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When you are coming into Barcelona from Madrid you fly past the cost line, over the water then hit a huge U-turn. Our plane landed on one wheel shimmied back and forth a few times then the pilot Slammed on the breaks throwing us all forward.

When I got to Be Hostel Mar I only had 30 Euros and owed 55 so I went looking for an ATM. This is a wild goose chase in Raval and the guy at the filmoteca joked saying. “they don’t put ATMs in this area because people  will just wait and rob you when you turn the corner”; not much of a joke; I feel it is truth.

This Hostel has the atmosphere I imagined hostals would have; there are people everywhere on the computer, on the couches, at the tables, in the kitchen… I dropped my bag in my 8 bed room.  And headed out to Parc Monjuic. I rode the Cable car up to the top to see the Castle where a rude Russian guy took a crappy picture of me with a huge anti aircraft cannon then I went to see the some tower at the Olympic park and palace and  MirO park.

Columbus pointing to America

A cable car takes you part way up.


Before catching the metro back I happened to run into a grocery store with all organic sustainable products so I went in and got a few things including a rice with dehydrated shrimp and vegetables.

Old bull ring turned shopping mall when bull fights were made illegal in this part of Spain.

When I got back I hit the kitchen to make the rice and met two Japanese guys Satoshi and Yuske, who were cooking noodles and vegetables and a pot of soup. They invited me to have some soup and I offered some of my rice and after talking they offered me a whole plate of the noodle dish.

We sat down and two of their other Japanese friends were already waiting at the table. None spoke more than a word or two of English but food brought us together. Before we could begin we all put out hands together as if we were praying and said, ““I – ta da ki mas” then they slurped the noodles and soup in a Japanese show if delight. Since I provided very little for the dinner I offered to wash most of the dishes. Then we sat talking… or … gesturing before they asked me to teach them poker. First I had to re learn poker then try to explain without words. After a few games a guy, Toni, joined us. I ran to the room and came back to the Japanese explaining a typical card game from there Called Dai hoo Go. Cards are valued from least to greatest 3-ace two is “strongest” card. Several cards have “special powers” 5- skip, 7- pas a card left, 8 close a game, 10 discard one jack reverse the order of play from ascending value to descending value. You split the deck evenly by the number of players with the goal of getting rid of all of your cards. If you play a card the next player has to play a Higher card. If you have doubles you can play them and the next player has to follow with a set of higher doubles. They called me “Teacher” and also taught me and Tony from England how they do rock paper scissors in Japan “Sigh-show- goo” (show your sign)…” jang-kam-pon” (show your sign).