This weekend we took a short drive out of this busy city – to the lovely little town of Sitges. Without knowing we got into Carrera – a meeting of old cars. And old not like from 50s, but from the beginning of the century (that is, of the last century :)). This is what I like about this country. There will be always a festivity that you can unexpectedly run into. That feature I still want to write about. This is so Barcelona, and so Catalonia, with all its neighborhood festivals, farmer celebrations, carnivals and other events. Which makes me wonder when these people find time to work :))
Coming back to Barcelona, in the twilight hour, is like coming back to love. At entering the city I see the Olympic ring, the hotel Vela (officially Hotel W, but the locals call it Vela, which means the sail, for its prominent form), the fun-colored Torre Agbar and the Columbus column just before we duck into the tunnel under the city centre. When we come out of it, there are the two skyscraper towers – the famous sign of the Port Olympic. And all those landmarks are appearing like on the skyline pictures of Barcelona. Only Sagrada Familia missing.
And I feel so happy on seeing those silhouettes. Yes, coming back to noisy, busy, polluted Barcelona. But there is love in my heart. And it makes everything magic. I try to remember how many times I felt that happy when coming backing to Oslo. I would love to count, but there is nothing in my memory. I don’t remember if I were once happy to come back. But I clearly remember being unhappy to come back.
When the airplane is about to land, and I’d see those snowy hills in winter, or skies heavy with rain in summer… When I am still sitting with the aromatic breeze of the Croatian summer evening, or warmth of my dear Ukraine, or magic spell of Egypt… When my fellow passengers cheerfully pull on their rain jackets, while I am still listening to the good old songs on my tiny iPod, refusing to land mentally in this strange cold reality… This I remember very well. Even after years upon years living there, that feeling prevailed. So how amazed I am to to suddenly feel this strange feeling – the joy of coming back to the city. This must be love. The love that paints everything rosy :))
On the next day it is Monday again. And I go to shop groceries. And on the streets of my neighborhood it is such a typical good Monday. The old ladies would be pushing their shopping trolleys. A kid would be trying to trick his father that the ball has fallen into the sky. And the father would playfully agree and look into the sky for it. The teens would be playing hockey on the rollerblades in the hall, and I would be peeking through the gate. The friends would be sharing beer and olives on the bar terrace on the corner, and the owner, the older man, would joyfully rush to them with two beer bottles. And the Pakistani looking worker of the fruit shop would carefully place the eggplants in the pile.
And I would go with my heavy bag and smile. Because I like it. I like this Monday evening, and I like this neighborhood. And I like that while its name is translated as a “hole” from Catalan, the part which I am crossing can be roughly translated as “hole of the honey”. So yes, I feel like Winnie-the-Pooh. With my hole of the honey. Which must be good :)) (maybe, I am still on the honeymoon with this city. But it’s been ages since I felt it, so I’d better enjoy it now. And whatever has to come, will come. So far, so good :))
I have had some conversations with younger people and some of them would complain about Barcelona. They would admit the few advantages (the sun and the sea and the mountains – which is not so few to me :)). But they would long for other places. Some would say “Berlin”, some would idealize Norway. At first I was internally disagreeing. “How can you complain of this city where lots of people would dream to live in?”, I wanted to say. But then I thought: you know, it is totally ok. They are young, they are seeking. And when you are seeking, you find faults with whatever you have, so that it would push you somewhere else.
It is normal. They do it, I did it. I complained about my home town, I went to live in Germany and Austria, and then in Norway. That dissatisfaction was pushing me. But they are young – and I am not. They are seeking – and I am not. I feel like I’ve found my sweet spot. My hole of the honey 🙂 I don’t guarantee that in some years I will not be seeking again though :)) I have this nomad gene in me, that makes it difficult to stay in one place.
But so far I feel like this content married girlfriend, a bit irritating to her single friends. You know, when you have a gang of the young and promising, partying and seeking. And then suddenly you have this smug friend who says she is no more interested in all that. Because now she has found her honey and is happy sitting at home on Saturday night, watching movie with him. And you feel like “pfff, she has become so boring!” – until you too find your honey and suddenly find out that cozy evenings with him are no worse than partying in places that sometimes feel like meat market. Even more, you feel that these safe evenings are better than those promising nights, that end up in hangover and questionable encounters.
So, to all you lovers out there – you know when you found something (or someone) right. Take your time to love it with all your heart!
Let me know if you are on a honeymoon with a place, a hobby or a season of your life 🙂