Small Differences Between Barcelona and Home
- At the airport, there are defibrillators on the walls. Is this true at home, and I’ve just never noticed it?
- Instead of sweeping, a woman drives a golf cart with a giant push broom attached to the front.
- The apartment keys are huge, like old-timey jail keys in a cartoon.
- My pillow case is open at either end, instead of being sewn shut on one side.
- In the shower, I have about four minutes to shave before the water goes icy and goose bumps make it impossible.
- The washing machine is tucked in a corner of the bathroom. It’s about the size of a mini-fridge, but a bit taller and slimmer.
- There’s no dryer, but a line outside on the balcony with a bucket of clips. I can see all of the neighbors’ clothes drying in the sun, and I study each article, trying to ascertain whether it’s indecent to hang my skivvies outdoors.
- There’s a Starbucks near the apartment where sugar seems to be the only element of your drink you can control. You have to ask for milk, and straws, and napkins.
- At casual restaurants some of the sugar packets are huge, which means there are small plastic spoons tucked inside.
- Coffee or tea comes with a little cookie.
- Soda often comes in bottles, and I’m continually surprised that my drink is empty because the bottles and cans are slightly heavier than at home.
- In restaurants, they charge your card at the tableside with handheld scanners. Presumably so the waiter never walks away with your credit information.
- If you don’t ask for it, no one will ever ever ever bring you the check.
As I mentioned, lights in public restrooms are often motion sensitive and rarely stay on long enough.
- Cab drivers know where to find most everything. I never once had someone get lost, or ask for directions to where I was going.
- Food is delivered on scooters, with warming boxes attached to the back that say “DOMINOS.”
- Olives are cured differently. They taste awful to me, almost like vomit, and the first time I taste them I am sure they’ve gone bad. The second and third times too.
- At the antique mall just outside town, there is a huge stall filled with nothing but fur coats, stoles, and other furry particulars. The abundance of animal pelts hanging on racks, pooling over chairs, lumped in baskets, seems improbable, and startles my Californian sensibilities.
- Kids here are welcome, just part of life — they’re everywhere, tearing around on bikes by themselves, having dinner with their families at late hours by our standards. Hank stays up until midnight eating, playing with us in the square, and no one bats an eye. This is perhaps because there are tourists everywhere with their equally jet lagged kids in tow. Regardless, it’s lovely.
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