Today I woke up and was frozen with the idea that I had all of Barcelona to explore with unlimited time. So naturally I stayed in my room and chatted with people from home. I finally decided at 9 pm that I had spent too long in my pajamas and decided to go out to dinner. I went to a place that Fodor’s recommended for its unassuming and joyful atmosphere. That was exactly what I found! An old man came in and asked me, very concerned, why I was eating alone. Half an hour later, a table of five 30 year olds I had been eyeing jealously for the fun they were having asked me if I wanted to sit with them. Would that ever happen in New York? I was so grateful.
I must have sat with them for at least an hour. They taught me important Spanish words, such as “shit,” “weed,” and the proper word for Spanish (as in the language) which is “Castillano,” since the language originated from Castile, in the center of Spain. When the restaurant was closing a little after midnight, they asked me if I wanted to go to a bar with them. I told them I’d better be going home, which they thought was hilarious. I went to a bar with them and drank my first gin and tonic, which I had to pretend to enjoy since they bought it for me. I was in the middle of explaining what college in New York was like, when this guy with a Southern drawl came over and said, “I couldn’t help but hear you talking about fraternities and sororities.” He was from Mississippi, and my friends left me with him to go home to their kids (at 1 am). I walked part way home with him and then blindly made my way to the center of the city. They’re not fond of street signs here!
As I got close to the city center, I picked up a drunk follower who informed me he was going home with me. He was harmless but wouldn’t leave me alone. He followed me a good way and I was actually grateful for the company. But after a while I felt he’d followed me too far to be acceptable, and I found a girl walking with a kid who was wearing a Hollister sweatshirt! I asked them if they spoke English, and they did. The girl was from Australia and the guy was from Scotland. They tried to tell the guy to go away, as I had, but he still followed us, even as the pair took me under their wing. He followed us for two blocks and we yelled at him the whole way to stop. I finally grabbed him by the arms, made a fist, touched it to his face to demonstrate his fate if he kept following us, but he still wouldn’t leave us. A random Spanish guy ran over and started yelling at the guy too, but nothing was stopping him.
Anyway, the Australian and the Scot, named Katie and Paul, took me to the police stationed up the block to report him. They said I was really tough, which I think is an accurate judgment. Then they helped me get a cab and invited me to play drinking Uno, whatever that is, tomorrow. So I have friends! Cool. I like Barcelona J