European reminiscing


Notes on Barcelona
I hate figuring out bus routes in Barcelona, but I love the trains. The bus drivers are no help and just shrug and point (either meaning go in that direction, or just go an leave me alone).
I like how all the intersections have large diamond shaped open areas, except when trying to walk somewhere fast, since you can’t go straight down the road.
I like how everyone smokes and they hold their arm straight done when striking a pose, making the cigarette the central focus of the picture.
Speaking of smoking, here in America, those pink breast cancer ribbons are ubiquitous. We did not see one pink breast cancer ribbon in our whole 2 weeks.
I like our magic park that always materializes out of nowhere, like it knows we are weary and hungry; it takes us to our favorite deli.
It is cool that everyone wears scarves all the time, even with tee shirts.
I like how they try so hard to communicate so hard with us, most of whom speak NO English, but we always manage to get our point across.
But mostly I like traveling with my wife who always keeps me relaxed and contented.
The Gaudi buildings are actually gaudy, good name huh.
Coffee, expressos, latte places are on every block, yet Starbucks thrives.
People everywhere are overdressed in warmer coats than are needed for the weather. The reason, it’s because they all ride scooters and it is cold riding a scooter in the morning.
There are bars, cafes, brassieres, restaurants on every block, yet there are very few fat people
The Gothic section did not have any goths. There were lots of gargoyles there however.
Out hotel room (upgraded) was edgy and funky, yet stylish in a 50s kind of way. Its a tossup if the room would be a better room to break a heroin habit, or take Calvin Klein underwear models for a shoot.
Don’t forget, if you are packing light, with just carryon bags, that cute little spoon sets are actually deadly weapons.
Bathrooms are always in the last place you would think of looking, no matter where you are. Also, when all the stores in a mall close for siesta, why do the public bathrooms need to take a siesta also. Your bladder might not want a siesta.
What’s the deal with siestas? Are they 2-4, 2-6, 3-5? You would think since so many places take them, they would be standardized.
Since they quit bullfighting in the Barcelona arena, the men now focus all their attention on football (soccer). Its funny to walk down the streets during an evening match; at the bars, the men are just inside the door packed together like sardines with their eyes glued to the TV, while their women are all grouped around the door outside on the sidewalk talking, smoking & waiting… They must really love their men.
The hotel staff kept popping into our room just walking in without knocking. It reminds me of the joke “I was laying on the bed naked when the maid walked in… Finally!”.
Is it proper etiquette to rinse your hands in the bidet, if the sink is full of socks and underwear soaking?
The best way to turn away a pan-handler is to say to them, “No hablo espaƱol”.
I like that they play Reggae music in Citges.

Notes on Paris
Our hotel room was very small, but exquisite, kind of like all the dogs in the city.
roller bags on the sidewalks are like the Harley-Davidsons of the luggage world here. Loud bags save lives.
The trains and buses are very easy to figure out. The menus are difficult to figure out. The wines are very difficult.
Take the train to/from the airport into the city, not a bus that gets stuck in traffic. Plus you need to be a very trusting traveler to relax at the bus stops, knowing that your bags are in the under-bus storage that is opened to the sidewalk at every stop. I’m not a trusting traveler.
Some of the coolest places to take pictures are in the spiral staircases and mini-elevators of the hotels.

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