Spanish Spring is like English Summer sometimes. This weekend it was like an English Summer and people went slightly mad for the heat. On Saturday I went to the beach to revise and on Sunday I went to the Park to revise, Parc Ciutadella. Steve Paule came to see me from England and we had a great time! I took him to Caj Chai, which is one of my favourite places in Barcelona. It is a modestly sized tea shop with many comfortable chairs from your grandma´s back garden and your granddad´s conservatory, or from your attic under the old shoe boxes, or that comfy scruffy thing in the corner of your hallway, and a wide selection of exotic teas.
Sweet Chai is only 2€! Served with a piece of sweet Ginger perched on the rim of the Glass. They also serve a selection of tiny Tunisian desserts (maybe not Tunisian, maybe Moroccan, but I am not very knowledgeable about these places because I am not well-travelled) or baklava (which is Greek I think so Tunisian must be wrong). I think I have erred because one of the teas is called Tunisian tea and it is mind-blowing! It is served in a silver teapot on a silver tray, and you get a tiny skinny glass, like a tall shot glass, to drink the tea. One pours the tea into the tall shot glass and there are pine-nuts lying in wait at the bottom of the glass that rise and swirl round, some float, some sink. The tea is faintly sweet and minty, but a date is also served with the tea (too sweet for me). It is awesome! You eat the pine-nuts as you sip the minty tea and it is refreshing and hot and calming, and the establishment plays relaxing music, with low-light that is not dark but settling and with friendly bright staff, like the lady with short dark hair who comments on my improving Spanish and teases non-Spanish speaking visiting friends.
One can also choose to eat a brownie, and there is a toilet (like any other place, I know) for when you are desperate because you have returned from the beach which is a BARREN WILDERNESS with regards to toilets. The beach is long yet sparsely populated with toilets. When I say sparsely populated I actually mean THERE ARE NO TOILETS. And believe me, this pain is felt acutely when you arrive at the beach to play volleyball with a desperate need to pee, but play volleyball for a bit, then for a bit longer, then you hold off again because you want to play, even thought you are desperate, and then suddenly you really have to go, but then you play for a bit longer, and hold off the need, but then finally there is no more space for delay, and you fly in search for a toilet – calm and controlled – but you will pace for miles in the sea breeze, as the sun is setting, searching for a toilet by following the signs that lead you to nowhere, in a wild fire of anger and cold fury, until suddenly the banks of anger break like a cool rush of water when a kind waiter ushers you into the restaurant you are not eating in (as opposed to rejecting your penniless desires like all the others) and you are ok.
The tea shop is not easy to find because you enter a maze of oriental hotels, Romeo + Juliet plazas, soap shop corners, robbery alleyways, and then suddenly you are back to where you started in Plaça de St Jaume aka Pl.Jaume (to me). I can now find my way there somehow, but for the faint-hearted adventurers who will take it easy to search for this place, I have 2 things to say:
1) It is near Pl.Jaume – 2nd left, off the top left corner
2) Keep trying, it is worth the hunt
This is a picture of the spirit of Barcelona of the summer to anticipate in the brief green heat of Spring
It is “Desert” and it is “not Spain” but it is a beautiful picture I found on the library computer, where I am now, because my poor laptop is broken and temperamental, and will not turn on often. I am trying to spend as little time in my flat recently, things seemed to have turned a little sour and I don´t know what to do.
A friend of mine from Poland who is a skater is in Barcelona today and this week so I will go to search for him on my way home, then I go to work! As a flyerer for a bar crawl called OUT THERE Bar Crawl. Have a nice day! 🙂
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