Although I’m really sad and heartbroken leaving Netherlands, I’m also looking forward to my next adventure. I’ve 2 things that I’m excited about: First, I know that the weather is going to be a lot warmer in Spain. I’ve been feeling like an unadjusted polar bear since I got to Paris some 3 weeks ago. Netherlands is even colder although there have been some hint of sunshine from time to time. And there’s a tiny bit of frustration wearing the same black coat in every single photo! Secondly, I’m surfing couch for the very first time!
Couchsurfing was introduced to me by Amanda. It was like “switching on a light bulb” when I first learned about it. It’s one of the most brilliant concept ever and I just can’t wait to get into it, that’s why a few days after being a member, I’ve organized the Manila members and met up with a visiting traveler. It was great meeting like minded people. I found that not everyone see this the same way I do, but I’ve passed trying to convince people who missed the point. It’s either you see it the first time or you wont, that’s what I think.
As the plane descends to Barcelona, I was in high spirit peeking out the window–the ocean and shore looks very welcoming. The innumerable swimming pools suggested great sunny weather in this part! I’m loving Barcelona already!
My host is Jaume. He had hosted hundreds of couch surfers and have lots of positive references in his profile. It’s the reason why I didn’t hesitate one bit to contact him even if he’s a guy and it’s my first time. His dedication to CS is very admirable! He even has a calendar where you can check if his couch is available or not on specific dates. He hosts all year round, unless he is traveling.
The Barcelona airport is not big considering the number of tourists they host throughout the year. The tourist info booth is available to hand out very good (accurate) city map for free. It shows all the star attractions and metro stations. Because Jaume is not available until 8pm, I have some time to roam which I did at Plaça Catalunya. I have to metion that my bag has gotten bigger since I arrived. My original carry-on is replaced by a medium size bag (also with wheels and handle) courtesy of RB. I swear I only did very little shopping, but somehow my stuff wouldn’t fit the old bag. Oh well, since I need to check-in my baggage anyway because of the shampoo and other stuff that could be used to make an explosive, I thought bigger bag didn’t matter. Of course now it matters (a great deal) that I have to lug it around town! So I just sat at the park to write a few in my journal and people watch. I saw 3 women who I swear are Filipina mommies who are tourists like myself, but I didn’t try to start conversation. I noticed a guy suspiciously eyeing my bag that I had chained to the park bench. I decided to move to a cafe and ordered cava to chill.
Finally, I arrived at Jaume’s place. I was surprised and impressed to see that his place is so small, yet he is so generous to still want to share it with travelers. He has 2 teenage boys who were glued to their computers the whole time that I was there. I am to occupy the couch.
Jaume is a full blooded Catalan who gave me a good lecture on how Catalan is different from Spanish and how they have their own language (not dialect) and more. It is the most interesting part of couchsurfing–getting to know the local of the city.
That night he took me and another one of his couchsurfer to a jazz place that plays Brazilian music. I wanted to buy Jaume a drink and almost fainted to find that a small cava that was 3euro at the cafe earlier, now priced at 8euro! Later he drive around the city and showed us some Gaudi architecture by night.