Day 24: An Unexpectedly Busy Friday
by Eli Hodapp
Last night I stayed up way too late watching the episodes of Portlandia I bought on iTunes, drank way too much wine, then woke up way too early. It seems like everyone around here, except me, oddly enough, is ill. So, when I wake up even slightly hung over I immediately find myself thinking “Oh no, I’m getting sick.” Not to jinx myself or anything, but I’m sort of surprised that I’ve been in such good health this trip. I’ve been around a lot of people too. Thanks for doing your job, immune system!
After rolling around in bed a bit and reading the news I missed sleeping through the American evening I hit up our downstairs neighbor Morten on Skype to see if he wanted to do lunch. We ended up wandering down to a really great little cafe in Born. I need to see if I can figure out how to get back there because we passed some seriously cool looking shops I’d like to check out, including one that appeared to sell designer urinals among other things.
Born, just like Gotic, is an amazing area of Barcelona. Everything is very, very old, but kept up incredibly well. I was particularly struck by a lot of the woodwork that I couldn’t even begin to date. One shop we passed had a set of massive wooden doors hung on ancient iron hinges, complete with matching old iron bars covering up a square hole in each door to look out of. What was so interesting about these doors is you could tell by looking at them that they were likely hundreds of years old. Every point that a hand would touch to operate them was worn totally smooth. These are the kind of doors someone in Los Angeles would pay countless thousands for.
Anyway, for lunch we had sandwiches and what is best described as the European interpretation of guacamole. The guacamole wasn’t bad, just, odd. I’ve always thought the best kind of guacamole is mixed just enough to combine the ingredients, leaving massive chunks of avocado and tomato. This was blended to a paste, sort of like the squirt you get from the Taco Bell guac’ gun… But I saw them making it fresh, or, at least, doing something with fresh avocados. Strange.
I also drank €4,00 worth of water. I have no idea why water is so expensive here.
We walked back, and I started in on all the junk I needed to do for TouchArcade. Today is the last work day I have to procrastinate on taking appointments for GDC, which I decided I’m going to start doing on Monday. I also need to formulate some kind of plan for how I’m going to be in Barcelona for the week of Mobile World Congress but somehow sleeping on San Francisco time. I really can’t be jet lagged for GDC.
I did recently find out that my other journalist friends who are coming to down for Mobile World Congress are going to be in Barcelona until Sunday the 4th, then flying direct to San Francisco to cover GDC. Now that is hardcore. At least I’ll take some comfort in likely being the least jet lagged person, maybe.
With no plans for the evening I was debating picking up some kebab and going back to The Fastnet, a local Irish pub that I sort of like but everyone else seems to universally despise. Just as I was about to get the show on the road Samaneh got home, and we formulated a plan that initially involved either sushi or paella, but ended up getting shifted into tapas.
I’ve mentioned it before, but one of the crazy things about Barceloneta, and all of Barcelona, to some extent, is just how tightly packed everything is here. I’m still discovering stuff that I didn’t know existed, like the restaurant and bar we went to. When I leave our place, I typically walk south to get to the beach, west to get to Port Vell, or north to get to the rest of Barcelona. For whatever reason, I’ve never really gone east.
It turns out that if you walk about 50 feet to the east from our door, you’d not only be at this amazing tapas place, but also an actual absinthe bar. On second thought, with absinthe at €7,00 a pop, it’s probably a good thing I only discovered this now. Bar Marsella, the previous absinthe bar I went to definitely wins in overall ambiance, but the service at this bar is so much better. You also don’t feel like you’re going to catch the bubonic plague when you use the bathrooms.
I’ve got no idea what I’m going to do for the rest of the weekend, but I’m pretty sure it’ll involve a trip back to this bar.