The Grey Shell

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August 15, 2020 by ellie892

Arrival: December 19th

Barcelona is a beautiful, frustrating city.  The winding lanes confuse me and no one speaks English. Why should they? Spanish is more widely spoken globally. I keep losing my way in the narrow graffitied streets on the way to Hostel One Santes. But there is music everywhere and the people seem to tilt and lift as they walk. The Rambla and Gaudi, markets of colourful fish and wine. Catalonian flags decorate each balcony demanding freedom. Here I will be a tourist and join the free tours offered by the hostel. We will walk and pose for pictures in front of La Familia Sagrada avoiding the rows of scaffolding surrounding this landmark. The December sun will warm our skin. At night when we gather in the kitchen at the hostel, I will meet young people, who left their old lives behind out of fear of stability and boredom. Many are using this time as Erasmus students (something Canadians do not seem to choose). They are from Malta, Germany, Italy, England, Poland, Taiwan, Estonia. 

The young woman from Taiwan will look directly at me and ask, “Why are you here? What is your story?” 

“Well, in Tokyo” I sigh, “there was an old, bearded German man in a youth hostel sitting in a nook, sipping miso from a cup. Told me he sold everything, left everyone, to wander. He was wretched, but I wanted to be him.” I said. Surviving on air, his needs, simple and immediate. Nothing complicated, just being. A free floating agent alighting often.

rooftop terrace 

bits of shattered mirrors

shape the word ‘believe’

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Poetry/Travel

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