Against all odds my Bicing Card arrived!! Thanks to my German buddy's slightly modified NIA number.. I too get to Bice-cycle Barcelona. If you're still confused, Bicing is Barcelona's public bicycling program intended for fulltime residents.
Of course the instructions are in Catalan... which is a strange mixture of Spanish and French.. so I actually can read quite a lot of it despite my apparent confusion.
Pep Guardiola. Mmm. Sexiest soccer coach ever. I don't think I know the name of any other soccer coach, but still, Pep gets my vote. His face greets me on the cover of the newspaper practically every day regardless of what ever else is going on in the world. The day someone tried to set Sagrada Familia on fire, I had to flip through ten pages of soccer coverage before learning anything about arson at Barcelona's most famous landmark. You can see where priorities lie. I think every woman in this city (myself included) would like to lie their priorities right along side this guy.
Tried to use that special feature on my camera that merges two pictures together but failed and got in a lot of people's way trying to figure it out.. so instead settled on photoshoping skills. Getting ready to enter the Labyrinth Garden!! We thought that if maybe we acted out the scene behind us we would be granted access to some secret portal. Daniel really thought he was going to find a secret passage way, I was just modestly hoping to see David Bowie.. we both had to settle for some birds. And no, the matching jean jackets were not planned.
Of course I'm doing other things than just eating.. it's just so much more fun to take photos of colorful, enviable food products or show off my novice cooking skills, than make pictures of pictures in museums. But yesterday, I went to the CaixaForum to see the Omar Fast exhibition. Call me a philistine, but normally I can't get into video art no matter how hard I try. Perhaps its over my head, or I am old-fashioned and want my art to be "beautiful", or don't love watching various forms of flagellation. However, Omar Fast won me over. Two of his pieces The Casting and Nostalgia were installed and I stayed in the dark to watch both of them for well over an hour.
You really feel like you're living in a place for real. Trip #2 to La Boqueria was an utter success. I walked in with 20 euros in hand and walked out with shrimp, salmon, more fruit and veggies than Chiquita Banana could fit on her head, and enough dried fruits and nuts to last me for however long those Jews spent in the desert.. (hey it's Passover, right?)
The market is an ideal place for me to try out my spanish. My vocabulary is now on par with a two year old, so I know my numbers, fruits and vegetables, and how to say a little more or a little less. And when in doubt, pointing is an option. However, even in english buying fish is a real challenge. I have no clue how many ounces of fish I alone can consume, let alone kilos! So when the woman asks how much I want, I say in spanish: just for me for two days and she gets the idea.
My roommates are consistently amazed by the fact that an American wants to eat fruits and vegetables. Perhaps they assumed I would dine nightly at the McDonalds on La Rambla? I try to deflect their comments by explaining that we have a bad stereotype in America because quality produce is expensive, and many people can't afford to eat this way. On that note, time for lunch!
The top of Parc Guell.. away from all of the touristas!! It's a goddamn mad house down at the bottom.. what I imagine Macy's in Herald Square to be like on Black Friday.. perhaps only worse, and filled with vendors selling fake designer sunglasses. When I walked into the park, every person was stationed with their arms extended taking the exact same photo of the lizard that greets vistors as he or she descends the first dramatic stair case. I've got to give it to Gaudi.. the place is impressive, but seriously, just google-image that lizard and move on. In defiance, I tried to make pictures that would be wholly unrepresentative of the fact that I went to one of the most famous architectural sites in the western world (save one or two when I too just couldn't resist). For a about twenty seconds I chased a pair of copulating pigeons with my camera but they ran into the bushes before I could capture that magical and memorable moment in Parc Guell.
The jig is up.. we all know I like food and that often my blog centers around the delicacies of what ever region I am fortunate enough to find myself in. Thus many photos of food to follow en suite..
This is my/the life.... the fish lady at La Boqueria and I have a date tomorrow, she just doesn't know it yet. In spanish two separate words exist for referring to fish that are alive in the sea and fish that are well, dead on your plate: pez or pescado. Those that know me well know I don't enjoy consuming things that look like they did when they were alive. Correct. I will not eat lobster from it's shell no matter how much butter you lather in it. In fact, I don't relish thinking about anything on my plate as being alive once upon a time. On a past family trip to Spain I infamously referred to a plate of shelled seafood as a "shrimpy massacre" and was nearly made sick by the site of my then 3 year old sister violently tearing apart the bodies of those sea crawlers. I've matured (only slightly) and now can handle shelling my own shrimp. However, I do particularly like the fact that spanish offers a linguistic form of denial.