Barcelona sucks session!

>> Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Good morning my beautiful people!! I made a phone call to make sure the sun will be shining all day just for you! (You’re welcome, - don't say I never do anything for you.)

Today I say ENOUGH of this Europe “nostalgia” nonsense!! Lets look at things the way they REEEAAALY are! So the following will be a Barcelona Bashing Session followed by WORLD DONE RIGHT where I, Ale, will write down exact instructions on how to improve this land of Barcelona (YES, thanks to me, there is still hope for them.)

Saturday, April 2

After my euphoric moment by the atm machine, in which my victory over the machine was belittled by the heinous exchange rate, I headed directly towards the taxi stand to proceed on my way to hotel. Common Spain, lets get this one right at least…

Taxi drivers… hmmm, they’re the same all over the world I guess, I mean cabbies in NY still think they will be able to cheat you, even though you’re a native. So here in Barcelona, what follows is a perfect example of roles reversed. (Ale style! Or a la Ale) When we arrived, and since my hotel was sort of in the suburbs of Barcelona, the taxi driver decided to humor himself by telling me that I sure picked a hotel far from the center. “No kidding Sherlock! Ya think there’s a good reason for that!? Like, I’M NOT PAYING FOR THIS”. Whatever- I decided to let this smug comment fly AND the fact that he pressed some extra thing on his meter and now my fare jumped from 15 euros to 20! What the heck is that about… good thing I read all the gossip on the internet where they warn you to go by the first number that is read on the meter and not by the “second” one that magically appears after the driver messes with it. Once again WHATEVER (I’m not paying…. Furthermore I decide to leave him a tip, cause I’m in Europe and I’m happy or some nonsense like that.) So, are you ready for this? I hand him a 20 euro note and a 10 euro note and ask him to make change for me for the 10 euro (so I can give him a 2 eruo tip). He gets all confused and stuff and gives me two 5 euro notes and I take them but say can you give me change in ones? And he is still confused about WHY I’m asking him for change and why this and why that… and we ended up passing back and forth the 20 euro note, and so on and so forth. I finally decide the HECK with the tip, I’m wasting precious shopping time and decide to just leave him with the 20 euro note and be done. So I say ok, fine, no change is necessary I’ll just take my extra 10 euro note back and – Muchas GraTHias. So I take the 10 euro back and through the glass doors into the hotel…

Did any one notice what happened?? (Is anyone still awake?) Well what happened was, I got the two 5 euro notes form the driver initially and than my own 10 euros back from him at the end! Result: he tried to cheat me 5 euros, I cheated him out of 10 euros = Ale wins by a grand total of 5 euros! **Pulling one over a taxi driver in a foreign country = PRICELESS**

Now this is what I call a la Ale! Honestly now for all of you that are disguasted by my actions… I have to say this was a TOTAL ACCIDENT!!! This is why it’s a la Ale, because I so did NOT even plan it… it just happened! The force of Primavera is with me!!! I don’t believe in taking money away from taxi drivers (even after they did try to rip me off). They work hard, and are probably underpaid… therefore if I get ripped off by them, OH WELL that’s how it is.

Here is the offending party... Black and yellow taxi cab.
Oh yeah, do take note of the beautiful Important Modernist buildings in the background. This is taken along Passeig de Gracia which I will discuss in detail later. (Its a shopping street.)

...back to the happy little story...
The real fiasco happened a moment later in the hotel lobby. Here we had a perfect example of the turtle slow service/siesta mentality/I haven’t had my 5th exspresso yet why are you bothering me service. At the counter there was a huge crowd consisting of this ONE Spanish couple and …me. Well the nice little lady behind the counter did everything humanly possible to look busy and overworked. I was waiting for her to produce the keys for them for about 15 minutes!!!

Now before you all jump down my throut saying that I’m just a dumb American not used to the relaxed ways of Europe, I must say I AM used to the “relaxed” ways of Europe and I actually complain about the hurricane fast service in NY all the time. Where if you do not convey your breakfast order to them in 5 words in under 5 seconds you will be passed over by the little man screaming: "Next... NEXT!!!!"

Just for the side note* my breakfast ordering sounds like this:

"Small, cream and sugar with lox on toasted"


Me: "Good morning Robbie! How are the kids" Little man behind the counter: "Hello Ale, Good morning indeed, how sunny! Lucy and Bobby are fine, thank you for asking, and boy your hair looks nice today, as always! Now what shall I get for you this lovely morning?"Me: "Oh, lets see.... hmmm.... I guess I'd like please a small coffee with cream and 3 sugars." Little man: "Great, the coffee is really fresh we brewed it when I saw you comming down the street." Me: "Oh, how lovely of you!"Little man: "Would you care for a little breakfast sandwich to complement your coffee and your beautiful complection??" Me: "Oh, you're suck a flirt... blush...blush...; I guess I'll take one of your delicious toasted bagles with Lox spread, thank you" Little Man: "No, Ale, THANK YOU! and as always, its such a pleasure seeing you every morning, really just makes my day!!" Me: "Thank you, buy buy, see you tomorrow!"

So you see here a perfect example of the two oposite polarities, super fast=bad and super slow like in Spain=also bad!

Can we find a happy medium people!

And this happy medium being: Slow "relaxing" pace of service to keep the atmosphere but the moment ALE arrives please drop everything and attend to her immediately with speed that would make a jet plane cry.

There... the world will be better now... I just know it!

I finally checked in and dropped my stuff in the hotel room and was off to the shopping street!!!!

To be continued...


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