Hola, Hola Barcelona
Touched down in Barcelona this morning and hit the ground running. After reaching my destination, Hostal Fernando, Las Ramblas beckoned from just a block away and I began my aimless and carefree stroll.
No sooner did I turn onto Las Ramblas that I wandered into La Boquería Market and sipped a fresh, cold watermelon and strawberry juice drink. I stared with interest and surprise at the list of offerings in front of one stand, Burequitos, as it was written in Hebrew and Spanish. I was greeted with “Shalom” (Hello) and with my advanced Hebrew skills, I responded with . . . “Shalom” – the salesperson was clearly impressed. While my food heated up, I eavesdropped on the salespeople speaking in Hebrew. (As is almost everyone’s experience with foreign languages, I can understand a lot more than I can actually produce.) I felt like an extra in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm when of all the possible topics of conversation in the world, these two Jewish people in Barcelona happened to be talking about Yad Vashem (the Holocaust museum in Israel).
As I continued down Las Ramblas towards Port Vell , I saw a sign. It said, “¿Nos vamos a vivir juntos?” (Are we going to live together?) and I emphatically called out (in my head), “¡Vale, Barcelona!” (Okay, Barcelona!)
When I reached the beach, I stopped at a stand and ordered Pan de Tomate con Queso Manchego – toast with the juice from a tomato smeared across it, topped with a typical Spanish cheese. A couple of steps away, I slinked onto a lounge chair and let my lust for Barcelona (or possibly the jetlag) overtake me and lull me into a most tranquil nap.