8. /No/ Barcelona, Spain
I should have known when we landed well after 12am, through a rattling thunderstorm at Barcelona-El Prat aeropuerto.
I should have known when I found out that the metro in Barcelona stops running after midnight on weekdays.
I should have known when I sat through 34 stops on the night bus and managed to get off at the wrong one somewhere around Plaça de Catalunya. Standing in the light drizzle trying to get my bearings, there was no fun in that. Walking from one Catalunya bus stop to another (passing along a couple groping each other, a drunk hobo who had a shouting fit because my bag wheels were making the loudest clattering sounds on the sidewalk and several curious, working desi men who double-looked figuring out why an Indian girl was out at that time of the night) trying to find the bus connection to Eixample, I learn a few things –
one./ In detail about the Barcelona bus network; how the stops are named and the after 12am night buses.
two./ Cities no matter which part of the world, by night, turn into a different place altogether.
three./ the experience of walking around Barcelona city at night in the rain shivering; – stepping in small puddles on the sidewalk getting the bottom of your pants wet, crossing a 4-lane road and still have the drunk shouting at you from the other side, dragging your wet duffle through it all and arriving at your hostel looking like bird-shit only to find the hottest Moroccan guy with the lightest of brown eyes behind the reception – teaches you nothing. Just take the cab next time.
I should have known the next day when I sat by the window in a cafe looking out on a fountain in the lined streets of Eixample eating some scrumptious bread and drinking several cups of coffee, my body refusing to move. When it did move, only to a tapas bar some doors down.
I should have known the day after when I walked over to the Sagrada Família, Gaudi’s famous emblematic temple and just felt meh. Even when the alleys of Barri Gòtic didn’t speak to me, I should have known.
I should have known the following day after the next when I couldn’t wait to get away from Las Ramblas fast enough!
That some places are just not for your nomad heart, I should have known.
As much as I wanted to love Barcelona, I didn’t. I tried. I tried for days. I looked forward to Barcelona, I couldn’t wait to get to this city. Be in love with it. Learn from it. But it didn’t happen.
As much as you want, sometimes things will be a NO. And when things are a no, one should have known to move on.