I've spent last two months in Barcelona. Well, to be honest mostly in Bellaterra where the UAB campus is, but that's close enough. In any case, Mark arrives today and we have two more days to spend here in which I am supposed to show him Barcelona, then we go on to Figueres, Rome, Venice, Zagreb, Sarajevo, and then finally home. I suppose my vacation officially starts today, although unofficially it started yesterday, since I don't recall doing much work yesterday (unless you count fretting for not doing math as actual work, which in some instances I am willing to do).
Before I arrived here whenever I mentioned that I was spending the summer in Barcelona people would be saying things like "Oh, it's a wonderful place", "You'll love Barcelona", "Such a fun city"..... I don't know how somebody can claim I will love something, but this will take me off on a tangent, so I better not go there. Anyway, it is a gorgeous place, but it is also one of the smelliest cities I've been to. Public restrooms have not been invented here, and we can only thank our lucky stars for burger king, mcdonald's and sturbucks (I never thought I would actually say these things). However, lots of people seem to think it's rude to use a "restaurant's" restroom without actually eating there, so instead they just use streets. Las Ramblas is a main tourist street in Barcelona and there was a guy peeing in the middle of it, not even bothering to turn away from the passing people.
Another thing about Barcelona is that it, having the wonderful weather that it has, is a major attraction for homeless people. Which in and of itself isn't all that strange, but the thing is that almost all of them have animals. Obviously, the animal of a choice is a dog, however, there are quite a few cats, too. These animals are in much better shape then their owners, which I suppose shouldn't be surprising. They also seem to be rather attached to their persons, which again I guess shouldn't be surprising. What is surprising is that these people can take care of their pets, while they don't look too capable of taking care of themselves. What gives?