Sunday, September 19, 2010

Barca Day 3: Coffee, Comics, and Wrinkle Tan Lines

Day 1
When we woke up and finally mobilized on our last day in Barcelona, we were famished (and also missing a valued team member, Mike, as he had to go back a day early to make it to class on Monday on time). But we soon came to realize that there could only be one thing to satiate our hunger: a good old-fashioned American-ish breakfast. To our credit, we didn't mean the Deluxe Ultra Mega Biscuit and sausage-egg-cheese-sausage sandwich at McEpic Burger, just some eggs and sausage, with a bit of toast. The most important meal of the day is never served at our school, and is in fact barely practiced in Rome.
So we set out on our noble fast-breaking endeavor, eager for the promise of a steaming hot plate of love and, after a decent amount of wandering time, happened upon a place who had a full breakfast menu posted on the outside, complete with the foreign/dumb American's best friend: corresponding numbers. We entered, excited to not only get our wish, but also to have to think as little as possible in our goal-fulfillment. We found it odd that they didn't have the menu inside as well, so we ran back outside to refresh our memories on what we wanted, but thought nothing of it.
As our first brave yet happy companion approached the counter, he said simply "seis" with a big smile. For perspective, this was Sean, our big, happy, Alabaman whose foreign language abilities are roughly on par with mine: near negligent. The lady at the counter looked a little confused for a moment, but then seemed to understand.
"Cafe?"
The five of us assumed she had asked whether he wanted coffee with his meal, which he most certainly did, so he nodded vigorously. We all looked around at each other, assured of our deliverance into sweet animal by-product heaven.
When we looked back at the counter, we realized that she was now pouring us six coffees. More specifically, she was pouring Sean six coffees.

Hmm.

Russel, our Spanish-fluent travel buddy, quickly talked her down to five, saying something about how he had misspoken and that there were only five people who wanted coffee. She nodded her understanding, almost certainly recognizing our American idiocy and yet taking it in stride.

And that, my friends, is the story of my first cup of coffee.

We didn't feel like going in and trying again afterwards, so we went to a cafe down the street where we could just point like cavemen to what we wanted.

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After we ate, we began wandering a little. That is when I stumbled upon what may end up being my new travel tradition: purchasing a comic book in each country I visit.

Yup, cardboard cutouts sitting overtop a comic book store. Nearly brought a tear to my eye and a song to my nerdy heart*.

*That song, of course, being the Star Trek: Voyager opening theme.

As it was Sunday and mid-siesta, the store was closed, so I couldn't begin my tradition there (guess I'll just have to go back to Spain...), but I think I'm going to try to go out of my way from now on to make it happen. Everyone can collect postcards or shot glasses or what have you from different countries: this way I can still be bringing back memories while being unique and, let's face it, myself.

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Then we headed over to the Sagrada Familia, a gigantic Catholic church that had been under construction for over 200 years with a huge amount of work to do before its completion. Pics (be sure to click for better detail - the intricacies are unbelievable):







And we were all like...


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For our final grand plan in Spain (we needed our beauty sleep - we were told that we had to be up at 3am the next day to catch our flight, which wasn't exactly welcome news), we decided to head to the beach to relax and dine while getting one last scope of Spanish architecture on our way:


Interesting crosswalk:




Finally we made it to the beach, where we found this:


Unfortunately, it was also followed swiftly by the realization that most European beaches are topless, or at least have the option of being topless.

And not particularly in the good way.

In order to avoid scarring you all as I was scarred, I have a short list of mental images for you.

Octogenarians in speedos
400 pounds, yet still more tan than I will ever be
Pancakes
Man who was very evenly tanned - all over
Large woman, rubbing tanning lotion - also all over
Tan lines around wrinkles

But aside from all that, there was all this:




Caitlin, lookin' fab:



An honest to goodness workout facility on the beach:


...Which made us all want to go eat.


Mmmm...paella...

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One last thing: on our way back, I saw a poster for this movie


Can anyone explain that to me? Are the Spanish spoofing themselves? Is some other country spoofing them? Are they spoofing us Americans who like to spoof stuff by spoofing themselves, making for a quadruple spoof*?

Perhaps we are not so different after all.

*Math is hard.

7 comments:

Pat Tillett said...

Awesome post!
That churc is amazing, almost too much detail to comprehend. Thanks for showing us paella instead of "pancakes."

Amber said...

Sagrada Familia! So cool! Reminds me of my time in Spain.

And the topless beaches out there just made me feel really insecure about my own microscopic chest--apparently we went to the one beach with all the really sexy 20-somethings with gigantic boobs.

I'd totally see Spanish Movie.

Michelle said...

I found you through 20SB and I just wanted to tell you I enjoyed reading. I love the comic book idea. I am excited to continue to follow you. Cheers.

soft nonsense said...

Pat - Had I tried to take a picture of the "pancakes," my camera likely would have broken.

Amber - Nice of you to make an appearance, you've disappeared a bit recently. And I can't respond to the middle part of your comment without feeling dirty, so I'll just say that, yes, the church was amazing. When/how long were you in Spain? Was it full immersion?

Michelle - Wooooo! Good to have you, I'll be sure to check out your new blog as well.

Paige said...

that church is beautiful! and math is hard yo

Pat Tillett said...

Hey, I just got back from vacation expecting to see a new post or two. School getting in the way of your tour now? LOL...

soft nonsense said...

Sweet jesus yes it is. Might be able to put one together, but I'm behind a good 2-3 major blog posts right now. Damn midterms...

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