Today we decided that some tourist destinations were in order, and truly, they were. First, we went inside the Santa Maria Del Mar Church, which of course was as surprisingly breathtaking as most destination churches are. No matter how non-spiritual you are, there is a serenity that comes just from looking up to see a high ceiling and traditional stained glass, then looking around and seeing red votives with lit candles. I was tempted to buy one and pray for a sick loved one, but I figured that chances are if I eventually find spirituality, it will be free. If God is real, it will be free. I generally avoid libraries because of my vocal tendencies, but it's a fun challenge to attempt silence once in a blue moon. Luckily for me, this was not one of those ultra-silent churches. I always manage to either trip or drop something, and the noise always breaks the silence and gets me lots of dirty looks. No blue moon. I tripped along happily and noisily in my flip flops, flapping my trap.
After the church, we went to the Picasso Museum. Upon stepping into line, a very lively and hilarious British man announced that he was from London. He's a pianist, and for the past few years has been playing the piano on cruises. He just had a few quick hours in Barcelona to do some exploring...and socializing! We were a dynamic foursome — Jackie, our friend Brandon, Daniel the British man, and me. We explored the museum casually, talking mainly about music. Daniel could not believe that we had not been to the Jimi Hendrix Memorial near Seattle. He accused us of being bad Seattleites! The art instigated impassioned conversation — everything from Nietzsche to the allure of female anatomy was discussed. The conversation did not lose steam all through lunch, when we finally had paella. Daniel asked me how old I was, guessing 24. I told him I was 19, and he had the priceless reaction of, "Oh wow! You already seem like a proper person!" We parted with Daniel when he had to dash back to his ship.
After taking a siesta, we went out for grub with our new Canadian girlfriends — Morgan and Becky. We ate at a tastefully decorated but incredibly sterile chain restaurant. Being cheap and comfort-food-oriented, I ordered pesto pasta. Delicioso. Boyfriends were discussed.
Back at our heavenly hostel, people were playing drinking games. Hopelessly social, I partook in the games even though I was taking a night off from clubbing. I played with an enormous bottle of water, and let me tell you, I got very hydrated. Here's the thing. Jackie and I have discussed the predicament of student travel. We both crave culture, aspire to learn, and genuinely desire to experience places authentically, but it's also very gratifying to stay in a hostel where you do "normal" student things with "normal" students. Essentially, most of our days have been composed of seeing sights during the day, and going to fairly touristy clubs at night. It's all fine and dandy, but we keep judging ourselves. Self-loathing aside, I have enjoyed all my socializing immensely, especially getting so hydrated I could barely walk! Clubs don't really get "fun" (translation: JAM-PACKED AND SWEATY) until early in the morning, so I hung out at the hostel with people until they left for the clubs at about 1:00 a.m. (pretty early).
I definitely plan on keeping in touch (via Facebook, of course) with many of my new friends — friends from all over the world, I might add!
About This Entry
You are reading "Being a Proper Tourist...and Person!", an entry posted on 06 July 2009 by Jackie Steves.