– Strange in Barcelona Sirens -> Every now and then, as with every city in the world, I hear the police, fire trucks or ambulance racing down the street to someone’s aid. Okay.. what’s so weird? Every time I hear them, I immediately think I’m in some 1950’s mafia movie or that I somehow got transmitted back in time to World War II. The European reading this blog will be wondering what I am talking about. Well here it is… this is what we hear in the west in real life (ambulance siren)…. And this is what we hear in the west in the movies (strange Barcelona siren).
– Strange in Barcelona Elevators -> if nothing else teaches you about patience in Barcelona, it will be the elevators! Given the antiquity of them, they are quite slow and don’t support the being in a rush concept. And don’t think running up or down the staircase will be any faster because the floor to floor heights are twice that in the west and so it means double the steps.
At first, after you push the button (depending on where you are you may have to push the button of the floor you are on for it to come to you), you will hear some industrial noise and you will think to yourself “I hope that was not in this building”. Indeed it is. The elevators here are all old hydraulic elevators and so you hear the hydraulics at work every time someone tries to use it. Anyhow, the elevator finally gets to you and now you are thinking “why won’t these doors open?” It’s fairly simple, you have to open the doors on your own; and depending on where you are you will also have to open the inner ones as well. You better close these doors when you get out because neither you nor the next person will be going anywhere unless you do. Lastly, only if you have a death wish should you try to fit more than 4 people into an elevator.
– Strange in Barcelona Catholics and Gays get along (in the open) -> In the 1800’s they would burn you on a stake to try and convert you to Christianity; and still 94% of the population is Roman Catholic yet gay marriages have been legal here for quite some time. This would scream irony over in the west. Especially since it’s taking so long to catch on over there and half of the population doesn’t even believe in the things the Catholic bible says.
– Strange in Barcelona Language -> There are 4 official languages – Castillian (Spanish), Catalan, Basque and Galician) -> Oh! No wonder every time I think “I’ve got this!” it turns out I really haven’t.
– There are 3 unofficial languages – Asturian, Arogonese and Aranese .. and tons of dialects -> see above ^. I seriously don’t have this.
– Strange in Barcelona Is it done yet? -> They have the only building in the world that is famous yet incomplete; and still being built 125 years later. Talk about diligence. A must see! La Sagrada Familia.
– Strange in Barcelona Don’t take it to the streets! -> Weed.. aka marijuana.. aka mary jane is legal.. AT HOME… I guess that’s why everyone is so welcoming when I say I’m Jamaican (And for the record I do not smoke); or why the lady renting her home said no drugs allowed except weed. *raised eyebrow*
– Strange in Barcelona Hey they paid for him -> Messi is Argentinian. In the world of football this is not strange at all but I just thought I would throw this on in for Kicks!
– Strange in Barcelona Catalonians don’t really drink sangria -> this would explain why I can’t find any good tasting ones here. They just make watered down wine for the tourists. You’re better off with a caiparina, mojito, gin y tonic or cacique y cola!
– Strange in Barcelona Look out below! – People hang their clothes off the balcony to dry -> Great way to meet people… when you’re underwear falls 10 stories down onto someone else’s terrace.
– Strange in Barcelona Lunch is at 2pm and Dinner is at 10pm -> this pretty much disproves all the western theory about eating late and gaining weight.
– Strange in Barcelona The ring tone is kind of similar to a busy signal – > I guess I just thought that’s how it sounds from the west to the east. Turns out it sounds that way here too.
– Strange in Barcelona How come I haven’t seen anyone dance the Flamenco?? -> yup. Not a Catalonian dance!
– Strange in Barcelona Thinking ahead instead of lagging behind -> Unlike in the west, if you are driving and the light is about to turn red you better not speed up to try and catch the light because the pedestrians have already anticipated their green and have started walking. Likewise if you are a pedestrian and the light indicates that it will soon be time for the cars to start driving, you better just stop and wait for the next light because feet are already off the brakes.
Those are all the noticeably strange things in Barcelona that I’ve seen since I’ve been here in the last three weeks without reading an “all about Barcelona historical facts.”