valuable.
We thank Abby, Camila, Chava, Isabel, Islam, Jinny, Lilac, Lina, Liya, Mateusz, Merle, Silvi, and Tynke for their contribution J. All GLOCALs, stay safe and we will meet soon! Love you all!
Author: Jinny and Lilac