If my calculations are correct, I’m either on a plane right now or somewhere in Barcelona trying not to fall asleep on my friend’s shoulder. Or some stranger’s shoulder.
So! I had this entry written and set it to post automatically.
I took the picture up there from the room of that B&B in Barcelona I mentioned a while back. The price was astoundingly reasonable and I stayed there a week and I fell ridiculously in love with Barcelona, so when my friend asked me in January if I wanted to go with her this year, I said yes twelve times very fast in my head and then remembered to accept aloud also.
One of the things I hadn’t been prepared for was the language barrier. I’ve gotten so used to living in Japan and speaking the language well enough to ask just about any question I need to and understand the answers, so I did zero language preparation for my trip to Spain last year. Of course, I managed. Enough people spoke English that I didn’t run into any dramatic problems, and it turns out you can figure out a lot from body language.
My favorite moment of the trip, though, had to be when I got stuck on a wall.
I was wandering through Park Güell and I happened upon this massive stone wall separating the park from the rest of Barcelona. I doubt I would have noticed it at all, except that I saw out of the corner of my eye a man climbing it. I watched him climb, entranced, and when he got to the top, he stood up, took in the view, and climbed down the other side. The wall was probably about thirteen feet tall and made with thick, rounded stones. It was irresistible – I had to climb it.
Naturally, this was in the corner of the park and very few people happened upon it, so I shouldered my bag and climbed up one stone at a time. At the top, I looked down over the other side, expecting the ground to be much closer considering the other climber’s quick decision to climb down, but it was even higher up on the other side.
I thought, “Hm,” and decided to meditate on life from the top of the wall for a while.
I looked out at the view and was reminded viscerally of Kobe. Sitting on the slope of a mountain looking out at the city spread out on its curve, spilling out towards the sea. It was beautiful.
And I was stuck on that fucking wall.
I looked down, sympathizing with likeminded cats around the world, and wondered if I could colonize this wall. Start my own country called Walltop and crown myself Queen and have done with my life among the ground dwellers.
Until some guy walked by with his friends, paused, made a look of surprised admiration, and saluted me before he walked away.
Clearly, I was a motivating force and I could change the world with my wall-climbing prowess if I were to rejoin the World Below.
I walked along the wall to where it curved down the mountain and walked until the wall angled down just enough for me to feel comfortable with falling if I slipped. I went down one stone at a time and, on the last step, my shoe came off.
I stood on one leg, took a photo, and retrieved my shoe.
Someday, I will share that photo as the cover of my Walltop history book.
Good night, citizens of the World Below!