Barça, you bitch. I miss you already.

Trip Start Sep 16, 2010
Trip End Oct 05, 2010

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Flag of Spain  , Catalonia,
Sunday, September 26, 2010

Here I sit in the Barça airport awaiting my flight to San Sebastián and my thoughts of Barcelona are this: I could live in Germany, but always holiday Barcelona. There wouldn't have been trouble if I just didn't look like 'easy pickings' either. How did I counteract this the following day and night? Easy, left everything in the hotel room that I didn't NEED. Watch, wallet, sunnies, phone, everything except the cash in my pocket  stayed behind. Guess what? It was a great night! Supposedly all the backpackers say you should go clubbing in Barça, but I just went bar hopping and meeting people after spending a day walking around looking at the glorious 'old world charm.' The sights are just incredible - Munich is so very clean, with the odd piece of provocative and politically-motivated graffiti dotting an otherwise immaculate city, whereas Barcelona is just dripping with the ages, it's covered in graffiti but NEVER on a building, only the roller-shutters. It took me about half an hour to work out why the picture didn't look quite right and then it hit me! It's only on the roller-shutters. It's as if even the punk kids of Barcelona appreciate history.

Just a quick word on the graffiti in Munich: It's NEVER just some kids spraying their little gang signs on a wall to mark their territory. You see things like "du bist frei" (you are free) and "we hate, we hope" (in english) that just seem to strike a chord and force you to think about why it was done. Every piece of graffiti stood out there, probably because I only saw four or five lots of it! Perhaps I just think a little deeper about people and why things occur? Germany is the perfect place for this.

As far as meeting people goes, maybe I just have a knack for it, but I think it's pretty simple… so here is how I had a great time in Barcelona. 
I started at one bar, ordered a beer & tapas. Ate it and looked around. If no one was speaking English (or German) near me, then up and off to the next tapas bar. Repeat until you get a couple of English speakers  - last night they were two of the most quiet American's you'd ever met. I even said "Sorry, I thought you were Canadian, because everyone else says you can hear Americans before you can see them." One of them then looked at the other one and said "See! I told you!" This guy was an Orthopaedic Surgeon who was well-travelled. His mate was a builder who renovated his whole house for him, and scored the overseas trip as thanks! The builder was very typically American - carried two guns at all times and was annoyed that he couldn't bring them overseas for safety. A very cool pair of guys and I'm spewing we forgot to exchange details. I then said "guys, there is a cool Aussie bar next door, but it's run by an Israeli that's never been to Oz. It's not very Aussie at all, but the bar staff are very cool and will point us in the right direction for the rest of the night." So we started drinking. At the other side of the bar was another American and in-between were three Irish girls (that loved their potatoes). I used this guy as an example to Jeff (the gunman) and pointed out we could hear him well over the three Irish girls. So we talk to the Irish girls and suddenly we have a large group. Another girl from American joined in too and we were off. Bar hopping again. A drink or two, tapas, and a lot of laughs. As the night rolled on, the people changed a little - the Surgeon had a seminar the next day; two finnish girls and a romanian girl came in etc etc It builds up momentum like a snowball rolling down hill.

Again, there was a little trouble during the night but I knew how to fend it off, so consequently, there was no trouble. As we were walking through the crowds, one of the girls became swamped with three guys - two were talking to her, one was going to the handbag. I just pushed through them, put my arms around her and gave a loud "F@$K OFF" and they were gone. I think that translates into any language, as they certainly got the picture. She didn't even know what was going on until after I pointed out the third guy was in her handbag.

Once you pick up those basic Barça survival skills, then it's even better. What else do you need on a night out than a pocketful of cash? Worst case scenario is that it's also easier to replace than a wallet full of credit cards or a phone. I just stuck with the basics on the final night and couldn't have had a better night. I have already reassessed the size of my wallet for when I come home, I really don't need all the cards... in fact, I think there will be a few things I change. Doing this on my own has forced me to come up with my own way of doing things that I took for granted. I wonder how my need for independence will change when I get home?The one thing I can't say appeals to me is the thought of backpacking and working in an area for months on end. It's still work. To quote the pommy bartender in the aussie bar "it's not work - i just have to stand up a few hours a day, meet people, and get the drunk" but that's still a regular schedule and constitutes as work for me and I hated every job I've ever had that wasn't challenging. Nothing about scraping by on a bare minimum and being bored all day appeals to me in the slightest! Still, people have a very good way of getting exactly what they want and he just wanted to do not much and have fun doing it. He got it!

Can't wait to go back, especially during that same weekend. It's just incredible.
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