It Was A Sad Saturday In Barcelona

May 27 — I’m doing my best to make my last days in Barcelona count. I feel like there is so much I should be doing like seeing the tourist sites. With two full days left I made a list of some of the places I could visit before leaving. First, I want to have lunch with my old roommate before she leaves with the group to Prague.

There is a great cafe around the corner from us that’s supposed to be really good. I looked it up online and I’m excited to eat there based on the photos. Their avocado toast looks amazing. When we arrived it was just a matter of finding it on the menu or so I thought. I went up to the counter to place my order and the man tells me they are closed today. This is a private party. Ugh.

I know there is a burger place a few blocks away. It’s never been open but maybe it would be now since it’s lunchtime. We make our way there and sure enough it is. I take one look at the menu and know I’m officially no longer going to be vegetarian after eating here. They weren’t serving any hamburgers with avocado which I had become fixated on so I asked for their specialty. It’s a spicy bacon cheeseburger. Here we go.

Burgers aren’t something I crave, but it was very good. There wasn’t a chance I would be able to finish it either. Leaving food on my plate is actually very hard for me to do based on my upbringing. This time I didn’t even feel bad because I don’t want to be so full I don’t feel comfortable walking around. I am full enough that I should be good for the rest of the day without another complete meal.

Over lunch we talked about our time in Barcelona. How it was last night going out and life in general. Then she tells. It’s not official yet but she doesn’t think she’s going to stay for the entire trip as planned. A few more months and then she’s going home. I told her I understood but I was going to be so sad without her. I’m going to miss her. She told me she was going to miss me too.

After lunch she went grocery shopping and I went to the Gaudi house. I was smart enough to book my ticket online. Probably the only smart decision about going there. I hated it. It was very crowded and it combined a little bit of virtual reality which I didn’t enjoy. I bypassed all the talking tour that came with my headset and fast tracked my way up to the roof.

There wasn’t a clear view and I didn’t find anything particularly peaceful about it either. All I wanted to do was leave and making my way down was much harder than climbing the stairs up. They are narrow and it was like I was going in the wrong direction on a one way street. I kept looking for another way but couldn’t find one. Keeping to the side and waiting for lulls in the traffic I was able to finally get out.

I understand seeing the sights in the city but I much rather preferred the outside of the building to the inside. I don’t mind crowds but in spaces like this I do. The experience with the headphones and video phone seemed like work to me and I didn’t enjoy it.

I’ve decided the other places I had listed to visit needed to be scrapped. I don’t want to leave Barcelona like this. It’s hard to leave at all. When I do I want to do it my way. Not caring what I should have or could have done. I’ve done what I want and have enjoyed myself.

There are several things I want to get before leaving to London. I made a list and it didn’t go so well. The first stop was to the perfume store which was conveniently located next to the Gaudi house. The woman probably thought I was crazy because I couldn’t stop staring at her and it took me several minutes and literal head shaking to answer her questions. She looked exactly like my Aunt Trudy.

I didn’t end up finding a fragrance I fell in love with. I could tell she was getting frustrated too. I did find one I thought I might like. I sprayed some on to see if it would grow on me throughout the day. Turns out it got worse and made me ill. I couldn’t wait to wash it off.

Next stop was a little clothes shopping. Nothing major and I’m going to a chain store in hopes of finding some great deals. I went around the store and three floors gathering items. I always get two or three sizes just in case. This isn’t the kind of store where someone is going to get the right size for you.

I find the dressing rooms and the line is quite long and now I’m really glad I picked up extra sizes because there is no way I’m waiting in line again. While I’m there I’m noticing another fashion trend. Nylons and tights. I remember when you would never wear a dress without nylons. I used to have several different colors although mine weren’t ever fashionable. It’s summer and at least half the girls in line are wearing nylons.

Last week I had asked someone else about it and they didn’t know and hadn’t really heard anything. It’s like the awful platform shoes in Argentina. Those are everywhere now. Will this be the next trend I see as I travel from country to country?

It’s finally my turn and I have too many items to take at once. Fine. They’ll hold them for me. Even though this is a chain store it’s a chain store in Barcelona. The dressing rooms are great and someone walks you back. There is a cleaning woman who waits for dressing rooms to open and not only straightens up but sweeps the floor as well. They are immaculate.

I begin to try on items and don’t like they way they look. No big deal. They are just extra items I picked up. Nothing I was actually looking to buy. Then I try on these black shorts I really liked. Or at least I tried. They didn’t fit. I took them off and the size is on the small end for me. Without being too upset I put on the larger size. They are extremely tight and ill fitting. I would be afraid of the button popping off if I sat down. Not only that I really need new black shorts. I’ve worn mine to death already.

When I think I’ve hit rock bottom it got worse. The dressing room is filled with mirrors and I got a glimpse of myself from behind. It’s terrible. I’m praying the lighting is casting awful shadows and causing the dimple and cottage cheese effects. Since I’ve already gone through the humiliation of these clothes not fitting it’s not likely. Eventually I do leave with one item. A pair of casual black pants with an elastic waist. Elastic waist!

The walk home was sad. Thank goodness it’s here in Barcelona. It did little to cheer me up but at least it didn’t make me any worse. Things did get worse though.

When I got home I checked my social media accounts and saw my sister’s dog died. It was heartbreaking. I felt helpless. He had been doing so well. At least we thought he was. She had even taken him to acupuncture in hopes of getting him off the meds. I’m not sure what exactly happened but he passed away and I cried.

I tried to take my mind off so many of these things. I did so by washing clothes and giving myself a mani/pedi. I had tried to go out and have it done but the salons here book well in advance. No such luck. I think I did an okay job.

The day did end on a good note. I got a message from my old friend from Argentina. We haven’t spoken since Bogota and I’ve missed him. He actually messaged me and said he felt bad for not being a better friend and communicating more. I laughed and smiled at the thought of him being so serious.

Our friendship isn’t normal and I may be traveling to 12 countries in 12 months this year but he still travels more than I do. He’s got things going on all over the world. Plus, he’s been trying to land a new position. I told him I hope we are the type of friends who can go for long stretches of time without speaking and pick up right where we left off. It’s my hope for all my friends and family.

When I go home I’ll be entering into their lives again and even if they haven’t traveled or had a major life event they’ve still changed from experiencing new things. My wish is that they’ll still be space for me when I return.

My end of day gratitude:

  1. Having lunch with my friend.
  2. Getting a message from a friend.
  3. Knowing my sister is surrounded by tons of friends.

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