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?
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.
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