Barcelona Travel Log — Day 6 — Big Brother is Watching

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: 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

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