Sunday, 31 October 2010

BARCELONA

Taxi cabs move with urgency with pulsating sirens, whaling intensely. Traffic lights that halter their progress, glow as red as the blood spilt by the matador. Leaving the taxi, I see the expanse of the plaza that glares white in the heat. People flock in their numbers to get there, like ants to a picnic spread.

Away from the crowds, the dark, cooling shadows are a blessed relief from the intensity of the sun.

Walking down one of the narrow side streets is like travelling through history. Grey, awkward buildings tower, enclosing those who venture on to the cobbles. A woman hangs over her veranda, vigorously shaking a white lace tablecloth. Remainders of her lunch rain down along with red petals from the strong scented geranium that she knocks over. Another woman shouts to her in their mother tongue, in a tinny, grating voice that follows me; hovering round my ears, like a wasp, as I walk back to the plaza.

Another street is awash with people darting here and there, like merkats, as they check out all the stalls. One way traffic guards the pedestrianised way on both sides, and the tree lined street gives the appearance of walking through a tunnel. Living statues beckon passers-by to enter their space, for a fee, whilst a dragon above remains still but intriguing.

 The once grey buildings change hue and as I journey on, take on an inviting burnt umber and azure tinge. The cloggy smells of traffic fumes dissolve into fresh bread and coffee, blown forward on the cooling breeze. Further still, the market throngs give way to echoing, soft squawks of gulls. 

Escaping the street, I see Columbus on his column. No more discoveries for him. People wait to cross the traffic encircling him, to sit beneath the monument.

Having been led to Columbus I look up at him and see he is pointing. I follow the direction out to sea.

2 comments:

  1. Very lively description of the city. Looks like a beginning of an interesting book. Keep writing.

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  2. Wow, great description! I especially like the part about the woman speaking in her mother tongue and it following you around like a wasp in your ear. Keep it up.

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