Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Weekend in Barcelona

It's late and I want to go to bed so this will be fast:

9:00 AM: Wake up. Realize our Moroccan friend Badr has spent the night in our apartment.
9:20: Finish final packing
9:25: Go to the hanout (corner store) to buy supplies (one [1]pack of eight [8] spreadable laughing cow cheese products, one [1] roll of bread, two [2] bimo crackers [golden variety]).
9:28: Return to apartment. Decide to make breakfast of sauteed potatoes, tomates and poached eggs.
9:35: Go to other hanout to buy potatoes, tomatoes and two eggs.
9:37: Find peppers and onion in fridge. Decide to add them to breakfast.
9:43: Start eating breakfast. Badr still asleep.
9:44: Get text from Jacob asking me where I am. Reply that I'm still at my apartment
9:45: Get text from Jacob telling me that train for the airport leaves at 10.
9:47: Finish cramming breakfast into my mouth. Badr still asleep. Debate waking him to tell him I'm leaving. Decide it's too much effort; time becoming urgent.
9:49: Arrive train station. Buy ticket. Cost is 75dhs. I have 50 dirham cents left.
9:50: Meet Jacob and Esther on platform. Mention how I thought we were taking the 10:45 train. Realize I haven't showered.
10:00: Train to airport departs.
11:00: Transfer trains in Ain Sebaa. Second train about 25 years older than the first with limited air conditioning. Realize again I haven't showered.
11:30: Arrive Mohammed V airport
11:43: Pass through security checkpoint. I set off the metal detector, gaurd waves me through anyway.
12:10: Check in for flight.
12:15: Fill out departure information form for immigration.
12:17: Pass customs checkpoint. Officer sees the cover of our passports and waves us through
12:23: Pass Immigration checkpoint. Officer looks over departure form, checks a box and throws it in trash can.
12:28: Pass security. I set off the metal detector, officer pats down my torso and pockets (which are full), asks me "labass?" (are you ok?) to which I reply "labass" (I am ok) and he waves me through. (Jacob brings his full 1.5 liter bottle of water through, Esther brings her pocket knife through in her carry-on)
12:38: Walk through duty free store. Alcohol and tobacco for cheap
12:47: Eat one packet of bimo (golden) crackers
1:12: Board plane
4:30 (Barcelona time): Arrive Barcelona
5:00 Pass through Immigration
5:10: Pass through Customs
5:12: Withdraw money from ATM. It works (al-hamdu l'allah)
5:23: Ask information desk for cheapest way to get to hostel in Barcelona
5:37: Buy ticket for Barcelona metro
6:00: Get on train.
6:45: Get off train. Walk wrong way
6:53: Realize we are walking the wrong way. Backtrack
7:14: Lost again
7:29: Realize hostel was block and a half away from metro station. Jacob buys pork cracklins from kiosk. Pork is delicious
7:43: Check into hostel.
8:16: Overwhelmed by how nice the 12 story high high-rise hostel is. Intrigued by pool which guests have access to
8:23: Go out to explore.
8:34: Buy two varieties of Cava (Catalan sparkling wine) from bottle shop. Total: 7.90
8:44: Meet Vicki and Laura, two of Esther's friends who are studying in Granada and who are staying in the same hostel for the weekend.
9:00: Finish second bottle of Cava. Decide to get dinner
9:15: Eat dinner of french fries and copious amounts of cheap meat. Realize how much I miss cheap meat
9:37: Go back to the hostel to meet Felicity, another one of Esther's friends studying in Belgium
9:54: Go out to explore
10:17: Get an Estrella Damm in local bar. Tapas are extra
11:14: Return to hostel. Sit in common area and meet other random travelers. Italians in Laura's room are loud obnoxious and speak only broken english and spanish.

8:30: Wake up and take shower in what is the best hostel shower I have ever experienced. Soap provided.
9:02: Go to free breakfast in hostel dining area. Include cereal, rolls, butter, jam, nutella, yougurt, coffee and juice. I stock up on rolls, butter, nutella and jam.
10:02: Depart for Picasso Museum.
10:25: Get sidetracked by open air market reminiscient of a souk and run mainly by North Africans
11:44: Find Picasso Museum. Meet with Steven, another one of Esther's friends who is studying in Granada
12:00: Pay 6 euros to get into Picasso Museum
12:49: View Picasso's numerous renditions of Las Meninas
1:37: Picnic lunch
3:48: Go to Park Guell (designed by Gaudi)
4:54: Arrive at Park Guell (designed by Gaudi)
6:47: Leave Park Guell (designed by Gaudi). Start walking back to the hostel
8:23: Buy bottle of wine at grocery store for 74 euro cents
9:04: Arrive at hostel. Decide to change and get dinner
9:27: Eat dinner; meat and french fries
10:20: Return to hostel. Try to go to pool. Realize that pool closes at 10 on Saturdays
11:32: Meet Ben from Mississippi. Goes to Ole Miss. Studying abroad in Greece and is here for a few days. Will be taking up the fourth bed in our room.

12:05: Open my bottle of wine
12:27: Finish bottle of wine. Start drinking Jacob's 4 euro fifth of whiskey
12:48: Depart for discotheque
1:03: Arrive discotheque. Get another drink.
3:30: Realize discotheque is comprised of 4-5 three story warehouses connected by balconies. Go to balcony with Mississippi Ben. Start conversation with Spanish guys about Morocco in French.
5:06: Leave discotheque. Arrive in time at hostel to help Jacob pay off his cab.
10:14: Get woken up by Esther. Realize that check out is at 10:30
10:32: Check out of hostel. Realize this now means I never got to go swimming
11:15: Leave bags in Felicity's room
12:20: Leave everyone napping at hostel. We agree to meet at Sagrada Familia (designed by Gaudi) at 2
12:23: Decide to go to Las Ramblas.
12:27: Arrive metro station. Realize I don't know where Las Ramblas is. Decide to take metro to station with the most amount of intersecting lines.
12:43: Leave Catalunya metro station. Notice large masses of tourists. Cross square with fountain and realize I have found Las Ramblas
12:44: Realize Las Ramblas is a solid traffic jam of tourists on foot.
1:00: Reach end of Las Ramblas. Walk along water. Still hungover
1:37: Realize I need to get to Sagrada Familia. Also realize I am now hungry
2:07: Get off at metro station for Sagrada Familia. Purchase ham flavored chips from vending machine.
2:08: Arrive Sagrada Familia (designed by Gaudi). Church is modern, crazy and awe-inspiring. Ham flavored chips amazing.
2:28: Still waiting for friends. Buy another bag of ham flavored chips
2:49: Still waiting for friends now concerned and angry. Watch angry French female tourist with her daughter drag a pickpocket out of the metro station and demand help from a security guard.
3:07: Realize that the clocks around me say it is 2:07
3:10: Meet friends. They tell me that time has moved back an hour.
2:20: Depart for Casa Battlo (Designed by Gaudi)
3:40: Arrive Casa Battlo. Very nice neighborhood. Mississippi Ben leaves o go meet friends at the Cathedral. Realize that the entrance fee for Casa Battlo is a staggering 16.50 Euros. Decide to get coffee. Jacob decides to go into Casa Battlo anyway
4:50: Meet with Jacob. Decide to go to Las Ramblas and find paella for dinner.
6:30: Eat dinner of paella. Extremely good.
7:00: Jacob departs to go see the Barca game. Esther and I are leaving in a few hours so we can't go
7:25: Get a gaufre (waffle) with gelato on it
8:15: Return to hostel to get our bags. I buy a chorizo along the way to take back to Morocco
9:00: Say our goodbyes and go to metro station to go back to airport.
10:30: Arrive airport. Check in.
10:45: Pass security. Esther's knife goes through fine.
11:30: Board flight.

12:55 (Moroccan time): Disembark flight. The doors into the airport from the gangway are locked. People bang on the window until security officers come to open it.
1:23: Pass through immigration. Receive another 90 day visa.
1:37: Pass through customs.
1:43: Exchange money. Train schedule confirms our belief that the next train is at 6.
5:30: Wake up on bench in the airport.
5:48: Board train back to Rabat
6:23: Switch train in Casablanca
7:30: Arrive back in Rabat. Eat a breakfast of leftover bread, nutella and nescafe.
8:30 Depart for class

Needless to say it was quite the weekend. In additional news my room now has curtains and I have purchased mobile internet.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Toshi,
    These minutes of your weekend (that happend about 6 months ago...my bad) are excellent and really funny! And I just thought that I should tell you...

    Sincerly, Grace