Monday, October 1, 2012

A Great Time To Visit Catalonia

 But Not For Me, Just More Overtime Work

One of my Kollegas went there for these past couple of weeks, visiting Barcelona in particular. Not sure what else he did yet.  He is a Mexican-American by family heritage and switches from English to Spanish and back pretty easily. He thought he was going to Spain. He never even heard of Catalan, unlike the people around these blogs, who know something about the history of the places.

Just like they say, youth is wasted on the young, so too are good vacations wasted on ignoramuses sometimes, er wait is that ignorami, uhh.  He had never even heard of Catalonia, nor their language, until I gave him a quick rundown on what was going on around there this past couple of weeks. While he was there.

It was a quick rundown, too, since there is only so much he was going to remember to look for, but it helps to have at least a little basic stuff in your head before it's too late to even notice it, and you're already back to the Salt Mines again.Which he now is, and it's all used up for the year. They don't let us out very much.

So I suggested he try listening to this song first, before he goes there, to help with the right attitude.
He was going to be cut off from the Internet the whole time, cold turkey, and he is a big Apple fan normally.

Here is a basic version of what I think the lyrics are about, and the attitude is something like a cross between Jimmy Buffett and a Cave Man at the same time. I thought that would help him enjoy his trip to have that in mind before he got there.

A Ti A Ti,   Gypsy Kings

In passing along the Rampla
At the Rampla in Barcelona-o
I found a nice little chick
And I carried her to my house

I love you, to you to you, bam bam bam
Only to you to you, bam bam bam 

*Some of those words might not be quite right, for instance the book says it is usually spelled Las Ramblas, a good place to walk (Ramble) around and see people, a little bit like Michigan Avenue can be, but better. Better, because look who is there.  I used a little license on the vem vem vem, or ven ven ven, but so did the artist, I think. They don't have vem in Mexico, but ven could fit. I like the bam for effect.
That lucky pendejo probably didn't find any chiquita nada, since he's probably a maricon, anyway, but I am probably just jealous since I would have tried to find battlefield stuff, if only I could go there, but no vacation for me since 2004 and not any sick days either since even before that by a couple years. And then I wasn't sick, either, in April 2002, I just woke up late with a headache, and called in with a 'sick voice.' That was over 10 years ago. All I got out of this trip was to work the overtime to fill in his place.

In fact now that I look at this, I think it went to my imagination almost as much as his, and cost me less. I would still like to go some day. Maybe Almanza too.


  1. Nice to have you back after your 8 months off, where've you been, I thought you'd dropped off into the void?
    Never to a Catalan he's Spanish, especially not a Basque, its strange how although they are Spanish, but they still feel the strong lean to there old ways, I suppose its the same for the Scots, Welsh and Irish in the UK, as I'm English I just accept I'm English from the UK, (shrug!)
    Catalonia's a beautiful place, I've been there twice, unfortunately I didn't get to see much history as I was on holiday with my parents and was around 11-14 years old and all I wanted to do was jump in the swimming pool and try and pinch any alcohol I could off my Dad.....Oh those were the days!!!!!!

  2. Good to see you blogging again - you've been missed.

    On the subject of Catalonia (wide definition) I know very little, but nearly 20 years ago I took a vacation near Perpignan, and I was informed by my host (strange chap) that the local French Catalans were like the Algerians - i.e. people you might possibly hire to work in your garden. There did seem to be some tension there. Then, of course, the implied conflict between Catalans and non-Catalans on the Spanish side of the border is well known, and it became very obvious, driving a rental car with French plates in Spain, that the Spanish and French do not necessarily get on like a house on fire either - on two occasions in Figueras I was cut up in traffic to the point of being forced onto the sidewalk.

    The circle was completed when I was informed that the French and Spanish Catalans do not like each other a lot. I spent the rest of my holiday avoiding eye-contact with just about everyone.

  3. Ray are you sure you're English, I think you might have just come in with the Normans.

    These are some choice comments, though, advancing the topic.

    I think the premise is there is a balance that is about right, somewhere between complete ignorance on the one side but without going all the way to Hitlerness near the other extreme.

    I go on the Daily Mail sometimes to do the red and green arrows, one of my little pleasures, and I keep seeing people there attacking ignorance as though it's a bad thing. But isn't there an appeal to it when looked at in this light? At least closer to the ignorant end of the spectrum, a couple notches off, maybe not all the way.

    We have lots of immigrants, here, who embrace and welcome the same thing with a different point of view, they are glad to be out of there, and there's also the fresh start/clean slate effect in the foreign legion.

    So I told the Kollega a few things, he could hardly miss running into it, but closed off quickly with the song. Here we have soothing guitars, boobs, if you look close, and the Cave Man takes Cave Woman approach to simplify and lighten it back up.

  4. UPDATE: My Kollega says there were lots of chiquitas, he saw them all over Las Ramblas, and other parts, but unfortunately ALL of them were very busy and seemed to be on their way to someplace else. Nada.