It all started as a half baked plan to travel somewhere. I didn’t really care where because I knew I just had to get out of my comfort zone. Bay Area and I were on a rocky relationship, I needed some time apart. It was mere coincidence that one of my friends who lived in south of France one day says “come visit me!” and so I thought, why not!
A few long phone calls after, I was sitting in front of my computer booking a one way ticket to Barcelona . Nervousness was an understatement for what I felt. Although, Ive been traveling ever since I was 8 yrs old, I felt like Europe was a completely different ballgame. The plan was that we meet in Barcelona and travel for 2 weeks together. After trying to fit my entire life for three and half weeks into a backpack, for which I was certain that it weighed more than I did. I was ready to go.
I got dropped off at SFO, bid my goodbyes.
The truth is that every single time before I get on a flight, I secretly pray that I end up sitting next to a dashingly good-looking man who is spy in his real life and in his spare time saves the world once in a while. Well, as life would have it with its horrible sense of humor, I always end up sitting next most who are 60yrs and older, some that have underarm fat that takes up the whole arm rest and even little of my seat , then the very rare interesting characters who I can only imagine would to exist in a movie or a book.
The flight from SFO to JFK was boring to say the least, since I genuinely can’t even remember who I sat next to. After about 4 hours of fiddling with my thumbs and pondering about the meaning of life at JFK airport, I get on the flight to find out Im out I’m sitting next to a man. Alright, a man. Cant be so bad. He was a little obese in character, fidgety, a bit of the nervous kind. He wore thick glasses, flashed what looked like a 70’s digital watch, a blazer with a white shirt underneath and the slight stench of sweat that you could smell sitting next to him. He was the kind of guy you could imagine who would be living in a small apartment in Brooklyn, with its paint peeling off and the fire escapes on its facades falling apart. His apartment: dark, with tons of art work by unknown artists, over flowing cigarette butts in the ashtray next to the only window in his apartment, countless empty, grease stained pizza boxes all over and probably lived with his beloved cat betsy who was the joy of his life. Betsy also being a little obese herself and too smelly for even the neighbors to tolerate since he often forgot to bathe betsy and himself.
After a few few hours into the flight, the information i gathered was that he was a musician. He was a sax player who freelanced for a living in New York City. I made it a point to let him know how much I respected the fact that he worked in what he loved to do, although I could sense the hesitation in his voice.
” Its great, I now have everything my 18 year old self would have wanted”
He tells me he decided to pack his bags for three months and rented out his apartment in NYC, fly to Barcelona and play.
He was my first introduction the city. He told everything about when he first went to Barcelona, how he felt, the way he picked up spanish, the girls he fell in love with, recommendations of places to eat, things to see. Half way into the flight, after about 4 glasses of wine he then became throughly distracted with the air hostess and finally makes his attempt to flirt after about 2 hours of staring at her every time she walked by our seats. With absolutely no luck, he gets back to telling me about his ideas of writing a book. Despite his efforts to convince me that there was a deeper meaning/theme to the story he would write about, little did he realize that it sounded like it was nothing else than a memoir of his sexual fantasies IF he was Robert Downy Jr . He seemed throughly impressed by my suggestion of casting RDJ if his book was ever made into a movie.
” I think he may have more hair than I do, but I LIKE your suggestion!”
“Don’t worry, nothing some makeup can’t fix”
After a long eight hour flight and dozing off in the middle while my co-passenger kept talking, I bid him goodbye and landed in Barcelona.
for 3 days.
I could write , and tell you about the places I went to and the things I saw. The reality of the fact is, there is nothing I did that wasn’t already written about, there was no place I’ve been to that wasn’t already explored. Do yourself a favor and check out – http://www.lonelyplanet.com/spain/barcelona/things-to-do/top-things-to-do-in-barcelona\
I fell in love with Bareclona and would go back there in a heartbeat. Its the sort of city you would walk around with your head always looking up at the sky. Its filled with BEAUTIFUL architecture, tall buildings, amazing food, exotic accents, attractive people, hot cholocate to die for, history, culture, pride!
Its the sort of place you would want to get lost in the midst the charming alleys, stumbling upon hidden art galleries and spending hours on end looking at beautiful works of Picasso.