It is a well known fact that Barcelonan Marble Wolves are fiercely protective of their young. Less well known is that they still inhabit populated areas of the city. Long thought to have been driven to the farthest reaches of the Catalonian wilderness, their reappearance in the city is reason for celebration. 🙂
Much like certain cities in America, the cost of everything in Barcelona is considerably higher than most of the rest of the country. I was so excited upon my arrival here to again devour the ensaladilla I had become so quickly enamoured with in Sevilla and Tarifa. In those locals I never paid more than 2 euros for that sensuous love triangle of potatoes, mayonnaise sauce and tuna. Often served on a slate plate, ensaladilla quickly put an end to what preconceived notions I had regard what potato salad could be. Those last few hours on the boat from Tangier, as the sun said farewell in a glorious and loving gesture
I grew antsy in anticipation of once again experiencing the jubilation of taste buds wrapped in the savory embrace of ensaladilla. My mind was concocting elaborate and detailed fantasies of my reunion with enaladilla; the sort of fantasies usually reserved for desirous thoughts of returning to the arms of a lover now lost, or the playing out of some imagined series of events had but one past experience been different.
Finally we made land and within 20 minutes the walk to my obscenely over-heated hotel and check-in at said hotel wer complete. It was time for some cheesy love song to play in the background while ensaladilla and I, ignoring the world around us, spun round in circles gazing deeply at one another as we lost ourselves to the joy of once again being together. Only the sounds of applause from the other restaurant patrons would bring us back to reality and the embarrassed blushes would make that moment of our coming together that much more meaningful and profound.
But when it rains it pours. The heartache and loneliness of being alone and far from those I love was compounded as ensaladilla was now also taken from me. For the cheapest ensaladilla to be found after an hour of wandering the Gothic Quarter was 6.5 euros!!!! You might then say to me “if truly you love ensaladilla as you claim, why then would price be a factor?”. Well I’ll tell you why; that would be unhealthy and at best codependent. There is only so far one can go before love transforms to obsession and the feelings of togetherness between bearded chunky man and exquisite potato salad are perverted and reduced to nothing more than crude and jealous lust. How could I do that to ensaladilla? We will always have that seaside Cafe La Burla in Tarifa and the Bar El Comercio in Sevilla. No one can every take that away and, maybe in some happy future, I’ll be cleaning out the email folder and come across some old photos or we’ll run into one another again and find that we never stopped loving each other and will start a new life together this time it will last forever…I’m totally talking about potatoes. HAHAHAHA
Overpriced potatoes aside, I’m now exactly one month into the trip and one thing I can say have been in three countries and as many continents is that people everywhere, for the most part, do people things. Folks go about their business trying to live there lives. I have witnessed no real difference between those who worship in mosques or cathedrals or not at all when it comes to being glued to cell phones. In all the lands I have thus visited and the one from which I sprung, I have witnessed the horrific and indefensible disparity between those with more than they could ever need and the desperately poor. One hears about the atrocities of the Syrian condition these last years and of those millions displaced and distraught. It is bad enough to read about it, but to witness, as I did today a Syrian refugee with a body burned and scared, crippled and in possession of only half as many arms as he was born with.
What do you say to such a person? I’m not currently equipped to deal with that. From the looks of him he is about my age and here I am jerking myself off about the difficulty in locating affordable potato salad and yet had I been born in Syria instead of Arizona I might well be limbless and broken out in the streets of Barcelona or wherever. In this era of the internet (which might be over by the time I publish this and now that I mention it makes me hope heaven and hell are real so that there will at least be some justice for people like Ajit Pai) it is so easy to lose track of the reality of what others experience. I’m not offering any answers. God knows I don’t even know what to do with myself, let alone what to do about the desperate man in the street and even farther removed my capability is some answer to war or poverty.
I know I went dark there and perhaps seemingly out of nowhere. The truth is that it was shocking to witness. I mean seriously; 6.5 euros for ensaladilla?!?!?!? JK. I mean the price was definitely shocking, but, well….you know what I mean. At the moment I’m plagued with dark thoughts and depression while concurrently I’m listening to some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard from a station live streaming from San Francisco while drinking an Irish bear in Barcelona. So I guess the point is that without darkness there can be no light; the two are simply manifestations of the same thing and it is my unenlightened nature which forces me to observe some distinction. The Taoists speak of this. They might even go so far as to imply that on some level there is no difference between myself and anything or anyone I encounter.
See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.
I doubt that offers you any more real, tangible resolution than it offered me. I’m back on a boat tomorrow and perhaps some sort of illumination or realization will be afforded me in the land of the Romans; perhaps not. I guess what I’m trying to say is that feel not sadness for me nor anger towards the clowns in the FCC for we are all one and the same. It is only the small differences which we insist on enlarging that require gap bridging. Geeze. You see what happens? Do you see what happens Larry? Larry do you see what happens when I’m tobacco free for too long? HAHAHAHA Anyway, till next time; adios.
I have to admit I’m curious why the fountain that prohibits drinking, swimming or fishing apparently has no problem with genital electrocution. 😀 Since this was a light and dark post this Zeppelin Song seems fitting while also making a solid argument for why Jimmy Page is one of rock’s greatest guitarists.
Ain’t smoking these days.