Barcelona Journal
the people
An unusual view of Barcelona An unusual view of Barcelona Sara Bosch

The President of the Barça Football Fan Club in Melbourne, Peter Kurg, is visiting Barcelona. And he is loving it! The food, the people, the football, the culture and the history, always bearing in mind that it is difficult to generalise about people as diverse as the 'Spanish'.

Hola amics!

Barcelona (BCN) is incredible! I have fallen head over heals, it's amazing. If you have not been, I urge you to do so: it is truly wonderful.


The People

Apart from the expats of which there are many, the Catalans themselves are an interesting lot! It is of course dangerous to generalise, so bearing that in mind here goes. I have met many locals here from the nice elderly lady and gent who I buy my papers from, to the eccentrics like Toni with his Chaplin moustache, to Signor Sancho the tailor on the Ramblas (it has been in the family for generations since opening in 1820 something) to the lovely old culé who runs an antique bookshop in the Raval.

You can see the elderly people here are treated with respect, and they gather at the end of the day to enjoy animated conversations on benches everywhere. When I went out to the ciutat esportiva on the outskirts of BCN I saw from the tram a large group under a stand of trees chatting as they strolled towards a number of benches. The spirit of community is seemingly wonderful from my perspective and what better way to rejoice in the end of another day than to catch up with old friends for a good gossip! It is important I think, to remember that this is a generation who have seen and experience a heck of a lot, including the nasty little dictator Franco. He tried to stamp out all vestiges of Catalanism, and especially the Catalan language so if they want to stand around for a number of hours talking in their own language, well, good on them!

The young people here are marvellous. Talented, educated, interested and interesting and unemployed. This is a tragedy, but I am sure that they are up to the challenge. Last Saturday there was a big protest here called Indignació, and it was fantastic to witness so many motivated young people out protesting in such a way. It is great that they are aware of the world they live in and they are not afraid to articulate a position. I know that some of you may think that I am hopelessly biased - well yes I am biased in favour of people who have character in bucket loads. No wonder Robert Hughes is besotted with the place.

Now of course there are are a large number of Espanyols here, but it is impossible to generalise about people as diverse as the 'Spanish'. I think that many people have observed that Spain is a ludicrous idea in that it is impossible to present such a diverse and rich part of the world as one homogenous package.

BCN is a marvellously diverse mix of people, and it is a tourist mecca. The one tourist I want to tell you about is the Asian Hi-Tech-Tourist. The first time I saw one was on the metro going out to the Camp Nou. He entered the train carrying an enormous back pac, and he had a large camera bag, and a very big watch. He also had a smaller pack on the front which he opened and took out an iPad. After consulting it, he then pulled out an iPhone which he used for some unknown function. He then produced a GPS, though what on earth he needed this for I will never know nor understand. Then with a flourish, he held up his left wrist and checked the time.

Absolutely hilarious.

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