October 19, 2006

Barcelona Stories Chapter 3

A Little Night Music

I checked into our (as in Brophy's, Jenn's and my) apartment while the guys finished their Estrellas in the bar and picked up another American chick for good measure. Her name was Wednesday, and her mobile number is recorded in my phone as Wensday because I should never be allowed to type while A-tired, B- drunk, C- conscious. They met her in the bar while I checked in to and paid for the apartment and then we swapped out. Upon return of the boys to the chocolate factory (which at some point is what the bar at the end of the street was in a former life, in addition to being an automobile garage, because who doesn't want a little unleaded their truffles?) they rousted me and took me clubbing. Well, they took me to meet a friend of Joe's who now lives in Barcelona.

We met at a gay club, because 4 out of 5 of us were gay and Democracy always works against me. They caught up while Mark and I began our love affair with a double malt beer made in Barcelona. (Here's to dark beer that isn't Guinness!! I love Guinness but sometimes, you just want something dark but not that heavy. Which is why I tend to prefer Belgian Ales, particularly Maredsous. But I now have a preference in the Spanish beer market. Moving right along.) We watched the incredibly beautiful go-go dancer. Well, by watched, I mean we probably leered but isn't that what go-go dancers are for? And then he caught my eye and flashed me a mega-watt smile. So I waved at him. What do I care? I'm the only female in a gay bar in a foreign country. He laughed and Mark and I spent the rest of the night flirting shamelessly with him, and he back at us. We're a dangerous pair, Mark and I, but we've got damn good taste in men.

The club closed and we decided to walk to another club before heading home for the night. It was only 3am, an early night in this town, so I agreed. In retrospect, I shouldn't have, but at the time... well. All was going well except that we kept getting shoved around and then I needed a bathroom. Let's just short cut this story to its barest essentials, shall we? I got bit on the lip by a gay cocaine dealer who decided right then he wanted a little "girl experience" but I wouldn't comply, and then I was shunted to the very front of the line where I used the most disgusting toilet in the history of man, including that one on Trainspotting. I now have a permanent veto card with the boys and I intend to abuse it. After attempting to flush the toilet with my feet, I dragged them out of the club, shivered in that way only the willies can make you, and called it a night. We walked the mostly empty streets back to the hotel, where you pretty much know what happened.

The following night Jenn arrived we decided to hit a club for dancing but the boys swore this one would have straight men too. They were right on that count, since the pretty boys they wanted to meet, rather wanted to take me home instead of Joe or Mark. Boys that want me? Straight. Boys that want my friends? Gay. Even if the friends are women. Handy rule, don't you think? A few rounds were purchased and consumed, including one well deserved round of tequila shots (nice tequila for bar tequila too) and then we hit the dance floor, the four of us, to try to teach Joe how to dance. God bless him, he hasn't any sense of rhythm. Great taste in music, just doesn't know how to move his body accordingly. So we started on the basics of 1-2-3-4-can-you-hear-the-drums? Good. Dance to the drums. By the end of the night, he ripped the skirt almost entirely off my body because he had my leg curled so far up his body in an advanced salsa move it had no where to go but to split at the seam. My skirt obviously, not his. (Note to self: always wear stretchy clothes when dancing) Thankfully, I'd brought a sweater with me that, when wrapped around my waist, covered the more delicate parts of my posterior. I'd hate to see the interior of the police station twice in one day, especially following up reporting breaking + entering with arrest for indecent exposure. We danced until they threw us out of there. Well, more like I threw us out of there, realizing that we'd never get a taxi if we waited longer than 15 minutes. And yet we walked home. In our bare feet, Jenn and I. Glorious night for a walk.

Speaking of indecent exposure (hell of a segue isn't it?) Jenn spotted this one and I have to give her credit for it. I'd have missed it altogether. Walking home after dinner one night after the boys left, a rather elderly man approached us, muttering something in what I can only assume is dirty Catalan. As he neared us, he moved the shopping bag from in front of him and exposed to us his, shall we say, delicate opposite-of-posterior side? He was harmless, especially since he was half the size of me and well, Jenn's strong as hell. She's a physical therapist and if you think she can't manhandle a full grown man, you've never been to physical therapy. It's not all massage and aromatherapy candles you know. So the Dirty Old Man wouldn't have been of note had Jenn not spotted him the following evening, in exactly the same spot, approaching groups of women, looking helpless and shifting that shopping bag. We laaaaughed...

After the boys left for home (Dublin home), Jenn and I decided to take it easy for a couple of nights and rest up for our last night in town, which was the opening of a massive city-wide street music festival. Every placa in town was building stages, setting out port-a-loos, doubling up on garbage bins and beer tents. That's a lot of build up and as we walked to dinner on Friday night, they were just starting sound checks, so I was worried we'd not get to see anything of note. We were not disappointed. As we sat in the placa of the cathedral eating our tapas and drinking our cava (by the way, I have the receipt and together we downed 28 rounds of tapas, thank you very much. So much for "I'm not all that hungry, how about tapas?") when we heard the drums and then saw, way up in the shadow of the cathedral, fire. Green fire to be specific. And it was approaching just in front of our table. They open the festival, dedicated to St. George-Who-Slayed-the-Dragon (I believe that to be his official name) with a parade of fire-breathing dragons accompanied by drum corps. It was fantastic. Like Spanish Chinese New Year really. Each dragon was held aloft by 2 people and tended by Dragon Wranglers who kept the flare lit. We must have seen 20 dragons and drum corps, plus one Flaming Pig (which I believe is the name of Julia's next band) but the table next to us hardly noticed. Two men deeply involved in a chess match, only one (the winner I presume) looked up to see what the commotion was about. He watched for 3 or 4 seconds and then turned his attention back to the chess match, where I wish I could say his opponent had been cheating. I don't play chess but behaviorwitness any furtive behaviour. Damn. The parade threaded thru the entire city, ending somewhere for some grand finale but we stayed put and finished our tapas. Hey, the waitress bought us a free round of cava; it was worth staying put that little bit longer.

After we heaved ourselves and our full bellies out of our chairs, we decided to wander up the Ramblas to see about the band there. We bought some beers from the street vendors and then spent the next half hour talking to a group of American students who'd only just arrived to study in Barcelona for the year. They were delightful and they were 18. I felt like Mrs. Robinson so we moved on. We threaded our way thru the streets and the placas, stopping to dance a little, watch a lot, and finally ended up near the apartment, where I lost Jenn for a moment. I swear it was only a moment, maybe two, but when the crowd cleared she grabbed me, pulled me to her and turned me round to face this guy. "He's a kitchen designer! From Ireland!" Hats off to her; I might be the Lady Crippler, but that had to be a record setting pull. Tom from Belfast is indeed a kitchen designer and was in town at the request of a supplier (industry perk for interiors people, they get flown to places; industry perks for architects, we get lunch presentations on waterproofing) and was going to be in Barcelona for most of the festival. We spent the rest of the night partying with them until I took exception to the fact that he said he could speak Swedish (attempting to impress us?) and I caught him out on that count. I mean, too bad for him, of all the languages he could have faked, he chose the one I happen to speak. Very little, but still, a hell of a lot more than he could. So I called him a liar and we left. Because I? had too much to drink. When you start the evening with two bottles of cava, you really don't have much room between buzzed and drunk. My flight didn't leave the next evening until 930 but Jenn had to be in a taxi at 9am for her flight, so it was really time for the decision of "sleep for a few hours" or "push thru til dawn". We slept. Not the best of ideas really. The first sound that next morning was "aaaaccchhhh..". Necessity is indeed the best hair of the dog, she made her flight.


Ali said...

Wall-climbing thieves, gay cocaine dealers and naked people in the street? This sounds more like one my weekends out...glad to see you're okay.

B said...

You were there in spirit Ali.