to desire the replica

posted on: July 28th, 2009

Because it is center of the fucking sun hot here I am posting an excerpt from one of my travel journals because I am too damn melty to think.

June 2001 Barcelona, Spain

“Barcelona by accident. I guess this is what happens after getting so shitfaced in France & thinking a random train trip would be funny. It’s hot and dirty and crowded and I love it! The trip from Paris was uneventful due to my epic hangover; I slept the entire way and arrived refreshed. My arrival was a bit of a shit scene as I couldn’t find a hostel-one of the down falls of no plans or planning while drunk- I ended up in a tiny cafe asking for directions. The woman there was so helpful and sweet that I have since been back several times to sit and have coffee or a cold beer with her. Her company is comfortable though I speak next to no Spanish and she next to no English, yet we are both relaxed. My first time at the cafe she put my water bottle in her cooler so it would be chilled when I left. Shit like that rules

The Barri Gotic is beautiful; narrow stone streets and buildings that seem to sigh with age but hum with life. I had dinner in Placa Rieal, tiny tapas and a big jug of sangria, and then wandered through the calm and quiet la Catedral which is like a cool damp oasis in the middle of this crazy wonderful city. The poverty is obvious and heart wrenching- I have lightened my pack of sneakers a sweatshirt and a pair of pants this morning to to the kids in the alley off of las Ramblas– it’s too fucking hot to carry more than the bare minimum.

The street busking around las Ramblas is incredible and include some rather elaborate productions; opera, dancing, puppet shows, full bands and the occasional short play all amid the stalls selling everything from wire cages of hens and doves to clothes or fruit. Mountains of bird cages, shouting voices and the never ending heat. Two old men; one with a length of chain and one with a dog leash had a rather heated tussle in the street last night. They had to be in their 70’s at least and it was broken up quickly with little damage done. Am currently having a beer in the shade and there is a strange old woman in the placa as I write this. She has a loaded shopping cart and is banging together 2 plastic bottles filled with stones. It’s very loud in this quiet corner and she does it for about 1 minute every 10. It isn’t clear if she is scaring away the pigeons or attempting some sort of busking. I took in a Dahli exhibit in one of the old buildings which was fantastic, and the Sangra familia was surprisingly easy to find, and worth the trip for it’s bizarre factor alone.

The people that I have come in contact with thus far in Barcelona have been so kind; the lobby of my little hostel had a table of coffee and packaged cornbread–I asked the cleaning lady how much they were and she said “One free.” I took a coffee and a bread and she looked around then shoved 2 more in my pack. “For later.” She whispered. “You get hungry.” I must remember these kindnesses when I get home next year. Maybe I will be less of a bitch if I remember these things. Doubtful, but worth a try.”

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Jay Says:

I once got a discount handy from the nicest elderly woman in Belize, so I know just how you feel!

Barcelona is wonderful (I love the Gaudis) but I don’t think I can talk to you anymore since it’s a chilly 65 degrees F. here and it’s EFFING JULY. Sulk.


No fair. I want to go to Europe.

Kami Says:

Cool! The only time I was in Barcelona was when I was in high school on a high school trip desperately missing a guy who I was totally into and aching to know why he just wanted to be best friends. In retrospect, his long-haired, guitar-playing, drum-circle bullshit, starry-eyed, mescaline dropping self was simply not all that. “I love you, Austin.” “Thanks.” “I meant fuck you, Austin” Ahh, memories of Barcelona.

Batcavebilly Says:

so, how does Lola feel about all this?
Oh, and Fuck You Austin!!!
ahem, don’t know where that came from……

Kim Says:

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ah Kami- Don’t you love looking back on those ones?

The tapas and sangria must have been sooo good!

Can you take me there and let’s go to a bull fight!?

kim Says:

Definably! Tapas and bull fights (but I won’t watch- I’ll just drink ok?)

Ok deal!

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