Even though they say you eat dinner really late, restaurants actually close at Midnight. That was a bummer considering my roomies and I were STARVING. Eventually we found a tapas bar that was still open. Essentially it’s like a buffet; different appetizers are laid out all over the bar and you pick whichever ones you like. At the end, you give your plate to the bartender and you pay according to how many toothpicks you have on your plate. INCREDIBLE. I would be happy if the US picked up on this trend.
After the tapas bar, we roamed around and went to a few bars where we met Pavlo. He was a Barca local who spoke perfect English…and Spanish, and Catalan, and French, and Italian. No big deal. There’s this really interesting grunge underground culture here; dreads and piercings and 90s grunge clothes. He fit into that category.
Later on we met Beatrice. She was a waitress at a bar/restaurant we stopped at. Her story goes something like this: She’s originally from Brazil. She came to Barcelona planning to stay for a year. She fell in love with a Spanish guitarist who was playing at restaurant where she was eating. Four years later, she’s still in Barcelona. The love affair with the guitar player has since ended, but her love for Barcelona is still strong. Her story is too amazing for me to make up.
Alicia and I talked to a Beatrice for a while, and I asked her if she could recommend a cool place to go. She recommended this bar/club called “Magic”. Paige, Alicia, and I find Magic and we are literally the only American people there. We met some Spanish boyfriends and tried our best to practice our Spanish.
My conversations with Spaniards go something like this: Hola! ¿Como te llamas? ¿De donde eres? (Hello! What is your name? Where are you from?)
After their response, they ask me the same questions. When I say, “Soy de California,” it’s like I said I was from Heaven. In a great Spanish accent, they all say, “Oooooh, California!” Then when I tell them I’m from Los Angeles, they are even more excited. Of course I live near celebrities, right? The Barretts are pretty cool, but I don’t think that’s who they’re talking about. From there, the conversations get pretty rough…there’s a lot of “Vale, vale” (Okay, okay) or “Si, Si”(Yes, yes)….and of course “¿Come se dice [insert English word] en Espanol?” (How do you say [insert English word] in Spanish?) Everyone speaks at least a little English. Most people I meet want to practice their English on me, so I speak broken Spanish while they speak broken English. It works. One person actually told me, “Once you know three languages, they’re all easy.” Damn overachiever.
Most bars play a lot of American music too. Magic was very into 80s hits, classic 50s, and Nirvana. Interesting. Everyone knew all of the words to every song. At one point as Paige, Alicia, and I were dancing to Blondie with our new Spanish friends while the entire bar chanted the lyrics, I just stopped and looked around thinking, “How could this get any better???”