Scared, beaten, hung-over, discovering Barcelona!


“No! Uno cigarette!” I shout in a pathetic Spanish accent, hopelessly assuming that my audacious attempt to translate would calm the situation. Monstrous shadows tower behind him, smothering the moon. “Always...l…last…. one” he manages to ramble in broken English and with that remark my usually invincible patience absconds to the nearest kebab house for asylum. I begin to shove him aggressively to indicate my innocence. I soon realise all attempts to reason or at least scare him are lost as his thick brown eyes glaze over and he flips me a menacing grin. The shoving builds and he threatens to bite me like a hungry stray dog, revealing thousands of white daggers, snapping the air before me. Paralyzed, my friends watch on.

Two oversized black Rasta’s appear out of one of the alleyways on the periphery of the moonlit courtyard. Assuming that the three of them are friends I fear the worst. Many regrets filter through me such as, walking this average looking girl home and refusing to give him my last cigarette.

Earlier that day Tony woke me by kindly slapping my weary and sullen face. Lazily I roll out the to find five liberal Swedish girls frantically preparing for a day at the beach. Across the road from the hostel we enjoy a favoured continental breakfast of cheeseburgers, fries and cigarettes.

We dive out of the sun and stumble down the stairs, previous to narrowly jumping on to the metro before it scuttled off into the murky tunnel. Struggling to catch my breath we are met by the chants of a pot bellied drunk, who I imagine has been providing twenty-four hour entertainment for the tourists on board. Most of the half-witted bellowing was uttered in Spanish but on the instance when he caught the eye of a young woman, whom looking ridiculously American with a trademark bum bag, he began to quote lines from “Baby Got Back”. Barceloneta whizzed past on the walls of the metro stop and I was a little disappointed about leaving just as he began to stomp out the chorus.

The beach was as white as salt, bleached by the golden sun and stretching as far as the eye could see. The beach was teeming with hundreds of dark and glowing sunbathers but we managed to find a pocket of sand, conquering it we laid down our towels. The callous sun was agonizingly fierce against my skin and seeing as I knowingly forgot the sunscreen, it wasn’t long before I headed for rescue in the water. Cold and refreshing. I paddled until I lost breath, which wasn’t long, and tried to float, turning away from the surrounding dumped rubbish, a barrage of waves smashes me. Half drowned I swam back to the beach. The beach is peppered with merchants pounding up and down, never breaking a sweat, and selling everything from beer to sunglasses. After buying several beers from a Pakistani man in his late forties, we built a friendship and gaining loyalty points got discount as well as managing to persuade him to fetch cigarettes from the shop, a hundred metres away. Tipsy and sunburnt we trekked back to the hostel.

Hours later after balancing between harassing the Swedish girls, who share our room and getting dressed, we manage to finally leave the hostel. The club is a short walk from our hostel, just off Las Ramblas, in a corner of a small courtyard. Outside the club people fill the courtyard, buying beers from the merchants circling around them. The club is more than expensive so we regularly followed the trend of leaving the club and downed cheap bottles of beer, before returning.

Several hours later and I am standing in a courtyard opposite to the club, smoking my remaining cigarette. A drunken Spaniard slowly stumbles as he approaches me and asks me for money. Bluntly I refused. He seems lost by my arrogance and looks around the deserted courtyard. “Smoke, can I have a smoke?” he said. Again I declined. Outraged he began to shout aggressively and I replied by physically shoving him backwards. Each time he returned more angry and insane than before. Two tall black men step forward out of the darkness and into the moonlit courtyard. “What’s going on?” the tallest one said, Fearing that I may become out numbered, as my friends are probably more drunk than myself, which suggests that they’re useless, I plead with them to help me. “I’LL GIVE YOU TWENTY EUROS TO GET THIS GUY AWAY FROM” I shouted in a fit of anger.

“Give me five hundred and I kill him,” one of them whispered to me.

“No! Just get rid of him!” I said trying to hide the laughter building in my chest. They advance towards him and the look of angry once sprawled across his face evaporates, replayed by genuine sense of fear. Backing away he dropped his arm to pick up one of many bottles of corona abandoned from clubbers. The bottle is swiped from his grasp and pushed into one of the dark alleyways. I stood, waiting to see what my twenty euro bouncers have to offer but am left disappointed as they feel that he has served his punishment. After watching him walk away the two towering men turn and laugh. “You see I protect you, any problem, you call me.” Unsure whether he was more drunk than myself I laugh and thank him. “Look! Touch this, this is my gun!” he demands, and without arguing I fumble the outline of gun in his trousers, pay him twenty Euros for a sterling job and leave.

C Delapp

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