Tuesday, October 23, 2012

From Munich to Barcelona

I don't think I experienced love at first sight with a city until I met Barcelona.  Remember, on this journey I started in Siberia.  As the days passed by, and fall was changing into winter, you could literally feel the temperature drop in Russia.  When I left St. Petersburg, it was cold and getting colder.  The winter was coming.

It got warmer in Bavaria, and it was back to a nice, warm, and mild climate back in Barcelona.  I met a Turkish girl in Barcelona.  She had a look of a dark haired and black eyed gypsy, and I met her in the hostel.  She was looking to tour the city, and I said if she waited 10 minutes while I drank my tea I would go with her.  She waited.

I followed her at first around the city to see what she wanted to see.  We got lost at some ally and there, we drank sangria (fruit punch and wine) with tapas (Spanish side dishes).  They were so yummy, and we both agreed they tasted delicious.  Sitting down at the cafe, she told me about herself.  She was a freelance advertiser, who had a passion to fight the LGBT harassment in the Balkins.  I told her my mentor also worked on the issue.

We made each other laugh.  I told her how I liked Bavarians.  And she would say, "Agh!  They have icy hearts and icy eyes.  I look people with fire and passion inside.  The hot people."  I thought over her words.  She was right, to some degree.  I guess Germans were colder, but that wasn't my experience. 

But after we drank our sangria and ate our tapas, I realized we were lost.  I took the map from her and re-oriented ourselves like migratory, homing animals.  When we were re-directed, I told her, "I need you to remember one lesson."

She said, "What's that?"

"That the man is the best leader.  So - follow the man."

She rolled her eyes and said, "COME ON!  You chauvinist pig."

I just chuckled, knowing that the comment would irk her because she was pro-feminist and independent.  But even though she hated me uttering these words, she still followed me.  And we toured the city and saw the churches; we the people come and go.  We saw the world relax in Barcelona and not have a care in the world.  We went into the shops in the allies, drank coffee, and ate gelato. 

We sat on the bench and watched the people.  We asked each other who we thought was attractive, but somehow the conversation strangely ended up about sex.  I don't know how.  She was telling me how her boyfriend knew how to have trantric sex for hours.  I asked her how is this possible, but she said she didn't know and that it was really, really boring.  And with that, we both laughed again.

As we walked the paved streets of Barcelona, I kept telling her I could live here.  At one point, I asked her one of my "what-if-intellectual-hypothetical-nonsensical" questions.  I said, "Do you think a person could discover how to live forever and break the natural laws of God?"

She said, "Oh dear God."  She drew an Orthodox cross across her body, by pointing her fingers to one shoulder, then the next, the forehead.  She then said, "Don't say such things."

"But why not?  I would like to figure out how to defy the laws of nature."

And she said, "And then what?  You would be bored by yourself forever."

"Well - then I would have to have my family and my pets live forever too."

"Oh God!!!"  She said.  "Don't make me draw another cross.  You talk of crazy things.  And your family and pets will hate you!"

So we stopped the conversation.  At one point we walked by a Convalescent Home that had a large glass wall.  I walked and looked in and an old, frail lady started walking towards me.  She blew me a kiss.  The Turkish girl said, "What are you doing?"

"Come and look," I said.

"What?!  What are you doing? This is so sad."

"Yes, but she needs human warmth too."

"But this is so sad seeing her.  I just want to cry."

"Well, say goodbye then.  Blow a kiss."  And the girl did.

After our walking tour of the city was over, I told her, "Don't forget your lesson today: follow the man."

She replied, "I'm going to punch you."  I smiled in response.  

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