October 26-29, 2011
I love it here. I would live here. Barcelona’s an interesting combination of New York and Los Angeles, with a European twist. It’s a vibrant and dynamic city, and not in the travel-books, vague kind of feel-good way. It’s filled with things that are colorful, wavy, art-nuevo, gothic, miscellaneous. Things that should be mutually exclusive but aren’t, like the people. Old and partying. Young and working. Fast speakers and slow thinkers. Cool and weird shtuff everywhere. (Sagrada Familia, the inappropriately shaped rainbow skyscraper, random blocks of reddish brown stone not-so-carefully stacked on top of each other, and have I made my point yet)
All in all, this trip was pretty inspiring. After a visit to the piacasso museum (Keen: I didn’t know Picasso was a Benjamin Button situation. I get it now. He started off classical and ended up as a baby), we passed by a Vespa rental. The guy there made fun of us Amurricans, insisting there was no way we could learn how to ride in one day.
Keen: Why aren’t you going faster?
Me: The rental guy told me not to, or I’d get arrested and die.
Keen: No one tells Joyce Pak what to do.
It was a mental victory–a small one, but even the childish thought that I could do whatever I wanted gave me reserve that I could go wherever I wanted in life.
The city’s meant to be discovered through speeding around dangerously in a Vespa, anyway.
October 26-29, 2011
Four days of walking everywhere. Four days of eating tapas and drinking sangria. Four days of showering in the spaceship shower that plays music & has funny lights & water shooting at you from strategically placed jets. (Book Lullaby Hostel Plaza Catalunya–it’s the best!) Four days of overindulging in Zara, Bershka, and Pull & Bear. Four days of looking at the interesting skyline that is Barcelona. Pretty much all the cliches (and more!) except the partying.
When I came to Spain, I did not see people party. I did not tell to myself, “What the fudge?” I did not turn to my friend Johnny, and did not said to him, “Johnny, la gente esta muy loca.” Viva la siesta. Viva el dia. Viva las camas. I could believe what I was living. All day, all night. (cue beats)
I’ve never walked so much in my life. Every night when we returned to the hostel, I rolled around the lower half of the bunk bed and mumbled to the top bunk, “Aileen, should we go out tonight?”, to which she always responded, “Maybe…but I’m really tired. Let’s take a quick nap first.” Those naps lasted all night. The next morning we woke up & pictures of last night did not end up online. Oh well.
Some other randomly coherent highlights: Keen flooded the hostel with his shower and didn’t notice or care. We met Joe Eppley, a chef from America who had spent his last several months chef-ing in a small Italian town, and passed his birthday with him. We sometimes used one subway ticket for three or four people. I kicked stuff. Eric kept talking about my hair and how it was growing out funny. Aileen took videos. We walked around Sagrada Familia, wondering what about it made it look so pointy and curvy and weird at the same time. (There might be a good reason why nothing else in the world looks like it. But in all seriousness, Gaudi was a creative genius.)