Category Archives: Spain

Magaluf party

The Time I explored the Magaluf Party Scene … and Regretted It

I recently read the BCM Planet Dance in Magaluf, Mallorca has been shut down because its owner has been thrown in jail. This brought me back to the time I was at a Magaluf party in 2015 – a memory that I prefer not to reminisce about.

One of my goals since I started this blog in 2014 was to visit the top 20 clubs in the world and write about them. So far, I’ve been to 12, including Fabric, Green Valley, and a myriad of Ibiza and Vegas nightclubs. I visited Mallorca at the tail end of the summer of 2015 with my Spanish friend Ismael. Therefore, BCM Planet Dance in Magaluf, Mallorca, #10 on the list, was on my to-do list – I had to check out the Magaluf party scene! Continue reading

A Catalan in Berlin

Catalans are notorious for being a stingy bunch. I’m not making this up – just ask any Spaniard or even Catalan and they will nod in agreement with a chuckle.

Living in New York, as a girl, I was spoiled by free alcohol that seemed to be readily available to me and in excess at bars and clubs. When I moved to Barcelona, I quickly learned to adjust my expectations for receiving free drinks. The economy was in the tanks so people frankly did not have much disposable income. That, coupled with the stinginess of the Catalans, made sure that I never once received a free drink from a stranger my whole year living in Barcelona.

In fact, the Catalans took it one step further – I’ve even been solicited for free drinks in Barcelona.

At the Elrow party, a Catalan guy asked me for a sip of my mojito. I handed him my cup, because, well, I’m a nice person. And also I had him lend me his nose in exchange.

But I did feel a bit like a clown myself after he took a HUGE sip from my drink and I was left with pretty much just ice. Ah, well, at least I got a cool pic out of it…

A month later, at Pacha Barcelona, when my college/NYC friend Jeff and his then-girlfriend were visiting, he bought a table given the low price of table service relative to in the City. That’s when I experienced what it was like to be on the other side of the velvet rope in NYC as a guy.

Soon after we sat down, a guy approached me from the dance floor. I was sitting on the elevated VIP veranda and even though the section was separated partially by a waist-high glass partition, he started chatting me up and giving me attention.

After a couple minutes, Jeff invited him up to join us so he drank with us for free for awhile.

Then he bounced. That’s when it dawned on me: This is what guys feel like when girls chat them up in order to drink for free… And then leave! I was used!

I hope no one takes offense from this piece. I lived in Barcelona long enough to find this quality of theirs to be endearing, and of course stereotypes definitely don’t apply to everyone. My best Catalan friend Ismael is one of the most generous and genuine people I know. I’m writing this piece in good spirits and to poke fun at stereotypes that sometimes turn out to be true. With that said, I do have one last incident for you.

My best facepalm moment dealing with Catalan men and their frugality was when I was at the legendary Berlin club, Berghain, in the summer of 2015.

Up in the Panorama Bar (the upper floor room in Berghain playing minimal techno), I was approached by this Catalan guy. We chatted for a bit and got along quite well due to my Catalan connection. He asked if I wanted a drink, which I graciously accepted (“omg! Is a Catalan guy really buying me a drink?”).

We went to the bar and he placed our orders.

As the bartender was getting our drinks, he reached into his pocket and produced two one euro coins.

Unabashedly, he turned to me: “Do you have some money? I think the drinks are four euros each.”

Taken aback, I shelled out six euros for our drinks. I was appalled but at the same time cracking up inside about stereotypes. I finished my drink and let myself politely disappear into the crowd.

A couple hours later, a Whatsapp text from him came … “Hey beautiful… Where are you… Don’t you want to come over to my place and have nice sex?”

WOW!

Well, the good music cleared me of my trauma in about 30 seconds, thank god for techno.

For more of my international flirting mishaps, check out A Bulgarian in Delft & A Brazilian in Germany. If you’re interested, also read my opinion how men from different countries hit on girls in clubs.

Vegas vs. Ibiza: Which is the Best Party Destination? | Nightlife | Clubbing | EDM | Spain | USA | Florianopolis | Techno | Tourism

Best Party Holiday Destination: Vegas vs. Ibiza

For clubbing aficionados, Ibiza and Las Vegas are destinations that are at the top of bucket list. Ibiza has been for decades the long-standing electronic dance music party holiday destination. On the other hand, Vegas splashed into the clubbing holiday scene since the surge in popularity of EDM in the United States, dazzling clubbers with its headliners and glamorous clubs. There has been heavy debate recently on whether or not Vegas has overtaken Ibiza as THE party holiday destination.

I went to Vegas in June of 2015, and was blown away by just how crazy it got. Having lived in Europe for a year, I loved being in an American party environment again. I had such a good time in Vegas, that I was doubtful that I could have more fun in Ibiza but also keen to compare the two destinations.

So, in September of this year, I had the chance to spend a week in Ibiza, hitting up all the famous clubs. Here are my two cents on the Ibiza vs. Vegas debate. And as a bonus, in the end I’ll throw in an underdog to the “best party holiday destination” debate – Florianopolis in Brazil. Continue reading

Spanish Stereotypes of Americans as seen at the Elrow Party in Barcelona

My rating: 7/10. Elrow is the most famous promoter to come out of Barcelona. In past seasons, they had hosted weekly club events in Barcelona, but due to its fame it has moved its residency to Ibiza. Underground music, carnival-esque atmosphere. Worth every penny, even if you do not like techno. Oh, and great strawberry mojitos. Continue reading

Primavera Sound Festival Review

Rating: as a festival, 6/10. As a “dance music” festival, 3/10. This is primarily an indie music festival in an urban setting. Great location next to the ocean with an amazing sunrise.

Primavera in the daytime

Primavera in the daytime

The Primavera Sound Festival has received high acclaims from the music festival community, winning the Artists’ #1 Choice Award in 2014. It boasts an attendance of 190,000 with 50% of attendees being foreigners. You can note the pressure of the festival on the city’s hospitality market by the fact that airbnb rooms that weekend were going for 200 euros a night! Continue reading

8 Odd Things About Catalans

Every culture has its peculiarities, but let’s face it – there’s a point where the “culture” and “traditions” are just plain weird! Don’t get me wrong, I love living in Barcelona and all my Catalan friends, but seriously, they do some weird crap here! Speaking of sh*t, the first on my list is…

1. Obsession with Poop. Let’s start with the Caga Tio.

Happy caga tios Source: ihterrasa.wordpress.com

Happy caga tios Source: ihterrasa.wordpress.com

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Guide to Barcelona Clubbing | Nightlife | Spain | EDM | Nightclub | Ibiza | Elrow | Sonar | Festival

Guide to Barcelona Clubbing & EDM

Short summary: In terms of electronic dance music clubbing, Barcelona is good for techno, commercial house, and alternative EDM. Razzmatazz, Apolo, and Opium Mar are great clubs to check out. Barcelona clubbing scene is generally a lot more happening in the summer than in the winter.

As an ultra touristic city, there’s no such thing as an off-night in the Barcelona clubbing world. Many of the clubs are open every single night. And like most European cities, electronic dance music (EDM) is very popular. To be honest, the electronic music scene in Barcelona pales to that of Berlin, London, or Amsterdam.

The diversity of the dance music events is not high. Music usually is of the techno genre, commercial dance music, or alternative/experimental dance music. Music events of genres like trance, drum and bass, etc are very rare. The big name DJs that tend to come here are from techno. Big names in commercial house do not grace the city often. To me, this has been very surprising, given Barcelona’s reputation as a party city. However, parties are still good and fun, given that the people are friendly and the drinks are strong and cheap.

Parties in Barcelona tend to be seasonal – once the summer season heats up more exciting parties take place.  Continue reading

Source El Periódico

Barcelona Chinatown & Best Asian Food

My love affair with Barcelona has been ongoing for the past 6 years, since 2009. Each time I visit Bacelona, I observe the Chinese population steadily increasing, spreading from one neighborhood to another. I finally came to Barcelona to live in October of 2014, and since I’m a terrible cook, I quickly found the best Asian restaurants. This article is about the Asian neighborhoods of Barcelona and its best spots. I’ve also written about what it’s like to be an Asian in Barcelona in a separate article.

Though the Chinatown in Barcelona lacks the stereotypical “Chinatown gate”, one must not underestimate the Chinese population here. In fact, the Chinese population is the 3rd largest immigrant group in Barcelona, with more than 17,000 registered residents (the first is Italy and second is Pakistan). Surprised? So was I. Continue reading

Being an Asian in Barcelona

It’s amazing how so much can change in five years.

Five years ago, in the summer of 2009, I did a summer internship for two months in Barcelona. It was my first time living in a foreign country on my own and everything was glorious. Well, minus one thing:

At least once a day, whether I was walking along the majestic avenue of Passeig de Gracia, or the residential streets of Eixample, or the narrow and winding streets of the Ciutat Vella, there will be AT LEAST one person to yell out at me “konichiwa”, “ni hao”, or “chinita guapa!” (“beautiful little Chinese girl!”). These are slightly less annoying than those who make unintelligible “Chinese sounds” or make Kung-Fu motions at me. The catcalls came mostly from construction workers, groups of youths, but also just regular-looking people. These daily incidents were extremely irritating to me, but as an educated person I did my best to not show emotion and walk on like I did not hear them. However, my friend/roommate Grace (also Asian), who is a lot sassier than me, could not take it anymore one day and yelled profanities at the pestering boys, with hand gestures to follow. I was super proud that Grace stood up for us, especially when no one was expecting us to speak up! I wish I had more courage to talk back at people, but at the same time, it was nerve-wrecking to confront (machistic) men in a foreign country, so I passed my summer cringing and bracing myself for any racist catcalls.

Continue reading