Day 39: Beers, Burgers, Battlestar Galactica

by Eli Hodapp

You know how it seems like when you drink more expensive vodka or tequila you get less of a hangover? Or, anyway, that’s what you tell yourself? Well, it seems like the absolute inverse is true for expensive champagne. I was absolutely wrecked this morning. But, whatever, I had a great time last night so in a round about way it’s all worth it.

By the time I was functional on any level today, Jonathan was asking if I was interested in barbecuing on the terrace. When am I not interested in barbecuing anywhere, much less on a Spanish terrace? He and Samaneh headed out to get food, and I contributed a bunch of beer and charcoal to the whole project. I also discovered that the corner store sells Magners, but at €2,50 a bottle you might as well just go get it from a bar.

We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out on the terrace, eating, and drinking. Morten even came up from downstairs to join us. It was a fantastic time, and might have been the perfect way to spend my last Saturday in Barcelona. In the process, I learned that a ton of European countries actually still have royal families. I’m not sure why it never really occurred to me, but it’d make sense that all sorts of royalty still exists over here.

It’ll be interesting to see how the next phase of the International Mobile Gaming Awards goes tomorrow. I feel like I might have rocked the boat a little harder than I should have after the negative comments about the event on TouchArcade. If nothing else, it’ll be nice to see everyone again and I guess we’re going out to a pretty fancy Spanish restaurant afterwards, so, awesome.

Oh, and in other news, I randomly reconnected with an old friend of mine on Facebook, securing a snowboarding buddy in the process. The unfortunate part of this is that by the time I get back from Spain and go to GDC we might be on the cusp of the total end of the snow season in the midwest. Regardless, I’m beyond excited to go. Although, the dangers of having someone to snowboard with likely means I’m going to go nuts buying snowboarding gear next season… But, that’s OK.

I’m excited to see how this whole tax free shopping thing in Spain actually pans out once I get to the airport on Friday. When you buy something most places, all you have to do is show your passport to prove you’re from the USA and they print you out a voucher to take to the tax free shopping office at the airport. Allegedly, these people take these receipts and just give you cash back for all the tax you paid while you were in Spain.

This sounds a little crazy to me, since I’m not sure what motivation they have to be like, “Oh here you go bro, our tax rates here are stupid high but you know what, here, just take it all back!” Sales tax is just a fact of life everywhere I’ve ever been, and it hasn’t ever prevented me from buying anything. But, hey, if they want to trade me my stack of thermal paper for 18% of the purchase price of everything I’ve bought here back, I’m not going to complain.

The problem with this is as I understand it, they just give you your tax refund in Euros. My original plan was to roll back into the USA with as few Euros as possible since turning them back into US Dollars is sort of a hassle. I’m not sure how I’m going to do that if they’re going to give me a sweaty fist full of money at the airport. Maybe I’ll just go nuts at the duty free shop. I mean, this is essentially free money, so, why not.

Although, I do have a massive layover in Paris, and they have some pretty rad shops there, so shedding Euros shouldn’t be too hard. Being stuck with too much money in a foreign currency. The whitest of all white people problems.