Posted by: martinworster | July 8, 2003

1. VIVE ESPANA!

Barcelona got da funk! Settling in, wondering the streets, walking the walk and trying very hard to talk the talk…ie Spanish coming on very slowly.

 Spain. Viva Espana! Here I am. I’ve been here two months now and this place is really beginning to grow on me – not that I needed much persuasion. Something about the lifestyle agrees with me. Sorry don’t want to gloat and all that.I’m living in El Born which is very central to Barcelona. It’s basically the trendy area – the English guy who I rented it off described it as the Notting Hill of Barcelona. I didn’t know whether to take this as a good or bad thing. It’s the barrio with the Picasso museum, delicatessens selling gourmet cheeses, ‘hip’ boutiques, bars selling over priced Mojitos, plazas with cute cafes…I hope you get the picture. I like it, but not because it’s trendy.

It’s funny as on my way to work I have to walk through narrow Gothic streets to my new office aka the Internet cafe. I walk past the Picasso museum on this journey and there’s always the same guy sitting outside doing his act of sitting with his head in a picture frame with his face painted so it looks like a Picasso work circa early Cubism. I’m very tempted to walk past one day with a pot of paint and to throw it over his head. Then I could tell him to wipe that Abstract Expression of his face. Maybe the day after I could walk down with lots of smaller pots of paint and throw them all over his face. Then I could tell him to stop talking Pollocks.You can never stop exploring this place. Every day I walk down around and discover some new quirk, old street, architectural folly, romantic plaza, inviting cafe, nook and cranny etc. Close to where I live there’s a chefs school. It has a narrow front leading from the street where they all sit in a mini-lecture hall in full chef regalia as they listen to some sub-Jamie Oliver giving it the pukka. It made me think of giving apples to teachers to improve your marks. I wonder what they give to teachers here instead of apples? Here ya go teach, I thought a pressed smoked Catalan ham hock and confit poulet de Bresse set in its own jelly with a piccalilli of vegetables might get me a grade higher…

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