As fate would have it, there was a bank holiday while I was in London so I booked a last-minute ticket to Spain for the three-day weekend. I majored in Spanish in college. I love the culture (both European and Latin American) and the language, and I’ve NEVER been to a Spanish-speaking country.
Have you ever wanted to do something so bad for a really long time, and then the stars align, and then it just happens, with no warning or precedence? Can you imagine my excitement?? Visiting Barcelona was literally a dream come true.
I luckily had a friend in this city as well, so after stepping off the plane, we spent the afternoon laying out by her rooftop pool in sunny 80-degree weather. Then dinnertime at 10pm, which is totally a normal Spanish thing to do, at a lovely restaurant, Agua, in ocean-side Barceloneta.
We finished dinner around 1am, again which is totally a normal Spanish occurrence. And since it was close by, we were going to just walk by and check out the strip of bars and clubs at Port Olympic before we headed home since I was pretty tired from getting over my recent illness and still a bit jet-lagged.
Alas, when in Barcelona, do as the barcelonés do.. and go bar-hopping. (Well, not so much the natives, in this area, it was mostly the tourists, but you get the point.) We ended up just stopping in at all the different bars and clubs – Techno, Hip-hop, Pop, Electronica, Irish bars, Salsa, Naughty nurses and doctors-themed… you name it, they had it, we saw it.
European men are very in-your-face and grabby. They grab arms, waists, touch your face, there are no limits. It’s constant ducking and dodging and slipping through grasps while using your girlfriends as bodyguards. One guy, as he was walking by, put his hand on my cheek, and goes “Chinitaaaa” accompanied by a big grin. In my head, I automatically translated it as little Chinese person, which it technically is. But my Spanish friend immediately saw my wheels turning and exclaimed, Don’t worry! It’s a term of endearment!
Basically, anything with -ita (little/smallness) at the end of it in Spanish is a term of endearment. Gordita. (little fattie) Mamacita. (little mama). Chiquita. (little woman). A chinese person would be chino in Spanish, therefore chinita. So if you’re ever in a Spanish-speaking country, and someone calls you something that you may think is racial or offensive, but there’s an -ita at the end of it, it’s ok! They’re just calling you what it is because there’s no need to sugar-coat or PC it, but they really do mean it with love and affection.
Anyways, the normal Spanish thing in 24-hour all day, all night Barcelona is to stay up til the next day and go straight to brunch. But as a tourist, I waved my white flag at 5am and went to bed.
But brunch was definitely had the next day (at 2pm)
Then we went to the beach club Mac Arena Mar and drank piña coladas on cabana beds while a DJ pulsed techno music until the sun went down.
P.S. The title is from a song that kept playing at the clubs. I think it sums up weekends in Barcelona for most people, including this one.