Lessons Learned from Barcelona

25.04.09

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–  Buildings should be beautiful.  No matter how uniform the raw materials, each one should have its own personality.  Windows are like the eyes of a construction.  You can tell a lot about a building by its windows.

–  Don’t trust a hostel or hotel by its website.  Trust a good guidebook or a good friend.  If it says it’s “ideal,” it probably isn’t.  And it’s important to stay in a cool part of town.  Next time in Barcelona, look for a place in Barceloneta or the Barri Gotic!

– Drink more wine.  Drink more, period.  Eat better food in smaller portions.

–  Don’t hold a steaming hot glass of coffee in your hands for very long.  You will burn the crap out of yourself and have traveling blisters to boot!

–  The Pyrenees are beautiful– and surprisingly so.  Lush and splotched with yellow flower bushes.

–  Take a siesta each and every day.  Otherwise, you will be busy hiking all around town, and everything else will be closed.  Don’t beat ’em: join ’em.

–  How to outsmart thieves: wear a jacket with inside pockets only, secure your pack to your person, and watch the suspicious people in touristy areas.  They give themselves away.  Communication is only 10% language.  Make eye contact with intrepid approachers.  Say hello.  Or “Boo!”

–  Lying topless on a beach isn’t really as big of a deal as it sounds.  Just boob-bumps drooping to the side a bit.  Meh.

–  Don’t meander around town looking for a restaurant while your stomach is growling.  Just be bold, dammit!  Go in!

–  When you hear an American, pretend not to understand them.  It’s much more fun to go incognito this way.  😉

–  Don’t go into non-(insert country of current location) restaurants when you’re in (insert aforementioned location).  Except, I hear, for Italian restaurants in Germany, which are supposed to be pretty good.  But, avoid Indian food in Barcelona, for sure.

–  Spanish guitar might be the prettiest kind of guitar.  Get lessons someday.  Or get your man some lessons (it is much nicer to be serenaded).

–  Dogs are generally better behaved in Spain than in the U.S.  They just trot alongside their masters, even without a leash or lead.  Thus: teach your dog Spanish.  I think that’s the key.  “Sientete, perro.  Muy bien.”

–  Develop your own style and be ye not ashamed.  Gaudi did it.  So did Picasso (eventually).  And Dali.  Also, you should probably get more into art.

–  If a map isn’t being helpful, get a new map.  I think this can probably apply to all sorts of situations.

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