Lost in Translation

Online blog of life in Barcelona for a English guy making a life for himself out here and trying desperately to have a good time, become fluent in Spanish, and most of all - not be constantly mistaken for a tourist!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Anyone for a G&T?

First weekend in Barcelona, and I’ve had a great time. Mainly because my closest friend from back home has been over to bring the rest of my luggage and to stay for the weekend. Our mission was to try out the local nightlife, which I think we had a fair go at! The gay night scene is big in Barcelona, and my flat is very close to all the action, so we headed off with a list of recommended bars ready to see what we could see. The first thing about a night out in Barcelona is that you of course don’t actually do the “going out” bit until virtually the next day, so we only got the night underway properly at about midnight, which was cool as the bars were nicely busy (apparently, coming out at 8 or 9pm like we would in the UK would mean you’ll only have yourselves and a barman for company!) We tried one called Dietrich first which was cool, followed by one called Átame (which translates as “Tie me up” which was a worry at first, but was just a regular bar). We do have to be careful though, as there are some bars that cater for the “niche” markets and, although I won’t mention here what I saw on their websites, it’s not your average Saturday night entertainment (Brucie would have a fit!). Anyway, the bars we went to were great, and we got talking to some people, one of whom (an English girl) was clearly on drugs for something, and if she wasn’t, she should’ve been. She kept us entertained for a while though, so I suppose that what it’s all about. Then a couple of German guys latched onto us, and we spent a while chatting with them. Still no Spanish contact at this point, so no one to practice on. Although, walking past a hotel bar, we did get accosted by a girl trying to convince us to go in, despite the fact that we’d have been the only people in there, so of course we politely refused (in my best Spanish!). But... practice is practice! Hehe

After a working day, and my friend having flown in on an early flight, we were both tired, so we decided not to push the night too long and so headed home. The following night (Saturday) we would make more of an effort. We went to the same two bars, plus a couple of others, and then went to a club called Arena, which apparently has 3 venues. We opted for the “Arena Classic” because it said it played old favourites and dance classics, but most of the night this meant Spanish music only. Luckily, Spanish pop music is incredibly easy to dance to so, while we didn’t know any of the words, we were still in our element.

Another thing I notice over here is the size of the measures given when you drink spirits. A gin and tonic is poured free-hand and the so-called “3 second pour” that I’ve been told is recommended, is definitely not the norm over here. It just keeps on coming!!! It only took a few of these to see us well on our way, so despite the pricey cost of the drink on the face of it, you’re actually getting a bargain when you weigh up how much of the "good stuff" is in there!! We didn’t spend much, and had a great time. I must’ve been fairly drunk even when we arrived at the club because I actually tried to get in through the fire-door! (I must’ve lost my bearings!) Anyway, the guy on the door advised me of my “error”, and therefore that was another mini Spanish lesson thrown in for free. Oh, and I did accidentally stand on the toe of a local club-goer at one point on the dance floor, which I hadn’t noticed until his friend politely tapped me on the shoulder and formally lodged his complaint. I say “formally” because it was delivered in a way as if he wanted a written apology from my solicitor!! I just kept dancing and smiled with a shrug! I think the words “de nada” may have accidentally slipped from my mouth! Whoops. My planned new career as the Cultural Atache from The People's Republic of Lesbania is probably looking a bit shaky!


At October 01, 2006 12:41 AM, Anonymous grandma fernandez said...

Thank god I didnt have to lug that terrible suitcase with the dodgy wheels back with me, I had to keep telling people "its not mine, its my friends" as I ran over their feet.

After 2 hours in customs trying to explain why I had a suitcase full of cuppa soups, and "educational films". I finally arrived in BCN, after a two hour wait for a cab (thats what im telling people david!) only to discover the Gin doesnt come out until midnight! Is there not an EU law that specifies binge drinking is applicable in all EC countries and starts a 3pm? Should I start a petition?

At July 09, 2007 12:50 AM, Blogger John Scott Harris said...

Im taking the big leap and moving to Barcelona in September, I guess im going to go through the same problems youve had, and hopefully the same delights. Any pointers for flat rentals/roomshares etc would be greatly appreciated, not having a lot of luck at the moment :)


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