August 16, 2009
What I’ll probably miss most about Barcelona is being able to talk loudly in public places about anything because almost everyone here speaks Catalan, Spanish and not a word of English.
Best Purchase Ever?
A bunch of delinquents on the train the other day were completely oblivious to our loud and insulting observations. Quite frankly, they were the best people that I have watched so far this trip. Well, besides the naked tattooed man who passed us on La Rambla. So anyway these children, who were probably older than us, were causing such a ruckus. They were singing, making farm animal noises, laughing hysterically about things which I could not understand but Maria, fluent in Catalan, roughly translated for me. They made fun of a man sitting across from them, they pressed their bronzed faces to the dirty train windows and used their breath to make hearts and letters and I think anarchy symbols. They wore black. The sole boy had a full beard, long dark hair which was secured into a ponytail, wore a band t-shirt for some group I’ve never heard of and can’t recall, and had 666 tattooed on his left arm.
His girlfriend, whom Maria and I decided was the best looking of all of them and could do better than that guy, sat next to him. She had large brown eyes and black hair that hung down to her chest in loose ringlets. She wore shorts, flip-flops and a black button up shirt that had a Slipknot patch ironed on to the sleeve. They made out often and the two other girls who were with them would start singing and clapping when they did. The two girls, one who was infinitely more obnoxious than the other, would also kiss each other on the cheek, as if to mock the two lovebirds sitting parallel to them. The obnoxious one wore her hair half up in a high bun, with a large lock of it separated and hanging down lifelessly to her chin. She had a pointy nose and a constantly moving mouth which smacked away at a piece of gum and sported two lip rings on the bottom lip in a fashion which I have never seen before. The other girl was almost invisible to me. She wore dark eyeliner on her bottom lid and had yellow hair. She was boring, and mostly just laughed and sang along when the others sang. The highlight of the ride was when the guy un-did his ponytail while they were singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” and spun his hair around like he was headbanging.
He would be proud
They put on quite a show for us. I had front row seats, as I was facing them, but Maria (who has no reservations and always stares at people even when I tell her to stop) kept having to crane her neck so that she could see what was happening behind her. I kept her updated by giving her a play-by-play of everything that was going on as it happened. Every so often the guy and I would lock eyes and I would look away quickly, embarrassed. But then I would remember that the chances of me ever seeing them again were slim to none, and I would continue observing.
August 13, 2009
Four days of laying and playing in the sun has turned me browner, but I still have a slight yet noticeable shorts tan. Ridiculous. I’ve decided that after spending hours in the warm water of the Mediterranean, the Jersey Shore will never be the same.
So on top of skin cancer and getting sand in every single orifice of my body (gross) I got to eat even more food and explore even more of Spain. On the day of our arrival to Calafell, which is where Maria’s grandparents, who are awesome, reside in the summertime, I got to try snails.
They were delish. To eat them, the snail had to be fished out of the shells with a toothpick and then the poop had to be pulled off of the end. Nasty! But eating a snail is just like eating any other shell fish, it has the same rubbery texture. The flavor was exotic, kind of fishy, and Maria’s grandmother made them in a spicy red sauce (I have had so many tomatoes on this trip), which burned my tongue. All in all, it was still much more than what I had expected.
We also got to go snorkeling which was amazing even though I’m blind without my glasses/contact lenses. We swam around with the little fishes and climbed all over the giant rocks that surround the water and bathed in the sun on said rocks. The coral tickled my belly and the sudden movement of a fish swimming out of a little hiding spot scared the bejeebies out of me. New Jersey is going to be such a buzz kill.
August 9, 2009
Life is all fun and games when you want it to be. I was taught how to laugh at myself when I was nine years old by a camp counselor. Ever since then, it’s been something that I’ve been good at. I can handle humiliation, I’ve learned how to take a joke. I feel like people are in too much of a hurry to grow up, and many never find the time to see the humor in things. Some lack a good sense of humor, which sucks for them. I think that in the end, it’s all jokes anyway. The whole world is a joke, and we’re obliviously playing along. Maybe one day we’ll get it, but until then the joke’s on us.
Spanish Excursion # 2
Aujourd’hui, Maria and I went to Tibidabo, which is an amusement park located on a mountain with a gorgeous view of Barcelona. I’m pretty sure that we made it to all of the rides, with the exception of all the little kid ones that we’re way too good for. And also probably don’t fit into. We went on Hurakan nine times and ended up soaked to the bone. We also went on the Pendul, a giant pendulum which took us 38 meters into the air and then dropped us at the speed of 100 km/h and holy shit I thought I was going to die. But after the first two swings, it turned from OH MY FUCKING GOD into delirious giggles. I like it when it feels like I am flying and I love the feeling I get when my stomach drops to the bottom of my toes. It tickles. Well, after we got that ride checked off our list, Maria and I stood in line for an hour and a half to go into the Hotel Krueger, a haunted house featuring real actors portraying some of the scariest movie characters ever. Well, lets just say I’ve spent a good amount of time convincing myself that Jason Vorhees isn’t real, and this attraction contradicted everything anyone I’ve ever watched a scary movie with has ever told me. Hannibal Lecter is real, and he does want to sauté my lungs for dinner. I ran out the emergency exit before we were even halfway through. At least I avoided Leatherface. Scary movies are my guilty pleasure but when they come to real life, we don’t mix well.
I’ve just got to remember that it’s all in my head.
August 9, 2009
Ah! Catalunya! I arrived at 9 in the morning, braved customs, immediately found my suitcase and then found Maria’s smiling face waiting for me at the exit. I haven’t been this happy all summer! Spain is gorgeous, as is most of Europe. I always prefer Europe to the U.S., probably because I’m bored of where I’ve been. We arrived at her father’s apartment and I fell asleep. Planes are not my ideal sleeping areas, I watched Star Trek instead. After I woke up, we ate lunch (gazpacho!) and Maria took me out to see Terrassa. She showed me her ancient family history; her great-great grandfather, Lluis Muncunill, designed two beautiful and very original buildings in downtown Terrassa.
Masia Fresca, designed by Lluis Muncunill
We also found the discoteca, which was desolate and creepy. It’s located in a gated warehouse community, and is covered in some of the coolest graffiti I have ever seen. Then we went shopping at H&M and the original Zara on La Rambla, which is really rad because it’s located inside of a beautiful old theater, and it still has the “CINEMA” and “LA RAMBLA” signs on the facade. I probably shouldn’t have gone shopping because the exchange rate is currently at Euro > Dollar. Damn. However, I don’t regret the one material purchase I made-awesome Hello Kitty socks! Day one has been a success.