You know I’ve been living in Barcelona for more than 8 years now. Many people think I’m lucky for many reasons, and I agree in terms of culture and entertainment, because there are plenty of exhibitions and live shows available. I’m not accurately counting how many gigs I attend a year, but I wouldn’t exaggerate if reckoning around 25.
Some others think that, because Barcelona is full of foreign people throughout the year, I’m meeting different people all the time. Wrong! I don’t complain about my busy social life, nor the people I’m getting acquainted with lately, but I’m not meeting Swedish nor American guys on a weekly basis. Tourists hang out at touristic joints, residents are regular at other venues, and at the end of the day, most of them are students and tend to meet people in their same age, even same nationality. This is not the paradise of foreign people available for your pleasure.
And finally, the beach. I hate when people think I’m so privileged for having the beach available in the same city. My question is, those who say that, have you ever been to Barceloneta beach? No? Then I beg you shut the fuck up. The most popular beaches in the city are filthy locations packed with people around and constant illegal street vendors bothering. Sand is full of cigarette butts and crap, water is contaminated and looks horrifying and the endless feeling of lack of safety due to the presence of unpleasant characters watching for bounties, make of the experience, one of the worst in Barcelona.
These situations and places have contributed to my disgust for this summer free entertainment. I’m not interested in going to the beach, nor swimming in the sea, and even less, spending my time in sunbathing. Having enjoyed of a private swimming pool for years at my parents’ building, I don’t have patience for enduring unknown people surrounding me, nor having to keep an eye on my stuff.
Of course there are exceptions… believe it or not, I spent one week in Dominican Republic 8 years ago, and needless to say Caribbean sea and its beaches are the closest thing to Paradise I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
All these things considered, I was invited to spend some days at one of my best friend’s summer house, one hour away from Barcelona by train. She only asked me for being in the mood of spending some time on the beach, and because I wanted to be with here, and she promised not to punish me with endless sessions, I accepted her proposal.
Last time I went to the beach it was 2 years ago, when I was working for a company and the office was nearby so that we used to take the cars and go to the beach for lunch. My last swim was 3 years ago in Cambrils, and it was a quick one. I haven’t spent much in bikinis nor sunscreen lotion in the last years, as you can see, and my legs are as pale as a vampire’s.
Well, armed with a parasol, covered with very high protection cream, I’ve gone to the beach for 3 days in a row. Each exposure hasn’t lasted an eternity, and has ended with a visit to the beach stall, rewarded with a cold beer, but yeah! I’ve made it, and I’ve actually enjoyed it very much. No concerns of being stolen, no hurries, enough vital space as not to feel invaded by other people, great chats and the best company.
You should have seen me swimming, the feelings were pleasant yet weird… I can get the idea of a kid from Kazakhstan, experiencing going to the beach for the first time in his life. I felt a bit like a freak.
Total disconnection and detachment from routines and real world. Everything’s been so relaxing, now I’m back in the city after these 3 days I feel kinda stressed by dense traffic, annoying noise and people bothering everywhere.
Nevertheless, when my friends were reckoning they’d be able to live like that for a long time, I realized that, regardless many inconveniences, I love living in the city and, beyond 3-5 days, so much quietness would kill me. I need chaos, noise and action, so badly, as soon as I arrived home, I’ve gone out for a ride on my motorbike. I’m a city dweller.
Once this obstacle has been overcome, let’s see how long it takes me to come back. Any bets? 😉