Wednesday, 11 September 2013

In Barcelona

"It is such a pleasure to see a happy man", approaches me a middle-aged woman at Barcelona Airport. She is all smiles and quite obviously recruiting victims for some survey. I smile back at her and say (for I had already been approached before), "No, I'm not living in Barcelona, and I'm not living in Spain either but I'm looking for the airport bus, can you help?" "Yes," she says and points at rolling stairs. "But really," she continues, "you not only looked happy, it was also the way you walked that made me feel that you were happy." Was I? Probably, and without even realising it. I had just changed money ...

The young couple next to me in the computer room of the hotel seem lost. The woman shows me a map and asks for a train station called Sants. Although I have no clue where that could possibly be I nevertheless look at the map and immediately see it. I'm probably more surprised than the woman is. We are from Kazakhstan, she says. And, we are Moslems, she adds. She looks oriental, is wearing shorts, sandals, and a sleeveless blouse.

Some time later, a short, stocky man in his sixties takes the place next to me and starts a conversation. He's from Egypt. I'm wondering what business he's in. He's retired, he says, he had been a diplomat and is quite opiniated. I'm myself diplomatic enough not to reveal what he confided in me.

Burger King at Plaza Cataluña/La Rambla. The guy behind the counter offers me to place my order in French, English, Italian and Spanish. What makes you think I could be French? I ask him ('cause that was what he had mentioned first). Well, the French always stand there silently and watch ...
Why does the little girl insist to sit on the pavement to drink her water? I ask the elderly woman accompanying her. She likes to play, and she has to have it her way, the woman says.

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