Archive for July, 2010

Barcelona Travel Log — Day 14 — Insert confusion

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After sleeping basically all day yesterday, it was finally time for Melody and I to take to the skies and return to the Great White North. Checking out of the hotel and catching the bus like pros, we made it to the airport in amazing time. Unfortunately, this would be the last “easy” thing that happened to us all day.

Upon arriving at the airport, we were ushered to a thin Air Canada line to get our boarding passes and drop off our checked baggage. In no time at all, we were all checked in and good to go, but something was a little strange–for some reason they didn’t tag my wheelchair. For those of you who know me, you will remember the last time my chair wasn’t tagged it was accidentally sent to Memphis (rather than Detroit) and nearly destroyed in a controlled explosion on suspicion of being Osama’s new horrible plan to strike at the American Infidels (little did we know his real act of terrorism was funding Million Dollar Baby–Hiyooooo!). As such, I was a bit suspicious and asked again if they were absolutely sure my chair would be tagged at the gate, which was again confirmed that was the case.

Moving onward to security, things still didn’t feel right, especially when we asked a security guard where the wheelchair accessible security check-in station was and he told us there was no such thing. Uh oh. As we scrambled around trying to find a metal detector wide enough to fit through, the man from the Air Canada desk caught up with us and explained a mistake had been made, obviously, and the chair did indeed have to be tagged. Unfortunately, the chair also had to be taken at that exact moment, leaving me in an oversized and unusable manual wheelchair for the next 2 hours. We attempted to negotiate with the guy, begging and pleading to let us keep the chair until we load on the plane, if only to ensure the chair is put on the right plane, but it was no use. In the words of the Air Canada employee “I don’t care how it is done at other airports around the world, in Barcelona you don’t get to keep your chair.”

Because I no longer had my electric wheelchair, we now needed a staff from the airport to push me around to ensure Melody had her hands free to carry all of our luggage. This lead to several awkward moments, as the woman assigned to us didn’t speak a lick of English and we were once again forced to do interpretive dance to communicate. You don’t even want to know our sign for “bathroom.” After bumming around in the duty free shop for about 30 minutes, it was finally time to board.

But not so fast, enter mass chaos. As it turns out, the airport was surprisingly unorganized this morning and, unlike every airport I’ve ever been to in the past 20 odd years, they decided it would be best to just load up people in wheelchairs at the same time as everyone else. While this choice was perhaps a great step forward for the disability equality movement, it made for an absolute horrible mess of aisle chairs surrounded by hundreds of scrambling travellers climbing over one another to get their bags away and into their seats. To make matters worse, for some reason people all over the plane had given up on the “assigned seat” system and were just sitting wherever they wanted, leading to even more chaos. Furthermore, no one really seemed to be “in charge,” leaving each of these little emergencies to be resolved after 10-15 minutes of intense group meetings (in spanish of course) that never really seemed to resolve anything. I never thought I’d say this but at this point I was beginning to miss Pearson International. Anyway, the end result was the plane being delayed so long that we missed our slot to take off, forcing us to sit at the gate, in the plane, for over an hour waiting for a chance to get airborne. It was around this point that I fully expected to see one of the crew out on the tarmac doing donuts in my chair before lighting it on fire and pissing on the ashes.

Eventually we did get airborne and I provided anyone who would listen with my best impersonation of a Bronx Cheer and clapped sarcastically. Once airborne, things seemed to straighten out a bit and we were back on the smooth path to Canada. Despite seeming like the longest flight in the history or aeronautics, we finally touched down in Toronto at 3:30pm EST. With bags in hand and wheelchair seemingly fine, I parted ways with Melody and set off to London.

So all in all, despite the insanity, everything went fairly well. I was just about to celebrate my huge victory when a minor disaster struck–my wheelchair stopped driving. Upon further investigation in my apartment, it appears someone has been tampering around with the underparts of the chair and it now cuts out every few steps, requiring someone to switch it into manual and back into drive mode in order to keep going.

If nothing else, at least this happened on the way home and not on the way there. But still…damn you Air Canada!!!

Anyway, I’m too tired to be angry right now…stupid jet lag…so I’m heading to bed in the next hour or so and will be back with my normal spit and vinegar tomorrow.

Good bye Barcelona, hello rainy London!

Travel Log - Barcelona

After sleeping basically all day yesterday, it was finally time for Melody and I to take to the skies and return to the Great White North. Checking out of the hotel and catching the bus like pros, we made it to the airport in amazing time. Unfortunately, this would be the last “easy” thing that […]

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Barcelona Travel Log — Day 13 — And then there were two…

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As it was a month ago, Clara and I are once again separated by an ocean. Because of some mis-planning and bad calender abilities, we ended up having different return flights to Canada, with Clara leaving this morning and Melody and I flying out tomorrow morning.

In order to make Clara’s flight, we got up early today and hit the breakfast room. Unfortunately, I was still absolutely stuffed from the feast last night (which was fan-friggin-tastic) and couldn’t possibly eat another bite yet. After Melody and Clara’s bellies caught up to mine, it was off to catch the bus to the airport.

It should be noted that while today was my second last day in Barcelona, it was actually a day of many firsts. To begin, this morning was the first time a bus driver forced us to put on the seatbelt required by wheelchair-users on the bus. For those who haven’t seen this process, it is different than in North America in that the wheelchair is positioned backward with an extremely tight belt wrapped around your chest to tether you and the chair to a steel frame behind you. I’m not exactly sure how this is safer, especially because the belt is around me and not the chair, meaning the force of a 350lbs of wheelchair being tossed by an accident would be placed squarely on my ribcage: something tells me it wouldn’t hold.

Anyway, we made it to the airport without any problems and saw Clara off. It was sad seeing her go, once again, and not be going with her. Being the suck that I am, I already miss her even though she’s only been gone about 12 hours.

So that leads us to today–complete aimlessness without our master of ceremonies, tour guide and translator. Without her, Melody and I were a bit of a mess today. Upon returning from the airport, I decided I wanted to have another go at the aggressive salesman at the sports shop in La Rambla in the hopes of acquiring a cheap Spain football jersey. I was totally geared up with a whole strategy on how to weasel the guy out of 30 euro, only to find a totally tame (read: lame) sales staff who would barely look at me let alone threaten to murder my family if I didn’t buy something. Where’s the fun in that??

Unsuccessful, we decided to head back to the hotel and attempt to make plans for the day. Instead, we ended up falling asleep. This wouldn’t be the first time “…wanna just sleep?” would be suggested as a “plan.” Melody and I basically just loafed around the hotel all day, trying to eat all the left over food and drink the left over wine from last night. Suffice to say, this was a terrific way to just drift in and out of sleep for most of the day, living like slobs until about 4pm when we decided to venture out for real food.

This is when we would have two more firsts occur. The first was when Melody left her wallet at the Snack Bar we love so much, but luckily the owner chased us down 3 blocks away, yelling at us to come back in Spanish before we finally realized he meant us. He was the cutest old man and joked around about the whole thing. Looks like that extra tip we left today really paid off. We found it quite funny that we could go 13 days without being mugged, robbed, stabbed or otherwise hurt and we were almost foiled by the ol’ “leave the wallet on the table” trick. Classic.

The second first was several blocks later when I heard something fall off my chair that sounded like money. We looked around but couldn’t see any change on the ground, so figuring it was just a piece of metal or something I ran over, we kept going. It was when we returned to the hotel that I discovered my seatbelt had fallen off my chair. Yep, the screw that was holding the belt to the chair had somehow come undone and fallen into the street. I can honestly say in 27 years, I have never ever broken my seatbelt. I can also say this kind of ruined our plans to venture out of the hotel after, as I didn’t feel secure enough to get on the bus and we weren’t feeling bold enough to venture out and find some sort of rope or duct tape to secure me to the chair.

Instead, we decided to just stick around the hotel, slowly pack our things up and take care of any unfinished food and drink. Oh…and sleep.

If the belt hadn’t broken, our plan was to just get drunk on wine and go play bingo at the bingo hall next door. Clara, we’re lost without you!

The last note-worthy event of the day was our last stop at the Catalanista cafe down the street for one last coffee. Our favourite barrista, the old Catalanista who owns the joint and has “perfect english” was there and we managed to order food and drink in english with limited trouble. He also tried to teach us some Catalan, but teaching me Catalan is kind of like beating a dead horse with a bag of dead horse. The barrista has been so good and kind to us I wanted to give him a little thank you, so before we left and had said our goodbyes through some interpretive dance (how to do you signify “flying away on an airplane to Canada tomorrow??”), I ripped the Canadian flag off my travel bag and gave it to him, telling him that if I was leaving with a piece of Catalonia I wanted him to have a little piece of Canada as a thank you. He was extremely thankful, told me to come back soon, and said he would mail me some cafe if I got desperate in the interim. The next time I come to Barcelona, his little cafe will be the first place we visit me thinks.

So that is the trip, more or less, with one big hurdle standing between me and Canada. The flight is going to take over 8 hours, followed by a 2 hour drive down the 401. The 8 hours should give Air Canada ample opportunity to destroy my chair…I’m half expecting them to bring me a lawn chair with 3 lawn-mower wheels duct taped to it and claim it’s the chair. Speaking of smashed chairs, Greg if you are reading this, you own me $5.

Oh well, this time tomorrow I’ll be back in London, sucking at staying awake, but Clara and I will be back with 1 more blog posts recount our adventures with the airline industry and a very special “What We’ve Learned” recap of our favourite moments, lessons learned, and words of warning sometime early next week.

See you hep cats on the flip side,

– Jeff

Travel Log - Barcelona

As it was a month ago, Clara and I are once again separated by an ocean. Because of some mis-planning and bad calender abilities, we ended up having different return flights to Canada, with Clara leaving this morning and Melody and I flying out tomorrow morning. In order to make Clara’s flight, we got up early today and hit […]

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Barcelona Travel Log — Day Elev…Twelve?

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So this morning, we actually woke up at the kind of time that tourists usually wake up.  Except like an hour later than most people in this hotel.  Still.  Good for us.

After frittering away a couple of hours doing God knows what, it was time to head out to Placa Catalunya to aimlessly stroll La Rambla and hopefully have the distinctly Barcelonian experience of getting pickpocketed… or Jeff getting sexually assaulted by an old woman again.  The name of the game today was last-minute-present-acquisition, and we figured what better place than that towering block of concrete which houses all the things you can buy in the world, the Corte Ingles.  Or the other Corte Ingles a few doors down.  Or the other one a few doors down from that one. Ooooor just the street vendors, whatevs.

Early on we thought we were gearing up to get rained on, so we didn’t wander too far from the plaza and its promise of shelter.  Worst case scenario, we would claim diplomatic immunity at the Canadian embassy.  Although we’d have to commit some kind of crime first.  Quick, Jeff, molest that old woma–oohpe she beat you to it.  What about eating an orange in the bathtub?  Is that legal here?

Jeff making faces at McDonalds

When he doesn't shave, Jeff almost passes for a Grade 8 prom date...or a drowned rat.

Aaaanyway, the rain held out so we began to make our way down La Rambla (after purchasing a few special surprises for special someones).  By this point, we’d worked up a bit of an appetite, and we were getting the bizarrely tinted sweats of human beings suffering from McDonalds withdrawal.  Like an angel/human statue street performer from the clouds, the golden arches loomed mere steps away from our suffering young addicted selves.  We staggered towards the bright light drunkenly, drooling and weeping with joy…and fear.  Turns out, ordering at a Barcelona McDonalds was the worst experience of Clara’s life.  Everyone was just yelling and running around and being fat together like fat chickens with their fat heads cut off.  In other words, it was sort of like Wall Street (buh-zing) but less greasy (DOUBLE zing – new high score!).  Sticking with the Wall Street analogy, Clara and Jeff got two Lehman Brothers with cheese.  They were fucking awful hamburgers.  Let’s not talk about it.

Having fed our addiction, Jeff noticed a sports apparel shop beside the McDonalds where we hoped to find Clara’s Dad a birthday present. This is where we learnt that Jeff and Clara are terrible shoppers under pressure. We also learned some stereotypes about East Indian salesman are completely true. What started out as a simple “can I help you?” quickly became a “I cut you good deal” and evolved into a “be a man! Buy!”.  We’ve never seen a more bipolar sales pitch in which the salesman was simultaneously good cop, bad cop, and possible murderer.  After being forced into some kind of “deal” (hoodwinkers…) on a possibly wrongly sized gift (“I skinny man.  Is your papa fat man?”), we had to run from the store before the man attempted to sell Jeff a nice piece of property in Florida.  We barely made it out of there alive.

An Alien Statue in La Rambla

Is Alien gonna have to smack a bitch?

With all of our precious purchases purchased, we decided to head down La Rambla and check out some of the street performers.  Some of the statues were quite cool, while others appeared to be … contemporary artists… and essentially smeared random makeup on their faces and screamed at people to give them money.  Jeff fell in love with an Alien statue, pictured here.  Strangely, this statue moved around a lot. Really ruined the whole “statue” illusion.

Anyway, at this point we were all Ramba-ed out (though regrettably un-robbed/molested) so we decided to head back to the hotel to clean up before Fancy Dinner 2010.  We had reservations for a fancy-dancy little mangerie that had crazy dishes like eggs filled with truffle, but unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. On a trip that has featured fantastic weather so far, the clouds finally opened up and dumped rainbabies all over the city. The first remedy to this problem was to call an accessible cab, but in an ode to London Ontario, Barcelona only has one accessible cab company and all the rides were booked. Jeff plans now to drive his wheelchair across Spain.

Anyway, we discovered a much closer by and much better restaurant on the Internets easily and found ourselves at a restaurant called Colibri.  We stuffed ourselves to the point of pain with delicious delicious food and a very excellent wine, served ever so kindly by a boy we are certain is Frida Kahlo’s grandson. Jeff was pleased that all the interaction with Clara’s family has stretched his stomach to the point where he could actually survive through every course at Calabri, and by “survive” we mean, we both limped home with distended bellies eager to go to bed.

Speaking of bed, it’s late and we’re tired (and drunkish), so peace out all and goodbye Barcelona (Clara leaves early tomorrow morning).  It’s been excellent.

From moonlit Barcelona with love,

-Jeff and Clara

Travel Log - Barcelona

So this morning, we actually woke up at the kind of time that tourists usually wake up.  Except like an hour later than most people in this hotel.  Still.  Good for us. After frittering away a couple of hours doing God knows what, it was time to head out to Placa Catalunya to aimlessly stroll […]

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Barcelona Travel Log — Day 11 — Us versus the Mountain

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With our eyes set firmly on Montjuic, a mountain featuring several big museums and the Olympic stadium, it was time to forgo our sleep-in routine and get cracking on the day bright and early. After a big breakfast we set off, determined to conquer the hill. We were so quick to get out the door, we actually had time to spare so we decided to try the MACBA again. Low and behold, it was open!

The MACBA. In short, this museum had some nice pieces but mostly just stood as the justification for people hating contemporary artists. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. So we arrived at the doors of the MACBA just before their doors opened for business at 11am, meaning for one of the first times this whole trip we had to line up. The line wasn’t too bad, except for when this old couple butt directly in front of us. We were so astonished by their flagrant butting that Jeff assumed they were with the group ahead of us, but we quickly discovered they were just jerks. In a hilarious moment of poetic justice, a woman came out moments later, gave Clara and Jeff free tickets to the gallery and escorted us in ahead of the line. The old woman looked like the vein in her head was about to explode. Take that, jerks!

So back to bashing contemporary artists. Jeff has decided, upon seeing these exhibits, that he will now become a successful contemporary artist, spending approximately 5 hours putting together his entire body of work. Here’s a brief sampling of his exhibit:

  • Display case containing several crumpled napkins. Title: Untitled (A crumb too far, a stain too big)
  • A black room with an audio tape playing various guttural sounds (groan, groan, sniff, cough, repeat)
  • A canvas painted totally black. Title: Untitled (Anti-Painting)
  • Several barrels containing one days worth of urine. Title: The Art Academy
  • A pile of blankets. Title: Untitled (Insomnia)

For clarification, this exhibit really bugged Jeff because much of the pieces appeared to be something the “artists” (read: 5 year olds) put together the night before, including blank canvases, torn up cardboard placed in piles, countless pieces titled “untitled” followed by a title in brackets, and totally creepy videos that made no sense what so ever. To Jeff, these exhibits would be like if an acclaimed author just sat down at his computer and wrote 100,000 completely random words without any punctuation and tried to pass it off as Shakespeare. Seriously people…it was cool when Duchamp and Debord “punked” the art world, enough of the “non-exhibit.”

Having said that, the top floor of the MACBA did have some legitimate art, specifically some very cool pieces by Bruce Nauman (whom Clara loves). There was also some more solid Tapies stuff. Now that is art!

A sidewalk with posts, lamps, and other barriers preventing access

Seriously Jeff, you won't like the MNAC...you might as well just turn around. Love, the city planners of Barcelona

After making one more scan of the museum for the line-butters, in the hopes of getting revenge by standing in front of them at every piece they tried to see, it was time to grab some chow and hit the mountain. The ultimate goal of this trip was to visit the MNAC, which is the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. For those of you who have never been, you essentially have to climb a CN Tower’s worth of stairs to get to the front door of this place, making us a bit nervous. Luckily Clara’s expert navigatory skills once again came into play as she discovered some windy streets that lead around the stairs and provided access to the impressive collection. Unfortunately, this plan didn’t account for “design stupidity,” including numerous barriers, posts and water fountains placed in the middle of the sidewalk. It was like someone really didn’t want Jeff to see this museum. After climbing the mountain, slaying the dragon, and rescuing the princess we finally arrived at the front doors of the MNAC and were rewarded with a breath-taking panorama of Barcelona. The view was worth the trek alone.

A few of Barcelona from above

Click to see a detailed version of the photo

Again, Jeff’s math skills were “enhanced,” as the MNAC charged us 11 euros for 4 tickets. We have no idea how this divides out or why we were given a forth ticket. Maybe Jeff’s wheelchair needed it’s own ticket? Maybe they knew about Melody’s imaginary friend who’s been getting a free ride all trip. The exhibits were absolutely stunning, restoring our faith in the world of art. Finally, we got to see paintings that actually looked like something (although many of them involved decapitation for some reason) and were produced by true masters of their craft. We even got to see some Dali (Jeff’s man-crush). The MNAC was also our first Canadian-sighting, as three separate people, all from Ottawa strangely, came up to say hi. The first two girls actually had a third friend in a wheelchair waiting at the bottom of the massive flight of steps and were looking for a way up while the third man noticed Jeff’s Canadian flag on his chair and started a conversation.

With the mountain conquered and our bellies grumbling, we headed back to the hotel before heading out for a light dinner. Exhausted from our epic journey, we decided to just relax on a patio for a bit, eating some nice bocadillos, and save up some energy for our last full day together tomorrow. In other news, Jeff and Melody ate a dessert tonight called a “Gypsy Arm,” and it was racial-iffic!

Tomorrow we get felt up in La Rambla before heading out for a fancy dinner at one of the hottest resturaunts in Barcelona. They serve boiled eggs filled with chocolate. WITH CHOCOLATE!!! We’re both very excited.

Nighto,

– Jeff and Clara

Travel Log - Barcelona

With our eyes set firmly on Montjuic, a mountain featuring several big museums and the Olympic stadium, it was time to forgo our sleep-in routine and get cracking on the day bright and early. After a big breakfast we set off, determined to conquer the hill. We were so quick to get out the door, […]

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Dumb it Down

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Dumb it Down

Click to enlarge

Because we’re asked so friggin often why we’re in wheelchairs, many of my disabled friends have thought up clever origin stories, which are complete fabrications, to tell the walkies when they ask why we’re in a chair. I suppose it’s not a very nice thing to do and a mature person would just be honest and minimize the importance of the diagnosis…but man it’s fun watching their faces–they always believe us!

Some of my favourites? This are all fabricated stories that friends of mine have told people (who know who you are, jerks).

One of my friends tells people he’s in a wheelchair because a bear mauled him, eating all 4 of his limbs  and leaving him to use an electric wheelchair to get around.

Another tells people he was an undercover police officer who was shot multiple times during a drug bust gone bad.

And I used to tell people that I once waved at a man on a motorcycle who was driving by, he waved back, lost control, and smashed into me.

Now I just tell people I could walk until that one fateful day I made Clara angry, then get really quiet and look around nervously.

Dumb it Down

Because we’re asked so friggin often why we’re in wheelchairs, many of my disabled friends have thought up clever origin stories, which are complete fabrications, to tell the walkies when they ask why we’re in a chair. I suppose it’s not a very nice thing to do and a mature person would just be honest and minimize […]

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Barcelona Travel Log — Day 10 — Barca, Barca, BAAAARCAAA!

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We’ve decided to stop talking about sleeping in as though it were a random occurrence, because frankly, it’s become the norm. After sleeping in and grabbing a light breakfast at our favourite Catalanista cafe down the street, it was time to get our museum on at the MACBA and CCCB (not to be confused with the CCCR…or TCBY if you’re an illiterate with a food addiction). Everything seemed normal until Jeff attempted to flag down the bus and instead of lowering the ramp the bus driver attempted to run him over on the curb. Apparently that’s Spanish for “the ramp is broken.” Perhaps it means “The ramp is broken, now I break you.” Otherwise, our trip over to the MACBA (pronounced Mac-Bah by us, exclusively) was moderately uneventful, but did allow for a stroll through a beautiful neighbourhood and past the Philosophy, Geography and History departments at the University of Barcelona ($10 if you can pick the fake faculty). Unfortunately, after fighting our way through a mob of skater boys (who said see you later boy) we discovered the MACBA was closed…only on this specific Tuesday…apparently…dicks.

Reluctantly, we headed next door to the CCCB, also known as the Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, to see an engaging exhibit on the similarities and differences between three Catalan speaking Spanish port towns: Barcelona, Valencia, and Mallorca (home of Uncle Carlos, the hotel wunderkind). We all found the exhibit quite interesting as it compared the development of the cities, although the section about mob influence and political corruption was a bit scary. Jeff, being his usual jerkish self, decided to start looking behind the exhibit and found a collection of ladders which he claims to be a commentary on capitalistic drive in modern society. He even signed the guestbook praising the ladder portion of the exhibit. It really was quite moving. Now everyone at the CCCB will also know that Jeff is an idiot. On our way out, Jeff’s eye was caught by a Werner Herzog DVD collection in the window of the bookstore, prompting the discovery of an amazing graphic novel section! Good news Tim Blackmore, we found you the best present ever.

With our minds full, it was time to fill our food sacks, which have been stretched to fat-person size over the past few days. Just around the corner from the CCCB we found a hip little restaurant offering 10 euro 3-course meals (common occurrence that most restaurant offer and they’re generally awesome). All was well until Jeff opened his fat mouth and asked if they had a wheelchair bathroom. Cue the dramatics. While the wheelchair bathroom was quite nice, getting to it required a little trip in an elevator which has, for all intents and purposes, been converted into a storage closet after years of disuse. To complicate matters further, the non-English speaking staff were left giving us directions through hand signs and interpretive dance, leading to Jeff and Melody getting trapped in the dark elevator when trying to get back up afterwards. Luckily, fists banging on the wall is a universal sign for “Get us out of here!” and the staff came to help after a few minutes, but this didn’t stop us from taking another 10 minutes getting out of the tiny, lightless space. To pass the time, Jeff on put his 4-ways and had a little elevator rave party. Too bad all the boxes in the elevator were full of water and not Estrella.  Eventually Jeff and Melody did escape and all was right in the world again. It should also be noted that while the restaurant’s black rice and calamari was good, it paled in comparison to Clara’s aunt’s version that we had several nights before. Also, it dyed Melody and Jeff’s lips black, making them look like goths. Perfect, it’s not like the huge electric wheelchair didn’t stand out enough here…

Photo of the store "The Punt Slot"

Could a caption possibly make this funnier?

As we were heading to the bus stop to nip by the hotel before traveling onward to the FC Barcelona museum, we discovered we had wandered into what can only be described as the “Gaybourhood,” with tons of gay pride flags everywhere–including the “gay” fish and chips shop. What made it gay, we will never know. Can fish be gay? Does a gay fish taste better than a straight fish? Do the religions fish persecute the gay fish? Also, do you like fish sticks? What are you, a gay fish? Anyway, along our way we discovered this hilariously titled shop, The Punt Slot, which caused us to laugh hard enough that it was worth stopping and taking a photo. For the record, we think the store had something to do with car racing…but who even knows. We’re so mature.

After a quick pit stop at the hotel to drop some stuff off and refill our wallets, it was finally time to visit the most important museum of all–the FC Barcelona museum! For those not in the “know,” this is the museum dedicated to the Barcelona football club (soccer for you queer North Americans). As it turns out, our hotel is actually walking distance from the stadium where the Barca team plays, although it was a bit of a lengthly walk. From the outside, the stadium looks quite similar to the Skydome in Toronto (Rogers Centre if you’re a corporate sellout). As we got to the gate, we discovered it was 20 euro each to enter the museum, which seemed a bit steep so Melody decided to bail. The real Barca fans, Clara and Jeff, soldiered on and were strangely only charged 21 euro for two tickets and a really nice Barca museum handbook; and people wonder why Jeff is bad at math!

An FC Barcelona painting by Tapias

An FC Barcelona painting by Tapies that Jeff wants to own, desperately.

The museum was quite impressive, featuring all of the trophies Barca has won over the year (seriously, like a million), some cool old shoes and soccer balls, and tons of interactive multimedia exhibits. One of the coolest parts was a huge touch screen board where you could choose what country you were from and it would tell you what past and present Barca players are from that country and how many “members” are registered from that country. Canada has never had a player lace them up for Barca, but has 60 registered members and one fan club located in Montreal. Upon returning to Canada, Clara and Jeff intend on starting a London Barca fan club called “The Real Madrid are Sissy Girls Barcelona Fan Club.” Message if interested in joining. Some other interesting moments were seeing the actual field, hearing the Barca theme sung by a filmed choir of people from all over the world, and discovering that Barcelona is essentially the undisputed European Champs of roller hockey. Perhaps Jeff would fit in here quite nicely after all!

A statute of a man who looks like Marx and appears to be wearing nothing but underwear

Unless Jeff has missed something, this statute appears to celebrate the time honoured tradition of an underwear clad, topless Karl Marx delivering the opening kick at every FC Barcelona home game.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the museum was the emphasis on how the Barca club is not just about football, but rather, about promoting Catalan identity, social responsibility, and democracy. The museum was quite political, perhaps one of the most overtly political that we’ve seen so far, calling openly for pride in the Catalan identity that bordered on separatism. It was interesting to see how the club was giving back to the community as well, linking up with Unicef and UNESCO to promote these ideals in the developing world and help educate youth living in poverty. While Jeff is sure the Toronto Maple Leafs are extremely involved in charities around Toronto, he’s never seen this type of overt political message connected to the team, which was really curious and engaging. To give you North Americans a good analogy, this would be like if the Montreal Canadians openly supported separatism in Quebec or if the Dallas Stars openly called for cessation from the United States. While Clara felt some of it was a bit over the top and far from genuine, Jeff truly wanted to believe in the spirit for changing the world that FC Barcelona seems to exude. Also, they’re a disgustingly talented football squad.

While tonight would be fairly uneventful as Clara’s feet began to get sore from all the walking, we did want to mention an exciting (read: horrifically dangerous) game of frogger we played hopping across about 8 lanes of traffic traveling at high speed beside the Barca stadium only to discover there was no curb cut, forcing Jeff to drive half a block into oncoming traffic before finding an intersection. Some may have found it terrifying, but Jeff found the near-death experience exhilarating. Allegedly, he faced worse while on the trip to Ottawa. As was a theme of the day, Clara and Melody just think he’s crazy.

So that was the day in a nut shell. As the minutes tick down to our return, it’s becoming harder and harder to leave. Both Jeff and Clara are dreading the flight home, preferring to just stay here instead. Despite the fact that “vacation” has been our dominant mode for the past week and a half, things are genuinely different here, offering a different pace of life that’s both exotic and appealing. The city is as beautiful as the people friendly and with whispers of Catalan independence drifting by in the wind as it curls around your ear, there is a general perception around here that if you don’t like something, change it. If something is wrong, make it better. If there is a problem, fix it. If Canada is a nation of static status quo, this is a city in flux, bolding blazing an exciting trail into an unknown future of potential rather than fearing an oncoming disaster.

For whatever reason, it just seems a lot easier to breath around here.

– Jeff and Clara

Travel Log - Barcelona

We’ve decided to stop talking about sleeping in as though it were a random occurrence, because frankly, it’s become the norm. After sleeping in and grabbing a light breakfast at our favourite Catalanista cafe down the street, it was time to get our museum on at the MACBA and CCCB (not to be confused with the […]

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Barcelona Travel Log — Day 9 — I’m not good at gauging ratios!

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Without a cloud in sight and the sun burning down, there was only one possible thing to do today–beach day. We had intended on getting an early start to things and navigate our way across the city, but were stymied by a sudden influx of foreigners who have no idea how the elevators work in this hotel. To be fair, they are a bit confusing: you have to select your floor outside the elevator, as there are no buttons on the inside. Anyway, the result was extremely long wait times getting down for breakfast, getting back up to the room to shower, and getting out of the hotel. To let some of the crowds dissipate, Clara and Jeff decided to head down the ol’ Diagonal for some quick shopping. Sure enough, things were a bit more sane around the hotel by noon and it was high time to hit the surf.

The journey down was fine, if not a bit precarious with the seatbelt-less manual wheelchair. Once we hit the beach it was time for some over-priced patatas bravas (Jeff’s obsession) before fighting our way through the crowd to find a nice place to sit, sun and swim. Being Jeff’s first time to a European (read: topless) beach, he wasn’t sure what to expect but figured it would be a lot of old men and women exposing themselves to the horrified younger people who were attempting to gouge out their eyeballs. While there was quite a bit of nudity, it was neither scandalous or horrific, except for the naked young children who set up shop directly in front of us, leaving us with no where to cast our eyes without looking like perverts. Also, a couple got into a huge tiff behind us when one of the parents threw sand in a small child’s face, then they taunted the child, then they fought about it. Having said that, the naked children were probably the most uncomfortable part of the whole ordeal.

Oh and also the constant near drownings. Turns out Jeff isn’t quite the swimmer he once was and his nose has become completely useless at keeping water out of his lungs. As a result, the swim, although hilarious, was also a constant battle of keeping Jeff’s head out of water long enough for him to spit out all the salt water ingested from the previous large wave. Unfortunately, there were no fatalities, so our families will have to wait a bit longer for their free trip to Barcelona to mourn our loss. Fingers crossed for Thursday when we go for a solid wandering of La Rambla: Jeff is sure to get stabbed there.

All-in-all, today was a pretty relaxing day, completed with dinner at Nuria. This probably means nothing to most people reading this, but Clara’s younger sister is named Nuria and we can now say that the restaurant named after her has crappiest patatas bravas in town (one word: …currymayonnaise). Jeff intends on taking this out on Nuria when he returns to Canada.

Another day in the books, although probably boring for our dear readers. Never fear though,we will be back with more excitement tomorrow when we get back to more touristy things.

Adios

– Jeff and Clara

Travel Log - Barcelona

Without a cloud in sight and the sun burning down, there was only one possible thing to do today–beach day. We had intended on getting an early start to things and navigate our way across the city, but were stymied by a sudden influx of foreigners who have no idea how the elevators work in […]

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Barcelona Travel Log — Day 7 and 8 — Twice the fun

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Last night ended up a bit later than expected, so Clara and Jeff opted for bed rather than staying up and trying to scratching together a blog post. So, here is an abridged version of the weekend events.

Day 7 — Family and food

Today was going to be a relaxing day of hanging out with Clara’s grandma and later meeting up with a family friend. Jeff had been warned before leaving for Barcelona to get ready to eat a ton and Day 7 was the eating marathon he had been training for all summer. It was great hanging out with Clara’s grandma and great aunt and wow did we eat a ton of food. So much so, Jeff fell asleep as soon as we got back to the hotel. What a lightweight.

If the feast of the afternoon wasn’t enough, we got up and moving to meet up with a family friend of Clara’s, named Monste, for a bar night of hilarity. Jeff has a bit of a bromance starting with Montse’s boyfriend, who is a fellow webcomicista (parental advisory, some of this stuff is a bit too funny for younger kids). All-in-all, this cross-cultural learning opportunity was a blast and Jeff learned some useful spanish words that wouldn’t be found in a phrase book or language class. Many thanks to our new Barca buddies for the laughs last night, just remember it’s your turn to come visit us in Canada now!

Day 8 — Revenge of the Food

We were pretty slow getting up this morning after the late night and Jeff’s belly was cranky enough that he decided to skip breakfast: apparently Jeff and Octopus don’t go too well together. With everything and everyone sorted out by noon, we were off again for a late lunch at the Sagrada Familia with Clara’s aunt and uncle.

A list of things that cannot be flushed

Not shown here: chainsaws, bears, babies...the list of approved items goes on.

One quick random point before getting on with the story–the number of accessible bathrooms here is unbelievable. Jeff has never, ever had a problem finding an accessible bathroom, even in small restaurants. While the accessibility may be a bit hit and miss around here and some of the ramps are kind of scary, we’re definitely blow away by how many great unisex accessible bathrooms there are around town. In the bathroom today, we found this hilarious sticker above the toilet of all the things you are not allowed to  flush. Most of it makes sense, but what are some of those other things? Is that a banana? An old-school straight-blade razor? Q-Tips? This leads us to wonder if they have had so many people attempting to flush these objects that they had to post a sign. Furthermore, does this mean anything not listed is allowed to be flushed? Discuss amongst yourselves.

A modernist hospital in Barcelona

Attention Americans: This is what socialized medicine looks like! Jealous?

Anyway, after another massive, gut-busted lunch, Clara’s uncle took us around the corner to see a totally bizarre and completely amazing modernist hospital, as seen here. Jeff suddenly feels totally cheated by University Hospital in London. Another interesting tidbit, we were informed today that the Pope is coming to the Sagrada for it’s “official completion” in November, but apparently construction will still be underway for many years after. The spanish have a strange definition of “completion,” but Jeff thinks perhaps he can use this same approach toward getting his doctorate by September.

This evening, Clara and Jeff decided to mix it up a bit by heading across town to see the ballet performance of Don Quixote. We knew we’d entered a land of magic and excited when we discovered the building housed a theatre on the top floor and a bingo hall on the bottom floor. That’s right, come for the ballet, stay for the bingo. We should also point out the bingo hall had an amazing elevator to get people down, however the theatre had a terrifying stair lift that caused Jeff’s life to flash before his eyes as it jiggled and groaned it’s way precariously slowly up the stairs. Now we know Barcelona’s priorities–BINGO. Clara totally loved the show, particularly the performance of the bartender. As someone who has never been to a ballet before, doesn’t speak spanish, and has never seen or read Don Quixote before, this was an extremely interesting experience for Jeff.

Here is a description of the story, as told by Jeff shortly after the performance. Apologies in advance for any inaccuracies to the story, there may be some imagination/misinterpretation interjected here and there.

Don Quixote is a whimsical tale, based in Barcelona circa 2005 in La Rambla. Our tale begins with a man participating in some sort of Live Action Roleplaying game (who shall be known from now on as the LARPer), decked out in some sort of medieval commoner dress. Our LARPer is currently enjoying a dance with the moon, a drug-enduced romp brought on by reading a few pages in a book, which is subsequently stolen by some sort of fairies. His trip is quickly ruined, however, when he discovers he isn’t dancing with the moon at all, but rather, is in the street and is nearly hit by a car. Flash to a busy market in La Rambla, where a pimp, dressed in a flaming red zoot suit, arrives at a busy cafe in search of his newest prostitute. Low and behold, he finds this vixen who fits the description and just so happens to be his waitress. After some negotiation with the bartender, a deal is struck and Mr. Zoot Suit has successfully purchased a new employee. But wait, INTRIGUE! The waitress is not interested and tries to run away to a man who was walking by on a date with another girl but decides the waitress-turned-prostitute is far more interesting, bails on his date (dick) and decides to dance fight with the bartender and Mr. Zoot Suit for the next few minutes. Editorial sidenote: maybe all those “urban” dance movies aren’t so stupid, apparently people in Barcelona circa 2005 also solved disagreements with dancing. Soon after, the LARPer finally re-appears and steals a dance from a woman pertending to be a statute in La Rambla, only to lead to more dance fighting between the bartender, the hairdresser and Mr. Zoot Suit. Oh right, forgot to mention that the man in white who saved the waitress is a hairdresser…apparently.

So at this point, Jeff was following everything just fine, but it’s when the curtain raised for act 2 that everything goes to hell. Now we’re in a subway station, where a mariachi band plays the next few songs and random people, including the LARPer, are dancing around. There is a brief moment where the LARPer is chasing the statute-woman, who is now crying for unknown reasons, but this is short lived and never addressed again. From Jeff’s estimation, this was about 20 minutes of dancing with no plot progression. Flash forward 20 minutes and we’ve moved out of the subway and into a bar, where a crowd clad in Budweiser soccer jerseys are watching the final game of World Cup 2010 on TV. Now, we’re not too sure what has transpired, but we guess there are only 3 possible options: we were in the subway for 5 years and it’s now 2010, the Spanish are future-seeing gypsys and knew back in 2005 that Spain would win 2010 and just never told anyone, or this LARPer guy is like a spanish version of Doc from Back to the Future and that subway was the Don Quixote version of a delorian. Mr. Zoot Suit saunters in off the street for a nice drink, despite the fact this bartender screwed him on that prostitution deal several years early, and everything is great until Mr. Hairdresser and the Waitress walk, rubbing their love all up in everyone’s grill. Mr. Zoot Suit has a heart attack and starts flopping around like a fish, followed by more dance fighting between the bartender and the hairdresser, climaxing with the hairdresser being flung into oncoming traffic and nearly dying. Don’t worry though, he’s saved when the LARPer comes in, placing the hairdressers’ hand in the waitresses hand that casts some sort of magical dungeons and dragons healing spell. Huzzah, he’s alive! Three cheers for hobo-esque stranger in medieval clothing!

Scene change, last of the performance. We’re now at the wedding, where Mr. Zoot Suit, the Bartender and Mr. Hairdresser shake hands, figuring it’s time to stop the feuding and the fighting now that someone has been hit by a car. Why the hairdresser would have invited the men who tried to kill him to his wedding we may never, ever know. Does this mean Jeff has to invite that old woman who kissed him to his wedding? Sidetrack sorry. Meanwhile, the LARPer, who despite saving the hairdressers life got the big snub on the wedding invite. Luckily, no reckless drivers were invited to the wedding to run over the hairdresser again, so everything goes off without a hitch and basically we’ve got assorted dancing and performers bowing for the next 30 minutes. Yeah, the cast really, really milked the ending.

There you have it! Don Quixote, as told by a confused but entertained Jeff. All in all, Jeff gives the show an C- for the lack of machine guns and explosions but an A+ for the hardcore pornography. (Editors note: there was no hardcore pornography, so perverts need not rush to get tickets…unless you’re also bingo fans)

In all seriousness, it was a great show and while this was Jeff’s first ballet, it certainly won’t be his last–he can’t wait to see his next in fact.

Alas, the clock is ticking and it’s about time for another long and satisfying sleep. Tomorrow we’re going to hit the beach, so be prepared for stories of Clara fighting a mermaid and Jeff befriending the crab people and leading an underwater revolution.

– Jeff and Clara

Travel Log - Barcelona

Last night ended up a bit later than expected, so Clara and Jeff opted for bed rather than staying up and trying to scratching together a blog post. So, here is an abridged version of the weekend events. Day 7 — Family and food Today was going to be a relaxing day of hanging out […]

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Barcelona Travel Log — Day 6 — Big Brother is Watching

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Of course, after posting the blog yesterday we realized we had missed another important story, so before getting to today’s events, here’s a brief story from yesteryear.

The other day we went to the local supermarket (or super-mercat, as it’s called here…or is advertising some sort of feline superhero) to pick up some supplies (read: fanta and chips). We quickly realized this particular store was all organic, limiting our options. As we were checking out, fanta-less, a man walked in and asked where the Coca-Cola was, only to have the guy working the counter respond snidely in spanish “Coca-Cola isn’t organic…” Jeff is glad the organic hippies are snobs here too.

Today we decided to take it easy, sleep in after breakfast, and visit a few plaza’s before meeting up with Clara’s aunt and uncle. The first plaza on our schedule was Placa Reial, former (?) home of Llius Llach, a Catalan John Kale. The Reial was stunning, although quite touristy…which meant buskers. Tons of buskers. Also, it meant Magners for Clara. She’s probably the only girl who comes to Barcelona and craves Irish cider. Jeff shouldn’t talk though because the other day he craved KFC. We think this says a little bit about who Jeff and Clara really are.

Sign stating Orwell Plaza is under video recon

El Big Brother is Watchingo

With bellies full and time to burn, we decided to wander out further into the Gothic Quarter in search of the George Orwell plaza. Jeff has been a huge Orwell fan since high school and has actually been reading Homage to Catalonia throughout the trip, so he really wanted to get some pictures of the plaza. Thanks again to Clara’s excellent navigatory skills, we located the plaza without too much difficulty, except for the fact that the plaza was a total dive. Perhaps because the city planners didn’t like the idea of naming a plaza after a foreigner or perhaps they just felt a rougher crowd would appreciate Orwell’s work, we don’t know. Either way, the plaza was not much to look at, unless you like looking at broken beer bottles and garbage strewn everywhere. There was one fantastic moment of irony, however, when Clara discovered a sign claiming the George Orwell Plaza is under video surveillance. Hilarious.

After the longest bus ride ever back to the hotel, Jeff fell asleep on Clara while en route, it was finally time to rent a manual wheelchair and head out to meet Clara’s aunt and uncle. Renting the wheelchair was surprisingly complicated, in that we’re pretty sure the staff has never done it before. Surprisingly, Jeff’s seat cushion was able to fit in the manual chair and the foot rests could be raised. Great! The downside is the chair has no seat belt, so Jeff’s life is literally in Melody’s hands when she’s pushing him around. Looks like Melody holds all the power in that relationship now…

Dinner was absolutely fantastic and the conversation was even better. As it turns out, Clara’s Uncle Juan is an architect whose job revolves around restoring old buildings. As such, we were treated with tons of stories about the old city, how design has evolved, and generally given context to all of the things we’ve been learning at the museums around town over the past 5 days. Also, Clara’s aunt and uncle have the cutest dog ever and now Jeff kind of misses Kurzweil.

Kind of…

Tomorrow is going to be a slow day again, but tomorrow night we’re going to attempt hitting the clubs. The only question is, can Jeff grow a mullet fast enough to fit in? Oh yea, forgot to mention that…mullets, especially dreaded ones, are all the rage here. As Jeff has always suspected, with certain haircuts, even though they are in fashion, you don’t necessarily look any less like an a-hole.

– Jeff and Clara

Travel Log - Barcelona

Of course, after posting the blog yesterday we realized we had missed another important story, so before getting to today’s events, here’s a brief story from yesteryear. The other day we went to the local supermarket (or super-mercat, as it’s called here…or is advertising some sort of feline superhero) to pick up some supplies (read: […]

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Barcelona Travel Log — Day 5 — Clara hates Jeff’s “typoes”

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Jeff was so frazzled from his “incident” yesterday that we forgot to include a smaller, but still funny, anecdote that happened. Jeff also remembered some other key points he wanted to make on travelling in Barcelona, so we’ll deal with that first before getting on with the day.

Yesterday

After spending the last few days seeing everyone walking around in Barca jerseys, Jeff decided it was time to find some blue and pomegranate of his own, despite the fact that he will obviously look like a tourist. As we were wandering around the Gothic Quarter, we finally found an accessible merch shop and decided now was as good a time as ever. Upon entering, we were quickly ambushed by the store owner, who started offering random discounts on things we weren’t even looking at. Anyway, when asked what size jerseys were available, the man claimed he had “all sizes,” which lead us to wonder out loud what size jersey would fit Jeff. The man interjected that the sizes were the same as your age and then asked Jeff how old he was. It became quite awkward when we discovered the man thought Jeff was a semi-bearded 8-year-old boy and even more awkward when Jeff asked what a size 26 would look like…although we’re sure it would hide his curves. The man quickly backtracked and said “I no good with these things.” Whether he meant sizing or people in wheelchairs, we may never know. In the end, Jeff did get his jersey and it fits wonderfully, but it has become a running joke to ask about size 26 clothing now.

Some other key points on accessible travel in Barcelona…

  • So far, we have had absolutely no problem getting food, largely because we are surviving on tapas. For those who don’t know, tapas is sort of like an appetizer menu that has different variations of spicey potatoes, meat and seafood that are generally small portions that can be mixed and matched with friends. On average, we’re paying about 20 euro to feed all three of us with drinks, so it’s the best, easiest and cheapest way to eat. From an accessibility-standpoint, tapas are wonderful because they’re often served at bars, which almost all have patio seating on the sidewalk–meaning Jeff can eat at bars that are otherwise fully inaccessible. If it wasn’t for the beautiful weather, finding accessible food would be much, much harder.
  • Much like other European cities, most major tourists centers offer discounts for people with disabilities and their attendants. These discounts and line-bypass perks are almost never advertised, but quickly offered whenever they see you come rolling up to the window. If no one says anything, just ask–they almost always offer you something.
  • Although the subway has been a bust, the bus system has been fantastic. Like other cities, some bus drivers are crotchety and say the ramp is broken, but they’re just one or two bad apples in a basket of otherwise delicious…fruit? Cabs are accessible too, but they’re too expensive for our blood.
  • While most electric wheelchairs will find the older buildings extremely tight to move around in, anyone using smaller chairs (like a youth electric chair) or manual wheelchairs shouldn’t have too many problems getting around. Jeff has found the elevators aren’t quite as small as the lifts in London, England but they’re still pretty tight. If access is a problem, a lot of pharmacies will actually rent a variety of manual wheelchairs on a daily or weekly basis. May not be perfect, but it works if you’re in a jam.

As for today

As is our custom, we woke up late and rushed down for breakfast just before the joint closed. No one slept well last night, so we were particularly slow on the uptake. After food, we decided to do some major strategizing to figure out what sites we wanted to visit today. After quite some time negotiating, we determined our best bet would be the Pedrera, which is another Gaudi masterpiece, and two art foundations, the Sunol and the Alorda-Derksen. It should be noted that today was our first day without blazing sun and Jeff spent much of it wondering if we were going to be caught in the rain. Luckily, it didn’t happen.

So the Pedrera. Mindblowing. This has got to be one of our favourites so far, if only because of the huge amount of contextual information provided about Gaudi, his design process, and some of his lesser known works. The Pedrera was originally constructed as an apartment complex, but has since been turned into a World Heritage site by UNESCO and converted into a museum. As such, part of the tour included a fully restored apartment from the early 20th century, complete with period furniture. Jeff thinks the best quote to sum up the whole experience came from a teacher of Gaudi’s, who upon his graduation stated they had either just graduated a genius or a lunatic. We’re leaning toward the genius side of things. One particularly interesting tidbit of information gleaned from the tour was Gaudi’s method of hanging chains upside down to design his structures. Google it, it’s worth seeing. Another amazing moment was when Clara and Jeff were whisked up the original elevator (closed to the public) to see the restored apartment. We have to say, this early20th century elevator was, in many ways, better and more functional than most found in London, ON. Looks like we could learn something from the early 20th Century. The only “bad” part about the exhibit was that the audio guide kept telling us to check out the “audio-visual experiences,” which consisted of visuals with no audio. Okay, that’s being generous, they were slide shows. We suppose this is better than the near-constant typos in the write ups at the Picasso Museum…

After having our minds thoroughly blown, we decided to head down to the Alorda-Derksen foundation while we waited for the Sunol to open after lunch. Unfortunately, after walking about 15 minutes, we discovered this facility was unaccessible. Brutal. It seems to be a bit of a habit to strike out on at least one venue a day right now.

Back to the Sunol Foundation we went, arriving just in time for the doors to open. Our promptness was unnecessary, however, as there was absolutely no one else there, except for some weird balding man but we’ll get to him in due course. This would be the first venue to offer no “handi-discounts,” so Jeff had to finally pull out his wallet and shell over some euros for Barcelona culture. Despite claiming the Foundation is in possession of over a thousand pieces of art, the exhibit was actually quite small, taking us under an hour to see everything. Most of the pieces were decent, some were quite stunning, and some left us to wonder why we’re not world famous artists yet. Example, one piece was a pile of sugar packages, some of which had black Xs drawn on them, sitting in a glass case. Jeff’s frustrated that he paid to see this, as a similar piece is showing in every…single…cafe…in…the…city. But the point of art is to be inspired, so Jeff and Clara proceeded to make art across the city, leaving a trail of small litter piles everywhere they went. Note: not actually; Mother Earth is our home boy. Oh yes, we almost forgot: the balding weird man. So accompanying us in our magical journey through the art world was this strange older man who seemed pretty nonchalant about most of the work except one particular piece that looked an awful lot like the rest of the collection and consisted of a bunch of indiscernible scribbles across a canvas, but which he felt the dying need to stare at for what seemed like an hour and then proceed to ask questions of the curator about said piece. As someone who would consider himself a fan of the “arts,” Jeff understands how someone could get excited about a piece…but this seemed a bit much.

After spending some time in the bizarre audio-visual room, we decided to hit the local Zara for a bit of consumer detox. Despite some more sizing concerns (this time not of the age variety), Jeff managed to find some sick duds for work at an extremely reasonable price. Jeff also tried to convince Clara to buy the dress made of towel material, but she opted instead for a skirt that was actually “nice” as opposed to “hilarious.” Jeff’s idea of “fashion” is just to wear the goofiest thing possible. We call this the “clown college manifesto.”  And Jeff wonders why his job search took such a long time…

The final point of note from today is Clara and Jeff rocked a sick high five on a street corner, nearly a Top Gun high five, and during the follow through Jeff noticed an old woman shoot him the dirtiest look ever. We’re pretty sure she just heard the noise of the high five, saw Jeff in the follow through, and thought he’d just smacked Clara. Now she’ll never let her daughter date someone in a wheelchair!

Tomorrow is going to be a bit slower, but we’re still going to bed early. Night suckers!

– Jeff and Clara

Travel Log - Barcelona

Jeff was so frazzled from his “incident” yesterday that we forgot to include a smaller, but still funny, anecdote that happened. Jeff also remembered some other key points he wanted to make on travelling in Barcelona, so we’ll deal with that first before getting on with the day. Yesterday After spending the last few days […]

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