Categorized | Daily Life, Open Letters

An open love letter to Barcelona

Posted on 26 February 2012 by American expat!


Barcelona, I really hate that you insist upon construction work dragging on every day until what most people consider to be nighttime. For example, it is now 8:30pm and there is some ridiculously loud drilling going on in the flat above mine. I suppose the hammering will follow next, as it did last night until after 9pm. Did I mention I work at night, from home?

But I am not going to turn this into a criticism session. Because for all your faults, there are so many things I really love about you.

First, let me tell you how much I appreciate your Greater Middle East area of Raval. You’re hosting some damn fine Indian, Pakistani, Afghani, Iranian and Armenian restaurants and bakeries. Fort super cheap, I might add.

I love the unexpected art I come across every day. I found these little gems when I walked out on a jetty to greet a fat puppy sniffing around at the cats who live in the jetties.

Speaking of the beach, now that Spring is here, the Chiringuitos are all out on the sand, playing music and serving up drinks. Love. Them.

chiringuitos on the beach in barcelona

And though I may not be able to find cottage cheese anywhere within your city walls (except for Carrefour Express on La Ramble, but it’s horrible UK cottage cheese), anything resembling real Mexican food, or convenient food like pre-shredded chicken in bags that I am accustomed to preparing for myself like a good American, I do love the entertaining variety of foods I can find in the larger supermarkets.

Yes, the name of those cookies translates to “Nun Nipples” and that’s an awfully hoochie looking nun pictured on the box. And you being Catholic no less.

Which brings me to the naked people. God how I love seeing your naked citizens walking around, riding bikes, or otherwise remaining undisturbed in their nudity. I especially love seeing the British tourist and their children stop in their tracks to stare open mouthed, while your Catalunyan grandmothers pass by arm in arm without a break in their conversations.

naked people in barcelona

But the thing I probably appreciate the most is your lack of airport security. I know, I know, I’ve said it before. But that fact that you don’t make me take off my sweatshirt, shoes or earrings and that you don’t blink when I put this in my carry on and pass it through security X-ray:

Barcelona airport security is lax.

It just makes my life so much easier.

Oh and also when I misspell my own name on my boarding pass. Thanks for letting that slide, too.



9 Comments For This Post

  1. Jessica Says:

    Hahaha this post had me laughing – it’s sooo true! I’ll put up with the constant construction for the beautiful beach weather now that spring’s here. El Prat is probably the world’s most laid-back airport ever.

    Let me know if you find out about the Mexican food. There’s a decent one called Frida’s (what else?) on C/Bruc.

  2. American expat! Says:

    Have yet to find anything resembling Mexican food here. The Catalans just cannot handle spicy food! And every Mexican salsa is sickeningly sweet – Hello, salsa is not dulce. And nachos do not have pinto beans in them! the worst offence yet has been candied fruit on a Cesar salad. WTF??

  3. Mother Theresa Says:

    Lol! I love Barcelona, and I’m itching to go back, but it’ll have to wait a while. Some of the things you mention are true elsewhere in Spain too. All that loud construction, and the funky foods. We love to eat queso de tetilla, which my kids call boobie cheese. And that naked man photo just had me laughing. We were just in San Sebastian the other day, with an American exchange student, and she was quite shocked by the nude sunbathers. I’ve gotten so used to it, that I don’t even blink, except for the fact that people sunbath nude there even when it’s only around 10 degrees out.

  4. American expat! Says:

    There is an older guy who rides his bicycle around town totally nude, except for his shoes. And then there is a quite famous individual who strolls around naked, but you don’t notice at first because he has a tattoo of underwear “covering” his junk!

  5. Wally Says:

    I have the Barcelona “bug” and the itch is just unbearable. Missed the cafes, cobbled stone streets, the architecture and hustle and bustle of Barceloneta in the early morning. Wish it was just a few hours away like Hawaii. But one of these years, I shall return and pitch my tent there for good (hopefully). Until then, I will suffer in silence.

  6. American expat! Says:

    And why not do it now???

  7. Ann Says:

    Another US expat living in Spain. Just found your blog and laughed outloud at your loves and non loves. Can totally relate!

  8. American expat! Says:

    Thanks Ann! What part of Spain are you in?

  9. eric gray Says:

    Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook
    group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really
    enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.