This is me eating salami and tiny pickles on my balcony in Barcelona.
On the taxi ride in from the airport, I kept thinking, “I’m in Spain. I’m in Spain!” Then I got to my apartment address, and it didn’t exist. And my phone didn’t work. And my laptop was dead.
So this guy in a shop across the street from the pretend address sees me with my suitcase and pre-cry face and waves me over. He helps me get online, then call my landlord, who has mistakenly listed an address one number off.
Everything is cleared up, and I’m so relieved! So I grin and thank the shop guy profusely, and he hugs me and kisses my cheek, friendly style, then tries to kiss my mouth, friendlier style. Ah man, why you gotta go creepy, creepy shop guy? Please stop being the worst, when you were so recently the best!
I twisted away and ran-walked out of the creeper shop, and after I got into the apartment I went for a walk on Las Ramblas street. Every few feet there was a toy vendor shooting these glowing helicopter toys into the sky.
They look like giant, futuristic fireflies — an effect enhanced by their tendency to stick in the tree branches arching over the street. And if you look up the avenue, you can see dozens of them shooting into the branches or floating back down.