October 27, 2017. Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
At the hostel, I met a girl from Argentina who wanted to improve her English as much as I did my Spanish, although she was much further along. She taught me the useful conversational rudiments that it somehow never occurs to schools to add to the curriculum.
“And you must teach me slangs.”
I acquainted her with such classics as “nailed it”, “on his hustle”, and “dick move”. She was very interested in how one can “miss the bus” or “lose my car”, but not “lose the bus”. “Though” was a struggle for her. She got it by the end, though. She was also very concerned with the differences between “getting on” (the bus) and “getting up” (“why not up the bus?”). I explained the difference, and you will never know the pain I felt knowing I couldn’t tell her the only time at which you do both is when staying on the scene, like a sex machine.
We got lost roughly a million times because Barcelona is a labyrinth where GPS is always blocked by giant, looming walls.
The Arco del Triunfo is where I’ve been spending most of my mornings. It’s 2 blocks from my hostel and central to all the decent breakfast spots. For example, Satan’s.
It’s as classy a joint as you’d expect.
The Barcelona Cathedral. They wouldn’t let me in the one entrance because I wasn’t gonna pray, and the other had a line out the door. The whole plaza is a flea market constantly packed with humans. A portly middle-aged local brought a bucket of detergent and some ropes on sticks, waving them around to make giant, misshapen soap bubbles. My Argentinian compatriot took a picture of one and the man demanded she pay him. She dropped 70 cents into his bowl as we were walking away and he flew into a rage, shouting in Catalan, and flung the contents of the bowl back in our direction, scattering coins across the square.
“Gracias! Hermosa forma!” I said. Later, children were playing in the bubbles, and we warned them to be careful, the second part of the performance is more dangerous.
The Temple d’August. The remnants of a Roman temple dating back to the 1st century BC, part of the forum back when Barcelona was the Roman city of Barcino. Also hidden away in this medieval building was a pedestal carved for Quintus Calprunius Flavus, talking about how great he was.
La Sagrada Familia (the holy family), a gargantuan, indescribably imposing medieval cathedral (currently undergoing maintenance). Standing in front of it, I felt like it was going to fall forward and crush me.
Flat top Jesus lookin’ real fly
You know those sketchy neon signs that say like “GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS $$$ $$$ $$$”? For example, any building in Phoenix? It’s like that, only with Jesus.
Cone full’a ham. A bargain at any price.
Park Güell, high above the shittiest hill in Barcelona. Everyone else took the bus up. We should’ve too.
Can’t argue with the view, though.
When we got back to the hostels, we said adios and went our separate ways; she to Denmark, and I to finish off the day in what I’ve decided is the traditional Barcelonan way: housing mad Muns.
Y ahora, yo dice el mismo a ti. It’s 3 PM here, and the Muns are calling me.