Barcelona: Ramp Up


We leave in less than two weeks. I have no plans. I haven’t packed. Nothing’s sorted. It’s very unlike me. Also, I’m not excited. Weird, right? At one end is duty-free and at the other is Spain. What’s not to be excited?

I think I’m worn out from other recent trips and all the wedding planning pressure on top of the career change. Can I go into the hospital for “exhaustion” like celebrities do? Or is that really a euphemism for coke addiction? In which case, I guess not. Maybe I could get addicted to coke to get me through all this and then I’d be justified in taking a nice long break at one of those pretty rehab facilities. Not a good idea, you say? Drugs are not the answer? Well, that just seems narrow minded re: how to get a nice rest. *sigh*

I’m trying to kickstart my enthusiasm by spending swaths of time reading up on the city on-line and off. So far here’s what I’ve come up with:

  1. Ham. Jamón ibérico to be precise. At about $75/lb. I’m thinking setting up an import/export venture might be a good way to finance my writing career. Also, it would give some structure to my time in Spain. I’m working on a way to rebuild my suitcase to accommodate a lining of cured ham.

    Alternatively, I could work on importing the actual pigs, but I’m thinking they’re probably bigger than a carry-on. Also, noisy. And unaccustomed to travel. So that’s definitely a fallback position.

  2. Solidifying my dislike for Gaudi. Everyone likes Gaudi now except me, so I feel that I need to make a strong stand. Let’s take a look at what we’re dealing with: 128 years to build a church? Seriously? That is clearly a man without a plan. Your average pyramid was built in 30 years. Is this really gonna be better than 42 pyramids? Really?

    All that disorganization just rubs me the wrong way. Also, the tile work is lost on me. Just because it’s 1000 times bigger than my sixth grade craft project doesn’t mean it’s 1000 times better. That’s all I’m saying.

    (Please don’t get all worked up about this the way you do when I say I hate jazz: I can respect the effort without enjoying the output, so leave me alone already.)

  3. Acquisition of Kleenex and cup-of-soup. You haven’t had cup-of-soup until you’ve had European Knorr Cup-of-Soup. I lived on the stuff when I was a student in Switzerland and, layering on years of carting boxes of it back from all over Europe, I’m like a sommelier of dried soup. It’s a small market. Maybe as small as just me, but I can’t tear myself away. I love that powdery goodness.

    European Kleenex travel packs are square, not rectangular like the American ones. And I’m not ashamed to be seen with the nice patterns on them. That’s all I’m looking for in a Kleenex pack, really: square, non-annoying.

  4. Renting a bike. I’ve never been in Barcelona when it hasn’t been 153 degrees outside, so a bike has never been a practical option. An air conditioned hamster ball was more in order, but I’ve been stuck with the Metro until they get around to my brilliant hamster ball idea. It’s supposed to be a balmy 72 degrees the entire time I’m there, according to, so I should be good to go. Actually, past ten days out, is listing 72 as the permanent temperature in Barcelona. Which might mean they have no clue what the temperature will be but they’re going out on a non-controversial limb with a soothing 72. No one’s going to object to 72, least of all me on my shiny, shiny bike.


Categories: Barcelona, News, Nuisance, Miscellany


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