paris to barcelona

June 9, 2007

June 5th:  Completing just the first tenth of my train trip, from Paris to Barcelona, I’ve already eaten my snack, taken a nap, used the facilities, and tried restlessly to read a novel.  I can’t focus; my mind wanders even as I write this.  I’m annoyed that in a rush, due to my own crappy planning, the songs on my new nano are dated (from my old laptop) and unorganised (pet peeve).  Furthermore, I wonder, will the battery last for tmrw`s run? The train is hot even for me and agitatingly rocky – as I try to write legibly (in my journal).  How irritating.  Or rather, Miss. Complain is irritated…and nervous.  The real backpacking alone stuff starts now.Spoiled by the generous hospitality of my hosts in Paris, I wonder what it will be like the 2nd time around with Calvin.  No doubt however, it won’t ever be the same.The anxiety began yesterday as Matty and I navigated the city by foot, took a prolonged view at Montmartre, and even as I swam with Paris` largest gay masters swim club.Frig.  The ppl sitting near me reek.  Hah!  I think of David telling me that in Paris one would tell said stinkers: ¨Your scent is offensive, please pay more attn to your hygiene.”  Now, the man of the couple is standing in the aisle right beside me.  He’s airing himself out with his butt in my face!!!  The smell is honestly making me sick… B.O., old man, and some raunchy, musky cologne.  My head hurts.  Gawd!  I wish David was here… I think we’re still within French borders… How ironic to be writing and then… barf!Really though, I feel like I may gag and consider saying something P.C. like, “Could you please sit down, I’m feeling nervous with you hovering above me.”  But he and his wife speak Spanish and I fear I would resort to hand signals in my attempt to communicate, which would undoubtedly be universally offensive: me plugging my nose with one hand and pointing with the other… I opt to breathe through my hoodie.Another day: prolly the 6th?I had to stop writing on the train.  The gag reflex started kicking in.  I hope it was anxiety and odour making me ill, and NOT motion sickness, since that is only one of many potentially long overnight trips.  I’ve met some ppl that highly recommend the extra euros to books a sleep cabin… next time maybe.Yet another day: the 7th?I’ve been in Barcelona (BCN) for 2 days now.  I managed to survive my first stay at a hostel…. Really though, there wasn’t much to survive.  When I arrived in BCN, it was only 8:30am.  I took my time talking to the hostel thought I’d figure out how to take the metro in advance (lil´miss prepared).  Got there too early for check-in and apprehensively left my bag in the locker room.I´d booked a spot in a 12-bed room, partly hoping it would be nearly empty b/c it´s not holiday season in Europe yet.  I was pleased when I saw that only 2 beds were occupied, but annoyed my bed and theirs were clumped on one side of the room.  SPACING, PEOPLE!  (I hate when they do that at restaurants too).  I barely saw those 2 bed occupants – one was asleep when I got home in the evening, and the other, she must have come in at some point…Anyhow, I unpacked my stuff and went to check out the facilities.  When I returned, opened the door, and there stood something like 7 guys – mostly btwn 26-30 & one 40-something year old – as shocked to see me as I was surprised to see my new roomies.  They didn’t know their work had booked a co-ed hostel [I think: that’s a bit ghetto… work…hostel… umm, hotel?] and I’d forgotten what button I’d clicked.  I don’t ask what kind of work they do, but they’re all from Leeds.  We joke around a bit and the older guy warns me to watch out for the charmer of bunch [I think: oh, don’t you worry… handsome has already been duly noted].   The rest of the day I spend wandering, looking for a new bag and hitting the beach.  BCN, I think, for sights, tops both London & Paris.  Today’s viewing of Sagrada Familia only confirmed what I thought yesterday.  Unforch, my batteries died and to be truthful, I’m mildly relieved to not feel obliged to click away… espec. b/c everything is purdy.  Plus, there’s plenty of professional pictures avail. that’ll out do mine any day.  Also, it’s my excuse to bring Calvin back here.June 8th?My patience wears a bit thin with respect to writing.  I would say I haven’t time… but really, what else have I got to do?  Falling behind a by a day or so though, makes a tedious job since each minute something new happens in a foreign place.  To make light of a non-issue, only the highlights will be written.  Hopefully this is conducive to reading as well.  Oh, ever the glass-half-empty-girl, what of the rest!?  To finish of day 1 in BCN, I had a late meal on my own at Citrus Restaurantus.  Best parts: the toasted baguette, made soggy`ish on top with drizzled olive oil and tomato guts; and my starter salad of 5 greens, goat cheese, and pistachio dressing, which had strawberries so tiny, they reminded me of those in my patch in New Glasgow).  Worst part: entrée of seared tuna, which was blandly topped with tomatoes, avocadoes, and chives, and came well-done though I’d ordered it rare. The next morning, I went for a run along the beach and when I returned, the two girls had moved out already.  Meh.  Never met them anyway.  The fire-fighters (I’d asked, and they somewhat reluctantly told me) left a lasting impression.  That first night, the stumbled, snickered, and stunk up the room when they came back sometime around 5am.  So after my run, two new girls arrived.  Mari & Ashley from Miami, both recent, undergraduate graduates.  We made tentative plans for the evening and set off for separate day activities.

As I’d mentioned earlier, I saw the sagrada familia.  Near there, I finally settled on a bag which will replace the bag I brought purposely to toss…which I haven’t (if you know me, you know I’m a hoard… look for my upcoming clothes swap & moving to Chicago giveaway!).  Anyway, I felt it was a good purchase for $23.  Yes, I said dollars – though it was 23€ – because as my good friend, Ingrid says, “you have to stop converting or you’ll never buy a thing!”  It’s difficult and not always useful (e.g same stuff at home that can wait).  That said however, I have used this rule in two other cases:  the meal at Citrus and…

I’ll have to finish this tmrw

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