After the Church we went to get Tapas at a place Jose knew.

Natalie and I both said: no idea, no preferences, no objections. Order away. We’ll eat it. The dishes came one after the other - croquettes, calamari, shrimp, jamon and eggs. All miraculously good.

The waiter was an eager lad named Alberto who was strongly keen on visiting the United States, and he wished to talk, he wished advice. Where should he go? Which state was my favorite? He wanted to go to Chee-cago. Was that a good place to start?

Interesting questions. I told him to go anywhere, and that when he got there he would be in America, but that other state and regions had different cultures, and they were America too. Anodyne bromides. But he enjoyed the chat and I enjoyed meeting someone who wished to come to my country. Note: wherever I went and whomever I spoke with, the US was a cool thing, an aspirational objective, and since I wasn’t a boorish guiri, well -

Okay, we’ll get to that.

After the meal we repaired to the sidewalk tables for coffee and Catalonian firewater.

I have no idea what it was; should google. It’s the after-meal liqueur, but it’s not liqueur - more like Aquavit. Harsh hit on the first sip, incrementally more mellow as you go on, probably because it nuked-and-paved your tastebuds.

After a big meal and a shot of Catalonian Joy Juice, why, it was time to walk some more. I cannot say exactly where, except to say it was everywhere.

As you may know, the expanded portion of Barcelona, the part built when the city decided to enlarge and modernize, is regarded as a masterwork of urban design. To some the view looks "dystopian." We call these people "wrong."

Blocks of equal size with angled corners, great diagonals, broad sidewalks. The blocks look different. Style, hue, and so on. A constant: the balconies and the shutters. The bottom floors are all shops, block after block of shops. It is just so damned urbane.

One of the things I noticed: these glassed-in rooms.


Show-off rooms? A place to sit and observe the world? Most seemed vacant and undecorated, as if placing objects in full view would be inviting a rock through the glass.


Another landmark: the HOUSE OF PAIN







Wikipedia: "In the hospital, there is a bust of Pau Gil erected in 1930 and representing Charity protecting childhood and old age."

He spent most of his life in Paris.

Pau died in 1896 at his residence in Paris. His funeral was attended by a large number of personalities from Parisian society. As he was single, in his will, drawn up in 1892, he ordered that he be buried in Barcelona , along with his parents, as well as the liquidation of Banca Gil , so that half of the assets resulting from this liquidation would go to the construction of a hospital in Barcelona, with the name of San Pablo, to assist the poor. Thanks to this donation of 3,060,000 pesetas in the year 1902. Work began on the San Pablo Hospital.

Who knows whether anyone was cured there.

We kept walking. Oh right it's a city on the Mediterranean






All this and a beach. And naked old men. I mean bald old dudes with watermelon bellies, buck-stark except for black socks. We kept walking and then drove and were on top of a mountain again and then we were down again looking at an Olympic site and more and more and ohhh the nap I took when we got back.

  Dinner in the suburbs: a reminder of the allure of foreign places.


The potatoes are a regular appearance. Quite the appetizer. Not for your low-carb life. Everyone orders them.


The miracle of instant menu translation with one's phone. SCREAMED EGGS!

I don't know why we shouldn't say tacos.


That was a day. Much more than I showed. Tomorrow: the absolute ultimate.




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