Monday, October 4, 2010

Guided Tour

Today I did some last preparations before my planned launch tomorrow.

I took my kayak out for an extended test drive yesterday and left my metro card with it so I was on foot.  Staying in a different hostel I got to see a much prettier residential neighborhood than I had previously experienced.  A neighborhood had stairs where one might expect sidewalks and houses that where piled on top of one another on the steep slope of a mountain. Pleasant Spanish styles and coloring making for a huge improvement over the slum-like area my first hostel had been located in.

After I finished my errands on my way back through the old city I overheard a tour guide speaking to a group in Hebrew.  I stopped and decided I would join them, not only because I had not been on any sort of tour but because I missed the sound of my adopted language.

The group was a group of women travailing together from a plastic factory in Israel in honor of Woman's Day, with a few men as well.  I immediately stood out and was pounded by questions from both the tour guide and one of the men in the group.

Tour guide in Hebrew “Do you understand a word I'm saying or are you just watching us for fun?”

It took me a moment to realize he was talking to me.

Another fellow asked me if I was ready to chip in five Euro to pay for the tour guide.  I though about it and finally said yes, thinking that it was my last full day in Barcelona and I hadn't yet spent any money on touristing.  Later I realized that I only had 43 cents on me.

The group moved on and I followed.  The tour primarily dealt with the historical Jewish presence in the old city of Barcelona, only every time we stopped to hear about it a fellow named Yakov asked me all sorts of questions.  In  the beginning they where, “Where are you from?”, “What do you do?”,  “How old are you?”  etc...  Israeli culture has a reputation for encouraging nosiness.  Once I told him about my trip he began bringing other people over to ask questions on their behalf.  “How much money do you have?” There was no end and I heard almost none of the tour.  I guess it's OK that I couldn't chip in to pay for the guide after all.

Yakov invited me to his house when I get back to Israel and insisted that I write down his phone number.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with a notary having to do with a declaration for my insurance company.  When that's done I'll head down to the marina, and if all goes well, get in my boat and begin my trip.  Those of you who have been following my adventures so far, thank you for your patience an I hope your best wishes will leave Barcelona with me tomorrow.

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