― Paolo Coehlo
But when things finally start to move, everyone is spontaneously clapping from relief, Laura called me and while I was in the middle of telling her I was still stuck in the plane (to not get her too excited, since I didn't know if my bag would actually come), my bag arrived and I actually shrieked and told her to come to the exit immediately. Even though I told her I was still stuck in the airport, when I came out a minute later, she was there. It was the perfect movie moment. With my suitcase in my hand, I ran as fast as I could (and almost got stuck in the automatic doors in the process) but eventually ended up hugging Laura, really trying not to cry.
We took the bus into the city (where I made Laura and her sister Marina choke on tough Belgian chocolate), I finally got to meet Laura's family and for the first time, I wasn't the only person who wanted to instagram the occasion and if possible snapchat it too. But eventually we went out around 6 and strolled around, took photos and pretended to be guiris and acted as if we were not lost in the city. On every crossroad, Laura let me choose what way I wanted to go, which made us discover places I've visited when I was in Barcelona with my parents or places even she didn't remember ever seeing. Looking back, it feels as if I've seen more of Barcelona in these four hours than I managed to see in the days I've spent in this city as a true tourist.
Walking around in Barcelona is a process of repeatedly getting lost, without having to be found. Every street might look different, but will eventually lead you to a familiar square, from which it's best to attempt to get lost again, since this is how cities should be explored; with a bright eye and an open soul. With a curiosity for the little things, which are what lives are made of. Those famous touristy places are merely the dots; it's the people, the stories and the environment that actually connect them and lead to a cohesive whole.
At night, and when I say night, I actually mean night, since here, dinner is a thing that happens after 10pm, we ate a Spanish dish I never had before and while Laura and Marina discussed casualties in Catalan, I stared at the darkening sky and the lights that started to appear. The view is one you pay for and the company is priceless, so when I ended up in my new bed for the first night, I felt grateful. Grateful and happy, filled with joy.
Life is pretty darn great.
|The very first photo of the two of us|