Well it depends on what that means. I have to copy and paste this to Facebook. Sorry.
I arrived in Barcelona after a long and crushing overnight flight via Iceland. Took me a night or so to recover. Before I left I got to spend five days with Joe and Jenny and my two beautiful and fun god daughters Elena and Thea in Milwaukee.
I’m staying at a hostel for the first time since…geez. I don’t know. There are some in Guatemala. But this is the first time I’ve shared a room if you don’t count the porters when trekking in Nepal. In like, um 20 years?
I’m staying here for a week until my brother Dave comes. I am in the section of town called Gracia.
Because I’m staying more than a day or two, the other three beds in my room cycle thru daily. Because they are mostly way younger than me and here to party it’s like two (actually 4) ships passing in the night. I get up early and the others are just getting home. Israeli. British. American. You name it.
I can get just about any type of food a block or two away from me. It’s a 20 min walk to classes, we have a rooftop, and a 10 min walk to the gym. So I got my bases covered. The folks are pretty friendly and it safe. A bit pricey though.
The hostel employees are incentivized to get us to do stuff. They make dinner every night for about 3.5 euros. It’s served at 9:30. Then they organize a pub crawl AND go with us. I begged off the first night, got pulled in for awhile Thursday then last night went for the whole Kahuna.
There are three hostels owned by the same group so all three congregate in a pub around 11:30 PM then go to a club around 1:30.
So if you can picture me walking down the streets of Barcelona with a pack of 40 20 somethings you’ll get the picture.
At the pub I played pool with an engineering student from Holland that was struggling with trying to make positive change in the world without doing a deal with the devil. It was a fascinating conversation that centered around accumulation, free markets, IRR, economies of scale and greed. Why folks that have a lot need more. He would NOT let me talk about Trump. He says “we all agree he’s a dick. Let’s not waste our time.” Fair enough.
I walked to the club with Diego, a Mexican guy from Toluca. We chatted about Mexico City, Chiapas, Baja and how I feel safer in Mexico than the US.
At the club I mostly hung out with a German Med student that was astonished I was doing my trip at 54. My age came up as we had a long conversation with a jack off US college student who lived in Madrid and was here for the weekend. Without prompting, he went into a rant how great it was to spend mommy and daddy’s money and be able to have sex with anyone without consequences. As he sucked down his Budweiser (no shit the clubs here only sell Bud and Corona! WTF?) he bragged of dropping 300 euros in the bar that weekend and how his dad (who’s my age) flies to Seattle EVERY week from Philly for his job at Amazon. Um. Contrast?
I told him I was using the college money from the children I don’t have to travel. He was obnoxious, self absorbed and had no interest in Spanish. Nice.
Max (the German dude and I) waxed philosophically about Healthcare and travel. He couldn’t find an ATM so when I couldn’t drink any more Coronas (okay it was also 3 AM), I offered to lend him 20 euros so he could hang, drink, and get home. He was like, “I’m leaving tomorrow. You TRUST me?” Sure dude. I just hung out with you for three hours. Leave it at the desk as the old guy will be sleeping.
I went for one last piss before I jumped in a taxi to avoid a 45 min walk/metro home. As I navigated the dudes washing their shirts out in the sink after puking on themselves I thought about the night.
Some people may think I’m crazy. But I am traveling, having incredibly intellectual (at times) conversations with people from all walks and countries, working on my Spanish, my guitar. And my book. My brother meets me in a few days. Carpe diem.
Max came into my room this morning to wake me up and personally hand me the 20 Euros. He was effusive in his appreciation. Said he had one of the most interesting conversations of his life, is staying another day and appreciated my trust.
All that and I never had to dance…..
I’m getting into a rhythm. It’s beautiful here.