I’ve been in Barcelona for less than seven hours, and already I have slung my laundry from the clothes lines that decorate this city, that make it clear even from a cab’s-eye view that we’re definitely not in America. Already I have fumbled my way, in my ugly and flailing Spanish, through multiple interactions with locals who (visibly) found it either annoying or endearing or both.
Already I have purchased eggs that do not require refrigeration. And refrigerated them.
The apartment I’ve rented, a three-room flat on the north end of town, has its quirks. So far, I find these to be part of its charm, but I admit it’s early days to be making such judgments. Over the month or so I’ll spend here, I may grow to find its non-wall-attached showerhead and slowish internet and flat pillows to be nexus of annoyance rather than novelty.
But for now, it’s nice to sit here in the breeze that comes in through the open door of my little balcony, where my spare set of sheets and yesterday’s outfits are ballooning gently and domestically off their lines. Such a naked custom. I can see my balcony-dwelling neighbors, shirtless despite the fat on their chests, smoking and talking and hanging their own wet clothes. The day is gray and lazy; as in most of Europe, few Spanish businesses are open on Sundays.
I also happened to arrive during a super-heated time here in Catalonia, which this very day is attempting to vote for their independence — an action Spain has deemed illegal. An hour or so ago, I woke up from my post-red-eye nap to the sounds of singing in the street and honking car horns, although I’m far from the epicenter of the madness, which I’m glad about as things have apparently gotten pretty violent.
So for tonight, I’ll stay here, inside the set of walls that make up most of what I know so far about this country, listening to the sound of the streets and stories waiting for me outside.
But tomorrow (and for the rest of October): I’m coming to eat you, España. Prepárate.