Earlier this month I went to Barcelona with my wife, Laynni, and her parents, Lyle and Nadine. Barcelona is a beautiful city with really nice buildings and a swell beach. It was a very fun place with a lot of nice people. We really enjoyed it.
The first thing we noticed was how modern it was – the taxis actually use their meters (as opposed to a leer and a chuckle), everywhere you looked were women with their hair uncovered, and you could even drink the tap water (although nobody does, and they “suggest” you buy bottles). Beer was everywhere again, and cheap, and so was English Premier League football. The absolute best part, though, was that our shower had a shower curtain.
I watched the Barcelona football game at a plain little casino full of guys with spiky hair.
I needed a key to unlock two doors and a child gate to use the bathroom. At half time I ran out and bought a really big slice of pizza-by-the-slice. It had a lot of salami on it, which I liked. It was excellent and cheap. I almost had another one but decided that one was enough. Plus, half time was almost over. The game ended in a draw. While I was there Laynni and her parents were on a tapas bar crawl. They ate lots of little food morsels and drank lots of alcoholic beverages. Too many, maybe. When Laynni came back to the hotel she made me get dressed so we could all go back out for more alcoholic beverages. She seemed really hyper, and Lyle was talking a lot.
We slept in late and went for breakfast at a coffee shop down the street. I had bacon and eggs for the first time in a long time (the bacon, not the eggs) because they don’t eat pork in Morocco. I told a lot of Moroccans that they didn’t know what they were missing. They agreed. They didn’t. Anyway, the bacon tasted really good.
It was nice and sunny all day. We walked to the park, then down to the beach. Even though it was only around 17 degrees there were lots of people sun tanning.
Most of them in their bra and panties. I guess when they went out they didn’t expect it to be as hot as it was. We were surprised, too. But we kept our clothes on. Other people were still wearing their winter parkas. One fat woman had her pants pulled really low so everyone could see her butt crack. It didn’t look very nice. People can be weird.
There was a gym on the beach with a bunch of really tanned guys working out and looking at each other real weird. Not far away there was a big set of stone chairs which I guess were there for people to sit and watch the ocean but for some reason they faced right at the creepy gym. So all these old people who were trying to relax and watch the ocean were kind of forced to stare at all these big guys grunting and checking their muscles a lot. I don’t know why it was like that.
There is this really long street called La Rambla. It is one of the most popular streets in all of Barcelona because it has a huge boulevard that is for walking only and because there are lots and lots of bank machines everywhere. I liked it because it was really wide and there were lots of people selling sherbert.
We went for supper at a Vietnamese restaurant.
Two of us had pho, the other two had bun thit nuong, and both were very good. The spring rolls were good, too. Nobody really felt like drinking this time.
I had really been looking forward to Barcelona because they speak Spanish and because I can speak a bit of Spanish, too. But all their signs were in Catalan. The words looked sort of like Portuguese, but they sounded more like French. I didn’t like it much. But usually it didn’t matter. For example, we had breakfast in an Irish pub which meant they spoke English, and that we had a lot of different meat for breakfast.
There are lots of other tourists in Barcelona. People must really like it. At the Sagrada Familia, a big church covered in scaffolding and sculptures that look like giant grapes, people were lined up halfway around an entire city block just to get inside. We didn’t want to wait so we just used the McDonald’s bathroom even though we didn’t buy anything. We talked about it and decided we eat there lots so they kind of owe us. I’m still not sure about it, though. Then we went to Guell Park. It was nice, too, and also full of tourists. Most looked okay but some of them smelled bad.
For dinner we went to a pasta place. It seemed really trendy, I guess because it was in this dirty alley and because the tables were all in different shapes than normal tables. It wasn’t very comfortable but the pasta was really good and it made us feel cool.
A girl that was at surf camp with me in Morocco lives in Barcelona. We met for drinks after I had already had dinner and she showed me a couple local bars. I went back to the hotel at midnight because I was tired. She went to another bar to have dinner. People eat really late in Barcelona. I think it is a cultural thing. But it might be because they smoke a lot of marijuana. I don’t know for sure.
We did not have much time Friday because we had to go to the airport to catch our flight to Malta. We were sorry to be leaving Barcelona but Lyle and Nadine were really excited to drink coffee at the airport. I just watched.
We really enjoyed our stay in Barcelona.
The old buildings were neat. I would really like to go back again someday. I would like to take the cable car up to Montuic, and I would like go to a Barcelona football game at Camp Nou stadium. Lionel Messi seems really nice. Also, it took me a really long time to figure out how to work the machines at the public laundromat but now that I know how I think it will be a lot faster next time. We’ll see.
I wrote a book a little while ago. It is called Random Acts of Travel: Featuring Trepidation, Hammocks and Spitting. It is pretty weird.