January 4, 2017

Plaça del Pi, Barcelona. March, 1995

After an all-night train ride from Sevilla in a sleeping compartment with three Spaniards (“Fiesta!”) and one Swiss German (“Turn out the light. Time to sleep!”), Jay and I pulled into Barcelona, the last stop on our two-week Spanish vacation. Emerging from the metro onto the leafy Ramblas, we found ourselves literally in the midst of a parade of giant papier maché heads, held aloft over billowing cloth bodies, all of them drifting magically through the warm, sun-dotted Sunday morning. We made our way to the Hotel Jardí, checked in, then headed to the nearby Bar del Pi for some much-needed coffee. I listened to how the regulars were ordering and decided to emulate their slang. “Do’ con leche,” I said. Jay, ever the linguistic purist, made a face of amused disapproval, a face we joke about to this day. The coffee was terrific, and so was the Bar del Pi, our new local.

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