January 3rd, 2004 § § permalink
immigrants in europe, and there are a lot of them, are extremely business minded, cashing in minor legal inconveniences for profit.
1. in barcelona liquor stores close at 10pm and beer at the bar is more than 3 euros; no worries, beer is delivered to you on the street for 1 euro a can (less if you bargain for it.)
2. in the milan train terminal one has to pay .80 euro for a wee (that’s more than a dollar in us currency), but the 10 immigrants who have rigged the charging gate can get you in for .20. if you don’t pay the 12 year old who makes the kind offer, the angered rest will kick the door of your stall down.
occasionally the police make a raid; everybody denies everything; and the sun still rises.
December 24th, 2003 § § permalink
lucas’s mother is a telephone fortune teller. jane asked her to read the cards. her warnings were pretty reasonable, and i agree with them:
fortuna is the brand of the worst cigarettes on the market. merda.
December 23rd, 2003 § § permalink
for the last couple of days, we’ve been staying with a spanish couple. they speak very little english and our communication involves playing sharades and occasionaly passing the dictionary. however, some words do not need to be looked up. she knows numbers in english and he knows days of the week; and both correct the other with a hefty score of pride when within their specialty.
December 22nd, 2003 § § permalink
it would be less forgivable to have neglected to meet a person from the area than to have missed a tourist attraction.
lucas, the catalanian dj mr.kmp, is our redemption. peretz met him in san francisco this summer.
he let jane try out his scooter.
December 21st, 2003 § § permalink
being a russian punk was a point of pride for the one we met in a non-descript barcelona plaza. in between bold approaches to every new group of people that passed within the plaza to leech of some hash, cigarrettes, food, or change, he told us about the meaning behind the color of his shoelaces:
the black shoelace means life sucks. that is the main theme of the punks. the other is red because i am half ready to go to battle. two red shoelaces would mean that i am ready to fight right here and right now. if you see red laces, they’re likely in your face and you won’t be seeing much after that.
the first member of his small caravan to approach our bench where we sat with our friend, lucas, was a little grey and and black puppy, two months of age. he was followed by his owner, a punkette with red dreaded spikes that she nervously twirled between her fingers as she asked us whether we might have a small bit of hash (to our confusion, she called it a small bit of cho-co-latte). later we would find out that this was part of their collect enough rocks and you will have a mountain philosphy which was very appropriately backed up by the visual aid of the punk´s cigarette case: a mountain of cigarrettes, all of them different like the many owners they came from.
there is more:
neo-nazis wear white laces. when punks wear white laces, they are stepping on the neo-nazi terrain. when neo-nazis wear two red laces, it means all out war.
these punks have been living in a squat in barcelona for only a couple of years, sustaining themseleves on tossed restaurant food and leeching for drugs.
you can meet them too and their pit bull.