Yikes! Get it together, Boston. Also, Barcelona’s metro system >>>>>> your fave city.
Yikes! Get it together, Boston. Also, Barcelona’s metro system >>>>>> your fave city.
When I told some people I was going to Barcelona their responses were centered around how beautiful everyone is and that they are all model-esque. False.
Barcelona is just like every city, a very wide range of attractivess, except that they are many brunettes here compared to blonde American barbies. I will admit though that it’s more than Europeans are ‘more beautiful’ because they don’t suffer from ‘ponytail and glasses’ syndrome.
What is that? Remember that scene in ‘Not Another Teen Movie’ when Janie is ‘made over’ by removing her glasses and letting her hair down? Well, google it if you don’t. Europeans care about how they dress, sometimes to a fault (labels, labels, labels), they have tans usually (it’s amazing what good sun can do your aura/complexion) and they are generally less tense than Americans.
Simple solution: pay attention to how you dress, get a tan and relax. Now you’re beautiful. Considering how European they look (read: white) this is soooo attainable for most that check ‘white’ on the census.
You’re welcome and that will be $75.
Wow, I feel like I’ve seen so much skin bags on the beach – of the scrotal, belly and vaginal variety. Nude beaches are not my favorite…mostly because the fugs are the most free with it.
However, the topless and speedo culture is not such a bad thing. Have you seen my turquoise square trunks? Oh, they are the business.
I guess I was misinformed, but are Barcelonins actually more conservative than I thought? Sleeveless tank tops seem to cause a stir of side eyes…and my tri-color boat shoes. I could have sworn we were close to the sea.
All in jest, since I stand out for what I wear everywhere.
Update: It´s more than Europeans tend to be label conscious, and everything I wear is not a fancy label. Most of them are in Nikes and some sort of HollisterCrombie. Soon they´ll be hipsters and find all those labels to just be so…what´s the opposite of ironic?
So now I’m at this cafeteria getting some food, and I don’t entiendo the menu. I had to ask what each thing on it was as I’m trying to break from my hamburger diet – although I’m getting the beef at the recommendation of the waiter.
Embarrassment aside, no, I mean embarrassing aside that I can’t read the handwritten menu del dia or that it is not Castillian Spanish – the audacity! But seriously, the waiter than asked me in English after I said no entiendo. I mean, get the concept of ‘menu del dia,’ I am cultured…the concept of prix fixe is a part of my lexicon. But I didn’t understand the actual items.
No worries, I’ll just lovingly stare into your eyes until you figure it out. Oh no, it doesn’t work like that? Damn. Ok, so the next funny part was the beverage. What do you want? What do you have? Do you have alcohol? Cue enunciation of alcohol and you have confusion. I tried to explain that it’s not beer and not water, so he asked if I wanted beer and water as if I had offended the gods of drink (hello, Bacchus). It was all fine, but really funny to me to be honest.
Oh and I forgot the part where I said ‘surprise me’ with a recommendation for course number 2 #awkwardamerican. And that was followed by asking where I was from, ‘yeah, you have an American accent,’ what part, New York? New York. Manhattan or outside? Manhattan. Where in Manhattan? Chelsea. Ah, a Manhattan boy. Someone sounds well traveled!
Scrap that, the waiter has sent over a proxy so as not to deal with English-speaking misunderstanding of the menu. I guess, I did not make a new friend.
In theory, my Spanish is fine but I get frustrated with how long it takes and defer to English. 8 years of training for naught.
Jk jk. I’ve actually had to use it with most people when getting food or directions.
No that´s not me, it´s Karlie Kloss. However, I was looking this fly on the beach today sans 90% of what´s she´s got on.
I´ve been to McDonald´s thrice in Europe, you know, just to say that I did…and their free wifi. They are not fat there, mostly because every damn thing is small there or isn´t as good. I think they don´t use transfat there because the food is really just not the same. You´d be thin too if transfat´s deliciousness didn´t own your soul.
I thought I was being fancy staying in a hostal instead of a mixed room hostel like most people…turns out that still is not like a hotel. Welp, at least I have a private room…
It’s interesting to note how ‘European’ Spaniards look generally given that we describe people in the US as ‘Spanish.’ I’m now understanding why Latino is often more appropriate, as the two types of gente are quite different.
Sure the people are dark (sometimes) or tan, but on the whole I could easily be in Ohio. I say that because both places are foreign to me, predominantly ‘white’ and I stand out a bit….I mean, a lot.
My new goal is to find an ethnic place with a good night life that feels ‘good.’ Barcelona does not feel bad at all, but self conscious me definitely feels a bit out of place.
And at this point you should be asking: why did you go there? And to that I will say partial ignorance and little due diligence. I have to ask people more similar to me in terms of interests where they like going, doing and seeing. I am writing this from the beach though, so I’m not complaining all that loudly.
Barcelona is like a whole new world…in the same way that most new cities are a whole new world (mundo nuevo). Aesthetically, it looks like San Francisco (kinda) but is laid out like Chicago (very spread out) but has streets and navigation as complicated as Boston.
I get lost and anxious on a daily basis. The streets are named, not numbered, and each street does not have a sign. Therefore, if you’re not facing the right direction or looking in the right place, you won’t actually know where you’re going…and no, maps actually don’t add much more value. I’ve taken to counting the blocks in order to navigate. It’s cute though, I get it, it’s like a ‘Members Only’ jacket for cities – how Williamsburg of you, Barca.
I’m not going to you to my NYC standards, because I’ve realized I made the right life choice in November of 2009. I will say that your people are indeed pretty (love those dark features) as is your city, but en estos momentos my heart belongs to NYC.
Did I mention that my hotel/hostal has a public library-esque policy on the websites that are censored? Trying to plan trips and make moves gets crushed when you can’t some precious information.
And no, I’m not having a bad time, and yes, you will read this and thinks so. However, it just means I need to think with my big brain and become cultured and not think with anything else. I mean, I only travel for 2 reasons, and being cultured (the actual experience, not openness to new peoples and understanding how others live) is usually only about 50% of the reason.
My intellect and my impulse remain hungry. Tomorrow, I feed my…I haven’t actually decided yet but I’ll get back to you.
The flight from Brussels to Barcelona was like one epic brown out. It was a two hour flight that felt like an eternity despite how it wasn’t memorable and that I was in and out of sleep (mostly asleep) for the duration of the flight.
The little Norwegian kid next to me was annoying, much of which I will attribute to me not understanding what he was saying. Is he a Spaniard? But his eyes and hair suggest he’s Aryan, but you can never tell. Was it Catalan? Nope, I felt like I heard some French words. I know it wasn’t Russian, so that ruled that out. And so I started to think: it’s got to be German. And then I saw his backpack, and Norway it was – he and his unruly siblings, all 5 of them were like a nagging fly.
But all was fine once I was awake to feel the delicious sun beating on my body. It felt like a happiness spell was cast over me. Bruxelles was rainy and cloudy, and now I had the solar rays I truly craved. And it felt rejuvenating after being up for about 20 hours (4 intermitten hours of sleep on the first plane) and walking Bruxelles.
Now, I’m on the Renfe to my hotel. Hopefully that is a pleasant surprise waiting….so the hotel/hostal isn’t so bad. I have my own room (hello, Mather single) but share a bathroom. Did I mention there’s free internet? And wifi? Reasons 1 and 2 that I liked this place.
And since this is my first/last Friday here, I *have* to go out. Gracias a mi amigo de Winthrop para la cita – ojala
The first thing that struck me about Brussels was how diverse it is – the first neighborhood I walked around seemed like ‘Little Turkey (Islam)’. Actually, the Muslim presence in Brussels was surprisingly high, it seems that every fringe area of the tourist circle was strewn with halal food places, kebabs etc which is sorta shocking to my American perspective.
The next thing that got my attention immediately from the airport throughout my time walking the city: black people. There are a lot of black people in Brussels, almost to the point where I want to say I feel more black presence in Brussels than I did in Cambridge/Boston. And I’m not talking African blacks who seem to have a separate culture, but Afro-Belgians that have that mix of African culture and their mainstream Belgian culture. Perhaps they were all tourists just like me.
I doubt this though as I’ve seen so many mixed children and interracial couples walking around the city. Can I say that I’m proud of Brussels? Or does that just reflect my US race biases/perceptions? But then again this seems like a visitor/tourist city, so I may only be seeing the most progressive/cosmopolitan folks.
In updates unrelated to the demography of Brussels, I did some normal touristy stuff. I got lost: the first time by getting off one stop too North/early on the train, and then a ton more times while walking around central Brussels. I took tons of pics on my SLR, I had a Belgian waffle with chocolate and whipped cream…and I went to McDonalds.
Don’t judge that last part. The delicacies in this country are kinda too much to do more than one meal – they have waffles, gelato and very bready sandwiches every few kms. I really couldn’t stomach more sugar, so I found myself some McNuggets. I ditched the fries, which were way too salty.
And lastly, firstly and continually I keep facing sticker shock. I keep converting the Euro in my head to it’s USD equivalent. But then I remember, this isn’t the US and if I replaced the currency symbols, the prices would make sense. Damn you, weak ass dollar.
Sidenote: I took a 10-hour layover in the hopes, I’d see a lot. Brussels is definitely not a 10 hour city nor a 5 hour city unless it’s night time.