March 6, 2010

I'd spent 2 days in Barcelona

I was exhausted.  I was tired of running around.  You don't get to know a place by visiting it's tourist traps, and we tried to avoid some of them, but still - I was exhausted.  My memories of most of Barcelona are generally pretty nice - it was one of my favorite cities in Spain - but there was an hour - just one - where I felt magic.  It's hard to describe, but I know what it was because I've felt it before.

It was late.  Maybe midnight, maybe later.  I was with Krystle, Paulina, Kiah and Susan.  We'd been walking around after getting some tapas and we went back with Kiah and Susan to their hostel in downtown (ours was in the suburbs on a university campus somewhere and we had to take a 30 minute subway ride to get there).  We went out of our way to walk back with them because they had a computer room and everyone I was with needed - needed - to check their email.  I remember stopping to take a long exposure picture of the freeway while we were on our way over there.  You've gotta know that my roommates couldn't be away from a phone or computer for more than 24 hours or they lost their shit.  I, on the other hand, spoke on the phone only once the entire summer (oddly, it was the day after this, I think).  I felt like I wanted to be lost, and disconnecting from everyone that I knew back home helped me do that.  I wish I'd been able to stay longer, because I was just starting to acclimate to this new way of life.

The hostel was great.  It was super nice inside and everything was really clean (which is way more than I can say for most of the places we stayed... I really wish I'd taken more pics of some of these dirt holes).  When we found the computer room, I jumped on for about 5-10 minutes, chatted with my sister, and was ready to be on my way.  By the time I was finished, the other girls were just settling in for what I assumed would be a good 2 hour chat with their loved ones.  Obviously a lot of CA was online since 1am in Spain is 5pm here.

I left the computer room and wandered around for a bit.  I kept hearing this booming sound that seemed to be coming from the walls, so I decided to investigate.  It turned out to be a mini-theater, pitch black, with 30 or so huge comfy seats and only 3 other patrons.  It was late and I was tired, so I sat in the back and watched.  It was me, these 2 French guys and a girl from somewhere in eastern Europe, I think.  She said something in English, but her accent was hard to place.  We were watching Slumdog Millionaire, and it was about halfway through.  It was so comforting to be in a movie theater - in Valencia we didn't watch TV, we didn't see movies, we didn't hear news - and you can imagine the comfort that I got from just this one little thing.  A movie. In English.  I'd never been so happy to hear my own language.  I sat back and got lost in the story.

As it was nearing the end, I began to reflect on my trip so far and the things that I'd seen and done.  The experiences I'd had, and the thought that no one, ever, would have those same exact experiences.  Maybe it was the movie, but I just had a feeling of destiny.  Like everything I'd done had been leading up to this point, good and bad.  I'd been so many places, heard so many languages, and interacted with people of every type of culture I could imagine.  I mean, I was sitting in a theater in Barcelona at 1am with 2 French guys and a Norwegian chic watching an American movie about Indian kids.  It was surreal.

As the film ended I just had a feeling of wholeness, of oneness with the world - I knew that right at that moment I was feeling the same thing as the other 3 and it wasn't about where we came from or what language we spoke or how much money we did or didn't have or where we were going.  It was about the human experience and the fact that we were sharing it.  Right then.  It was a feeling of completeness like I've never had.  For a few minutes the world just felt tiny, and free, and ready.

It's funny that these little moments, moments that people I'm with don't even notice, end up being the ones that I remember.  They're so insignificant and yet so precious to me.  I once heard someone say that memory is "a wonderful thing if you don't have to deal with the past" and it's true.  These little moments that I have - they're unreal sometimes - but I know that as soon as they're over there's no way to recreate them.  There's no way to get that feeling back and I miss it.  I remember each feeling like this, they're all different, and I miss them all.

No comments: