A traveler´s world is a strange one. It is one of quick friendships and even quicker goodbyes. It is a world in which one is usually lost. It is a world where the normal social rules no longer apply. In a traveler´s world, it is perfectly acceptable to spend the night in the home of someone you met on the train that afternoon. It´s perfectly normal to exchange contact information with no pretense of ever seeing each other again. It is a world where some of your most beautiful memories may be with people you´ve only just met. In a traveler´s world, there is no time for formality, for technicalities. People work together to help each other, where an underground network of secret information is passed on to each generation: the cleanest hostels, the cheapest places to eat, that hidden bar down that tiny street that has the best sangria around. Though the destinations may be different, travelers share a common experience that changes them forever. It is a rare and complex thing, the traveler´s world.
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This week was an interesting one. I went out three times this week to the fiesta in Gracia. It was crazy. All the streets were decorated (and everything was made out of recycled materials, like bubble wrap and plastic bottles). I´ll post pictures soon. We danced, we drank (only a little!), and we met some French people. I have new European friends. 🙂
Yesterday on the Metro, I saw an older man (in his thirties) looking at me. I was laughing with Rachel and the Metro stopped. The man moved towards the door, then tapped me on the shoulder. When I looked up, he just said, “You have a beautiful smile,” and then got off. Aww.
On Saturday Rachel and I went to Parc Guell, the park that is famous for Gaudi´s bench and lizard-shaped fountain. It was a beautiful day, and the view from the top of the hill was absolutely gorgeous. We wandered around for hours, until we heard some beautiful music coming from afar and went to search for it. We came across a man sitting under a bridge, playing an instrument called a hang, which was two steel drums put together with dips in them. When you hit the dip just right with your hand, it made a beautiful reverberating harpsichord-esque sound. He played the most fascinating music, so we sat and watched, enthralled. When he finished we talked to him briefly and then bought a CD. It will be a good memory of that moment. 🙂
We wandered around a bit more but saw clouds beginning to rise over the horizon. We sat on the benches and wandered around a bit more, but the sky grew darker by the minute and we saw a dark shadow settle over the city from above. We hurried back to the Metro and headed to Las Ramblas, feeling tiny drops every so often. When we got off the Metro and headed upstairs, Las Ramblas was as deserted as I´d ever seen it. It was pouring rain outside and everyone was pushed up against the buildings, fighting for what little shelter they offered from the rain. The temperature dropped dramatically and I froze in my tank top. We hurried into an open shop to escape, and came out twenty minutes later with sale bags in our hands. We continued down a little street and came across the Bagel Shop, the only place in town that actually serves bagels. They just don´t exist here. We had excellent meals of bagels with hummus and homemade cream cheese and coffee, and then went back home to get ready for the evening. I think that was the one of the best days I´ve had since I´ve been here.
This week will be hectic, as I teach three days out of four. Maybe this week I´ll start to like Barcelona a little more. Maybe not.