Europe · Spain

Hola Barcelona! 

“Chica! Chicaaa! Chicaaaaaa!” This crazy woman was yelling and running after me.What the hell?! I panicked for a second before I realized that I was “Chica”.

Ha! Not a bad replacement for “mademoiselle”, a term I was already getting used to in France.

It turns out that once again, I forgot what I bought at the counter and this woman just wanted to give me my lunch.

This “forgetfulness” happens often when I’m having a “sensory overload”, like when I travel. And how could I not have an overload in Barcelona?!

This is Barcelona! A city I arrived in fully awake and left snoring on a plane (which I didn’t even feel take off).

Because when you put together paella, soul-charged flamenco, booty-shaking cumbia, drinks and a bunch of new friends all in one night, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do…not sleep?

That’s not all. I also spent a lot of alone time in the city.

In the cobblestone streets of the Gothic quarter, imagining the men of history who walked those paths. In the bohemian shops and cafes in El Born and Eixample. In the leather stores where I, uh, sniffed leather (much to the bewilderment of some shop owners). In the tapas bars where I wanted to eat for days.

And my favorite part? People watching. I spent a good chunk of time at Ciutadella Park and Arc de Triomf, sometimes outside metro stations — watching street performers, not-so-discreet lovers, fashionistas, and those who like me, just wanted to be left alone.

Also, I’m proud to say that I’m now a Gaudi fan. It blows my mind how he was able to create futuristic, dragon-inspired, gay and rainbow-colored buildings in his time. It’s not often that I look at architecture, itching to give the artist a high five.

Too bad he’s dead.

And being the super religious man that he was, he’d probably be rolling in his grave if he knew how much of a crazy, tourist-trapping circus his Sagrada Familia has become (like Notre Dame in Paris).

I’m sorry…you can probably tell that I hated seeing the Sagrada Familia like that. And I don’t like sugarcoating or hashtag-loading my experiences. Honestly, I wanted to leave as soon as I arrived.

But I promise to go back in 2026, when this great church will finally be finished. And maybe by then, I can go inside and say a little prayer in peace.

I loved Barcelona so much that it crossed my mind to move there. Seriously.

Did you know it’s possible for citizens of former colonies (like the Philippines) to get a residence visa in just two years? I never knew that!

Anyway, the last thing I remember about this new city I’m in love with is that…I slept in Barcelona and woke up in Geneva.

This is one of my most favorite things in the world. To say “goodnight” in one place and say “good morning” in another.

Your chica signing off xx

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Processed with MOLDIV
Processed with MOLDIV

Travel date: Oct 2016

 

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