My first visit to Barcelona showed me that it has colors that would look great on polaroid. The second time I went there I wanted to bring my polaroid camera, but I didn’t. It was my high school class’ graduation trip and in the midst of messy packing infused with mild fear that airport scanners would damage polaroid film, the camera didn’t end up in my luggage. So “shoot Barcelona on polaroid” remains on my to-do list. Until then, when I want to visually illustrate how Barcelona feels like, I have to use other people’s photos just like with Belgrade (although Belgrade isn’t about polaroid or non-polaroid, it’s that in my photos it always looks completely different from what it really is). The photo above is a scan of one of the postcards I bought there. Those postcards remind me of Madrid and Almodóvar’s films, although Barcelona doesn’t want to be Spanish; it’s Catalan. Maybe it’s a Mediterranean thing.
When I first came to Barcelona, I was surprised at how un-Spanish it really was. It began with the language: I’d learned Castellano in elementary school for 2 years, so Catalan was both familiar and strange to me when I was exposed to it. Initially I didn’t like anything about it, but it’s one of my favorite languages now, probably also because of my connection with Barcelona. It didn’t take me long to figure out it would be pretty cool to live there, at least for a while. That whole “get up at 10:00, have dinner at 22:00, go out, go to bed at 03:00” scenario is universally appealing, but it doesn’t work in many countries. Everyone I know who did an Erasmus exchange in Barcelona had mini reverse culture shock adjusting to the schedule back home.
I’ve been thinking about Barcelona lately a lot, although I’m not planning to go there in the near future. Most likely it’s because of its high temperatures in the time of the year when I just want the winter to be over.