Tag Archives: george orwell

The feeling of place: Barcelona

On coming to a new city there are a slew of emotions that strike and pass while I slowly do my best to blend in to the city. From excitement and freedom to loneliness and displacement, the cycle never seems to change while routine continues to be my best ally in establishing my place in a foreign land with a foreign language.

But routine or not, there I was after a long night of that famed Barcelona night life and too much box wine, experiencing my first daylight dia in Barcelona — getting deliciously lost.

I spent hours weaving my way through the light-starved alleys of the Barri Gotic and El Born until inevitably, I found myself sitting in a square drinking a cappuccino.

Hemmed in by brightly colored balconies I stared and looked and glanced and watched.  Children were at play in the center of the square filling the plaza with excited squeals.

In a corner between the trees and beyond the rowdy noise an Orwellian sculpture of twisted metal rose in a sweeping arc, its lifeless gaze a silent sentinel. (It wasn’t until I left that I found out the plaza was¬†actually named after Orwell.)

But nature doesn’t seem to care about this fact and gave the sculpture another purpose; a perch for pigeons.

I pondered natures impartiality with furrowed brow until I was distracted by an especially fat pigeon that wandered into my field of vision flapping about, picking up leaves in frustration and waiting in vain for the misplaced crumb that never seemed to come.

Standing stoically aside, barren trees point naked limbs at green-needled pines, waiting patiently for their season. A flag-stone finish for their fallen leaves.

As the cup quickly drained, I thought about how far I’ve come — 2/3 of my way around the world — and how similarly these scenes have played out throughout my journey. It’s the stage that always seems to change.

And what a stage this beautiful city sets for life’s little dramas.

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