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Barcelona…You Magnificent Bitch!!

by dimensionaltales

For thirteen days, I was in the “Comital City” and fell in love with everything about it. The people. The food. The history. Everything about Barcelona was what I was missing in China and what I wished America could be. I still do, actually.  However, I will not focus on that. Instead, I will gush over what I did in the lively city. But where do I start? Oh! I know! I’ll start with my living arrangement.

So, I decided to stay in a hostel though the suggestion of my friends and family. See, I am an ambivert and very much capable of holding a conversation; that’s not the problem for me. It’s my habit of getting inside of my own head and becoming quite comfortable there hence why they didn’t want me in a hotel. If I were in a hotel, I would have no incentive to explore and make friends. Now, whenever I travel, I will definitely use a hostel. It’s cheaper and the people are so nice. The staff was happy to tell you where you find what you’re looking for. For example, I wanted to know where I can listen to jazz and they immediately gave me the top two. The hostel, itself, was lovely because of its simplicity. It has a terrace and a common room that I frequent almost every night. But the fun came when I put myself out there.

The people were so friendly and accommodating. They can see that I wanted to improve my Spanish-speaking skills and quickly switch to Spanish to help me. They even spoke slowly and allowed me to gather my thoughts. Sure, all of them speak English as their education systems require them to, but it’s nice to hear them speak in their native tongue. Plus, like I always say, Spanish is so much sexier than English.

I visited various museums to learn about the history of the city. My favorite one was learning about Antoni Gaudi as he built a good portion of the famous buildings of the city. I really liked the fact that I could listen to the lecture while walking around. Additionally, I got to look at some of the street art that filled the alleyways; that reminded me of Philadelphia. But it was the gay village I was the most interested in and it didn’t disappoint.

The nightlife was amazing and everybody was so friendly in helping me find the bars and such. Ironically, the hostel was right next to the gay village which I’m still laughing about while writing this. Now, I must say that everything in Europe is a lot…freer. See, all the gay bars that I went to had a darkroom where you could have a quick hookup without leaving that said bar. Logical for Europeans, but Americans need that cold air to rethink it hence why how bathhouses/dark rooms are separate from the bars. Even still, the bars were fantastic and I had an amazing time with the bartenders and locals. Being a teacher and author is a really good conversation starter.

The beach was a bit of a cultural shock for me. I knew Europeans had a liberal approach to nudity, but I didn’t fully register it until I actually got there. EVERYBODY was naked. Men. Women. Teenagers. Even kids. That really threw me off because I’m thinking like an American. But, it’s also that reason why I had to get over it. I was conditioned to think that way while they were conditioned to see it as natural. I didn’t get naked, though I still made friends with a couple of nudists who understood my hesitation.

Finally, I want to talk about the food. It’s a well-known fact that Paella is one of the best-known dishes in Spanish cuisine so, of course, I wanted to try it. What I didn’t know what that they came in varieties. That wasn’t too much of a problem for me since I don’t eat seafood and I was going to stick to the basics for my first time. So, chicken and vegetables for me; both of them were phantasmal though I liked chicken more. I got to try out a variety of tapas, only disliking one of them (a deep-fried bikini). Bikinis are brilliant ham-and-cheese sandwich that works wonders for breakfast and, hands down, my favorite Spaniard food. Also, cafe con leche (coffee with milk) might become my new default.

Barcelona was the breath of fresh air I need in a long time. I definitely need to go back…after New Zealand, of course. I mean…I do plan on moving there after I’m done with China.

Please don’t forget to follow me on my social media platforms (TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Goodreads) on my web page’s right side. Also, I love hearing suggestions of what books to read outside of my norm (Science fiction and Fantasy) as I am a part of the Goodreads’ reading challenge for 2023. I aim to read 200 books this year and am currently 135. Right now, I’m trying to get through all the audiobooks that are under five hours before moving back to The Great Courses.

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