Day 38: Champagne at the Top of the W

by Eli Hodapp

At some point in the last couple days I decided that I should probably come up with some kind of personal souvenir from Barcelona that’s something more Barcelona-y than a few pairs of designer jeans. A Barça soccer jersey seemed like a fantastic fit, especially since I’ve had so much fun watching the random soccer games I’ve caught in bars around town.

The “problem” with Barcelona is, as far as I can tell, there is absolutely no enforcement on any level that prevents people from selling knock-off stuff. This is great if you’re looking to buy some “designer sunglasses” from some dude on the street for a couple Euros, but not so great if you want to buy actual authentic gear. So while you can buy a Barça jersey from about a hundred different places in Barceloneta, they all seem to be of different levels of blatant knock-offs.

I don’t really have a problem with that, but I’ve had absolutely horrible experiences with inadvertantly buying knock-off clothes online that either disintegrated in the washing machine or shrunk up to be baby-sized in the dryer. I’d be sort of bummed if that happened to my Barça jersey, so I ended up trekking down to the official football club store and dumping close to €100,00 on one. Way more than I wanted to spend, but, how often are you buying soccer jerseys in Barcelona?

Following that, I found an Irish pub I hadn’t been to yet that actually had a menu of the day lunch special. This seems sort of rare for Irish pubs, since they’ve figured out that English-speaking people looking for Guinness will pay ridiculous premiums when it comes to proper English food and an expertly poured Guinness. I’m actually a little bummed I only found this place now, as I would’ve gone there a ton over my stay here.

For €10,00 I got this massive salad, some sort of crazy Irish meat loaf, a half pint of Guinness, and cafe con leche1. Considering at a normal Irish pub here a pint of Guinness itself typically costs €5,00 or 6,00, this is a stupid good deal.

I headed home, and took care of my TouchArcade work day. Not much happened, as this week has been irritatingly slow. I’m not sure if everyone is avoiding the PlayStation Vita launch or if iOS developers are just really honoring their NDA’s with Apple in hopes that their games make an appearance at the iPad 3 press conference or what. Whatever the cause is, it’s annoying, as I hate wasting days looking for things to write about.

On the up-side, between Mobile World Congress, our GDC “pre-game” coverage, and GDC itself, the next two weeks are going to be insane for TouchArcade. Maybe I should have appreciated having almost nothing to do this week a little more.

At around 8:00 PM Barcelona time, I headed to the first of the Mobile World Congress parties which was held in this gigantic suite at the top of the W hotel. It’s sort of crazy that even in Barcelona, at a random party in a hotel room, I still have people that know who I am either personally or on a professional level.

That’s a little weird.

The best thing that came out of the party was a boatload of personal validation for guessing completely on the nose with what really happened regarding some industry drama I’ve been following. Of course, in these situations, no one is ever willing to speak on the record. Unfortunately, my smug satisfaction of knowing I was right will be forever limited to myself, but, still. It’s good to know that I know what I’m talking about when making educated guesses.

They were serving some ridiculously expensive champagne at this party, which I drank entirely too much of.

Tomorrow is my last free day before the International Mobile Gaming Awards and Mobile World Congress ramps up. I’ll have to come up with something awesome to do. If nothing else, I’m getting more and more excited about going back to the USA, but at the same time, more and more bummed out that I’m leaving Barcelona.

Heading to the airport on Friday will definitely be very bittersweet.

  1. Which I refuse to call “coffee with milk” because it’s way better than that. []