October 8, 2008

A surprise lockout with a happy ending.

I was really hoping to upload some photos for you today but alas, plans were thwarted and Matt and I were locked out of my flat for the entire day. We left this morning for what we thought would only be half an hour to get some eggs and fruit to make breakfast, but little did we know that the Dios of los Llaves (that would be “Gods of the Keys”) had other plans for us. Our front door has two locks and on two occasions in the past 2 weeks my key has not worked in the top lock. There is no rhyme of reason for this as 30 minutes or 3 days earlier it worked but then at that exact moment it decided not to. Well, today after returning from the supermarket with some groceries, my key decided not to work for the third time in three weeks.

We prodded and pushed and pulled but that key was not going in that lock. I decided to go upstairs and ask a neighbor I had never met if I could put a couple of things in his refrigerator for the day since we were locked out. He obliged, Matt and I left our other bag of a few items next to our door, and then headed out to take on the day and find a place to rent a scooter. Maybe I should have prefaced this sentence by first saying that riding a scooter has never been on my list of things I would like to do. Ever. Motorcycles don’t excite me and the only thing the scooters here have done for me is give me a headache in my last flat from the zooming down my street in front of my window. Matt on the otherhand has been talking about renting one from the moment he set foot in Barcelona and I guess I will chalk it up to frustration over being locked out and not having eaten anything yet, but somehow I agreed to it. Begrudgingly of course. After doing a lot of walking to find a place that rented them, we found a rental place along the water and spoke to a nice Brazilian man who set us up with a scooter for the day. I am sure he thoroughly enjoyed my face of apprehension contrasted with Matt’s face of excitement and delight and he waved goodbye after showing us how to lock it up and start it and of course drive it.

Well, people, I hate to admit it, but scooter riding was a thrill (notice I said “riding” and not “driving”…I was the passenger who got to hold on tight and pray that my boyfriend was going to be a good scooter driver)! At first I wasn’t sure how much I was loving it, but after two minutes I was hooked. The wind in my hair, the sun shining down, the helmet on my head, my feet resting on the footrests as we drove by people sitting in buses and cars. We decided to take advantage of the scooter and went to the highest places in Barcelona that take the most time to get to and went to the top of Montjuic (the mountain by the sea) where we walked around the Castell Montjuic (yes, a real castle, though the moat is now filled with beautiful marigolds and not menacing-looking water). We took in the incredible view of the Mediterranean and then were on our way back down the mountain and off to one of Barcelona’s fresh food markets to get rations for lunch and sunglasses (you can’t ride a bike without sunglasses as we learned after just the trip up and down Montjuic; the wind in your hair is nice but not so much in your eyes when it is combined with dust and other air particles).

Equipped with bread, ham, cheese, olives, water, and sunglasses we sped north through the city and wound our way up and up and up Tibidado – the highest point in all of Barcelona. It is the mountain that is to the west which you can see all of the city from. At the very top is an old amusement part and a bizarre-looking electric tower of some sort. We made it almost all the way up the twisty and turny road and decided to stop at a great vantage point to eat lunch and take it all in. We had been to every other “lookout point” (Montjuic and Parc Guell) in Barcelona but this one really gave you the best view and appreciation for the layout of the city.

The rest of the afternoon was spent sitting in a couple of cafes drinking coffee while watching the rain outside (we both had on flipflops since we had left the flat in the morning not realizing a) it was going to rain or b) we would be riding a scooter in the rain since c) we didn’t know we were going to be locked out). Finally we came back to the flat and found two things. One, my key still wouldn’t work so we had to wait 40 minutes for Mariluz and Fer to come home and two, someone stole our small bag of groceries. I swear if I smell someone with the scent of my Dove bodywash, wearing a spot of strawberry jam on their chin, milk on their upper lip and a banana peel on their shoe, I am going to question their whereabouts this afternoon and what they know about a missing white grocery bag. As you may have now guessed, in our bag of groceries was bodywash, strawberry jam, milk and bananas.

All in all we were able to take a semi-annoying situation and turn it into a day of great memories (sans camera, though, sorry, as it was locked in my flat all day).

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