Hola! - Barcelona !
Well in this Europe Trip , this was my main destination along with Portugal and though I had rough idea that it should be a good place to be but I had no idea that this place turns out to be one of my favorite location amongst other European Countries .
Somehow deep inside me , I know Greece would be one which would be close to me but then I have kept it as amongst the special list of lot to visit in Europe .
I took a flight of carrier named "Vuelling Airlines" and all cabin crew while entering inside and during boarding check kept on murmuring Hola ! at the beginning . The frequency to which people were saying Hola! made me realize that it has anything to do with Hello , Welcome or Good Bye but then everyone was stating in the beginning so it definitely not Good Bye .. This phrase can actually tell you that I had zero information about the place I was visiting . I had heard of Madrid , Barcelona and Ibiza till now and somehow I could relate that My travel interest would go more with Barcelona and Ibiza I had heard of as Party Island like Mykanos of Greece which might not be open as per season but then I had made a choice to do Barcelona of Spain and Lisbon of Portugal .
I asked for recommendations for accommodation in travel groups and somehow the common recommendations was coming as Generator , Barcelona . I checked online and saw their was availability of single room in hostel . I wanted to experience hostel as environment but again sharing with others was still under ambiguity . So a single room foot the bill perfectly .
I landed at Barcelona Airport and amazed to saw 100% flight carriers were Vuelling Aircraft . It should not be such way but then I thought Vuelling must be Ambanis of Barcelona . Barcelona has Spanish as primary language and somehow they have good appetite to understand and speak English . As soon as I got down while interaction people were giving me choice Spanish or English and I was too happy not to make use of Google Translator this time .
First thing I wanted to know location of my hostel , second the city center and third the Tourist desk . Fortunately all these cities in Europe has one tourist desk where they would give you city map , day trips and metro and buses routes . Other advantage is the people sitting at Tourist information points speaks English .
I went there at desk and counter was vacant for all three representative . This was in moment of seconds when I get to decide where I need to go . Your choice of choosing right person to tell you defines your search and happiness index by some 1000 % elevation. My common theory of checking this is to look into their eyes and smile and the person who has the most genuine smile and sparkling eyes would be my guide for sure . Out of two ladies and one gentleman , this gentleman had purest eyes and I knew it from times of Shakira that " Eyes don't lie" , Yeah Yeah it was not eyes .. Somehow while I was reaching there he had to go inside and then I turned towards professional eye women after skipping Cunning eye lady . I know this lady would talk point to point and repeat the same sentence again . As expected , this lady showed me map and I asked all my three questions . She put ticks on my map that here we are and here is your hostel located . She guided me to go downstairs and catch this metro and change this line to reach there . The same place had ticket vending machine and I took travel card for 48 hours .
Metro made me reach my nearest point to hostel and trust me by the God's of Architecture , I had never seen such amazing sites , architecture excellence . This probably was the first city in my life where I couldn't resist clicking at first . I was not that amused even in Paris . Except at the top of Eiffel Tower and the city view in straight doted lines but Barcelona has each house dainted and painted like a perfect nod of perfectionism . I saw Hop in and Hop off bus and I knew from the times of Italy that Hop in and Hop off is the best way to get the overall city view and then you can spend time basis your own travel interest . I waited for sometime but bus was going from opposite direction .
I had confusion whether to go hostel directly or take this backpack along . Somehow bus didn't come for 30 minutes and till this time I was not aware that they have specific bus stops . Now I opened my Google map and I again reliazed how much handy is Google maps .I actually don't need city maps except to point out points of attractions .
I saw map was showing some 600 meters and you know walking is pretty ok in Europe especially when you know there is no Auto Urf Tuk Tuk or Taking a cab means some good handful coins in Euros .
As I was walking I heard from stranger , Hola ! By now I knew Hola means Hello . I said Hola and he starting speaking but then I replied No Spanish , Only English . He replied Oh , English speaking and I said Yes . Fortunately he could make out that I am from India . He said , Are you from India and I replied yes . And back of mind I was surprised how could he judge about my ethnicity because Barcelona is full of Asians and majority illegal immigrants are from Bangladesh. It is seriously hard for someone to make out whether this brown skin is from India or Pakistan . Leave others even I couldn't make out in Italy neither in London . Somehow his astute judgement made me give go ahead and talk with him .
While we were walking he said since you are from India , I have some questions . I was ok with that because I like talking to strangers . Somehow the first few sentences gives me enough triggers that what that conversation is going to be .
He started saying where are you from in India ?
I replied Delhi .
He said is this your first time here ?
I replied Yes , first time in Spain.
He asked it must be too expensive for you to come here ?
I said why do you think so ?
He said , Barcelona is too expensive and it is hard for any Indian to come on a holiday here .
I don't get boiled down to any such questions rather I make my best efforts to correct people. There is nothing wrong about sincere questions and this is something I had faced multiple times . I replied to him that it is costly for someone to come , live or holiday here but that doesn't mean whole country is not capable to spend . I twisted the question the other side why do you think that every indian you meet in walks of life is a food deprived Indian .
Actually there is no covering on fact that overall as per different index , India lies in bottom list many places but that is how index is for everyone and all income class lives everywhere . Another problem which trigger is when any person from a developed Country visit India and saw extreme sense of poverty , they get more inclined capturing that and probably that is how they take back as image of whole country .
By my two lines I guess I made my point that what you have heard or India as a country must be true but from one side not all .
He asked me , are you with your family here ?
I said No .
He asked , Are you single or married ?
and I deep inside , not again and I replied I am not married .
Are you traveling alone ? And I replied Yes ..
Now he came at the Point blank range . Do you want to have fun ? Now things were different . Deducing the element of fun can be extremely dangerous but I didn't want to judge that early . I said , I didn't get you and back of mind I knew either I have encountered a drug traffickers or probably pimp or probably someone who wants to take me to Gay bar . I was cautious here because I faced some trouble in my first visit to Amsterdam and almost behind the bars for talking with a drug peddler in a isolated street next to my hotel . I was saved there because I was at no fault and I had no idea who that person was .
Since it was way busy and I kept on walking , I knew I should hear him fast and eventually he requested me to stop and said I would not take much of your time only 10 minutes . I said Ok , tell me .
He started with questionnaire and from asking me questions from virginity to study of male reproductive organ in extreme depth . Had this been somewhere else I would not have even replied but then I wanted to know what kind of extreme questions anyone can afford to ask for a survey .
Back in my mind I recalled of all Marketing Research classes . So guys , Today the research topic is to " Study Comparative Analysis of the Male Reproductive Organ of Indians with European Countries " and your target audience is Geography - India , Asia , Age Group - 27 - 35 Years , Occupation - Professionals or Businessman , Social Group - Travellers and then deep dived in checking every possible details of Male organs and functional aspects and at the end of it , put the data points for samples of 100 candidate and run on a SPSS software for results with deviations .
I was so much laughing with the kind of questions and most interesting was the choices of options . I couldn't believe how can someone ask about such precise options . But I must admire he was taking that questionnaire with uttermost sincerest . While I was laughing while replying he was sincere like hell .
I wish I could narrate some questions from index but that definitely voids some code of conduct here so not stating . I need to admit that I didn't answer the questions right because I wanted to know what is the end point of this question and what that questionnaire was intended to ask and there are many questions when you say no , it invalidate all coming questions .
He wanted to capture my name for that survey and I politely said enough and bid him good bye . He should know , in India such questions are supposed to be anything other than primary research but I couldn't stop laughing when he was asking questions and giving me 2 choices for each question .
He was not a traffickers , not a pimp but a professional who was completing his project , who knows MBA or PHD ...
I had couple of other stories in Barcelona but then I know it's already too long ....
I 💓 Barcelona like hell !
If you need to tick your checklist for life , come here 💓