Meal time here is whenever you are hungry. There’s no busy time, no mad rush at the local eateries. Seven in the morning is just as crowded as seven at night and at both times you’ll find people drinking beer and eating tapas.
There’s this place across the street from the hotel. I forget the name. We just call it “our place.” We ate many an olive there last year it and it was the first place we hit up this visit.
We take a seat outside at 7:30 in the morning, order two beers and an American sort of breakfast.
A few dudes with skateboards take the table next to us. They are older guys, probably skaters from back in the day when skateboarding was a crime.
The one dude starts talking to us because Barcelonians on a whole are super friendly.
We say good morning back and he immediately starts chatting with us. We get to the “Where are you from?” portion of the conversation.
"New York," Todd says, because we always say New York instead of Long Island.
"Oh! I lived there for a while!" Dude is excited now. "I lived on Long Island as an exchange student."
I laugh. I tell him that’s where we are from. He asks about the town where he lived, how they made out in the hurricane. Not so great, I tell him.
He talks in halting English about his time in America. He lived in Tennessee for a bit after Long Island, went back to his home in the Canary Islands then came to Barcelona to stay.
"I fell in love with this city," he tells us.
"Yea, me too."
The dude and Todd exchange tattoo compliments and the dude writes down an address where we can get tattoos if we want while we’re here.
Then he offers us cocaine. He’s the third person to make such an offer since we’ve been here.
We politely turn him down, he shakes our hands and he skates off with his friend.
Barcelona. Hell of a place.
Later in the afternoon we go back to our place. We need something to hold us over until dinner at nine. It’s three in the afternoon. We order olives, potatoes with hot sauce, another kind of potatoes and something called Moorish meat. No idea what kind of meat it is and I don’t want to know. It was good. That’s all we need to know.
A couple sits next to us. They order whiskey.
That’s how they order it. “Bring us some whiskey.” It’s the same way we order beer. There is no “What’s on tap?” You say “I’ll have a beer” and they say “Small, medium or large?”
We eat our olives, potatoes and Moorish meat stuff until we’re full. That’s the magic of tapas. Everything is a small serving. Small plates. Yet when you’re done you feel as full as if you’ve had a huge meal.
Could be all those medium sized beers, too.
The couple next to us is arguing. I pick up a few words here and there. Something about a girl and cocaine.
Hell of a place, Barcelona.