Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 4: Cubelles

We slept in until noon. It was wonderful, waking up up with no plans. The past couple days had been so full of activity that we were both anxious for a quiet day at home. Well, that's not what happened.

Just after we woke up, David's parents called him. Plans were made. We got ready as quickly as two gay boys can (read: not very quickly) and were on our way to his parent's summer home in Cubelles, the small town on the beach about an hour south of the city. It's been David's second home since he can remember, so I was looking forward to seeing it. It would also be my first time in Spain outside of Barcelona.

We hopped in David's old Audi, and put on some good music. I'd forgotten how wonderful our road trips are. But whoops! Gotta stop for gas.

In order to arrive, we had to take several long, ventilated tunnels under the mountains that circumscribe Barcelona. There were so many sights to take in along the way. The trip was short and sweet.

As we parked near the apartment, nerves fluttered spastically in my stomach. It was meet the parents time.

I was greeted with smiles, however they didn't rid the nerves. I'm sure his parents were probably just as nervous as I was, wanting to hit it off well with their future son-in-law, hoping I was as promising as their son had assured them. Not only would there be somewhat of a language barrier, but they had never before knowingly met even a boyfriend of David's. *Gulp*

Everything went smoothly enough. David's uncle was also present, but I didn't really understand him. We sat at the table to eat. I tried to answer their questions as completely as I could, and engage in the conversation frequently. I think it went well.

Many of David's closest friends also have dual homes in Barcelona and Cubelles. I suppose this arrangement, granting them the ability to get together all year round since childhood, is one of the reasons they've grown and stayed so close. I met many of them when I was in Barcelona three years ago. Gloria is one of those friends.

He called her mom's apartment to see if she was in town. She was, but she was sleeping. "Don't wake her, I'll be right over," he told her.

Moments later, I was standing over Gloria, who was sleeping on a long couch opposite another girl. It was all part of David's hilarious plan. "Gloria. Glooooria," I whispered, my face only a couple feet from hers. Her eyes partially opened. She looked around the room. You could tell her mind sensed something strange about the scenario, but it was also too tired to care. Her eyes closed again, and she tried going back to sleep. Our laughter finally woke her.

After some friendly small talk, we decided to go to the pool. This was my opportunity to see the true beauty of Cubelles.

That's Gloria in the last photo. Semi-pictured is her cousin, who made me certain that kids from all corners of the world can be little shits. Seriously. She was harassing David (who openly admitted-- to her face-- that he hated her) the whole time we were there, and I can't remember what she threw at me, but it hurt.

Some other friends soon joined, including MarĂ­a, a friend that played a pretty significant role in my first summer in Spain.

I got tired quickly. This was my first day of intense and nonstop Spanish. Also, the bratty cousin I mentioned spoke Catalan, which provoked David's friends to speak back to her in Catalan. My mind was so exhausted that it couldn't draw the distinction anymore, and it inevitably shut down. David excused us and lead us back to his parents' place.

After a bit of mingling, David and I decided to take a walk by the beach and grab a snack. It was windy as all hell, an anomaly in these parts. We found a table inside a little restaurant right on the beach. Over an enormous plate of patatas bravas and an "americano" made especially for me, we discussed Catalan, and what it's like living in a culture with not one, but two strong and distinct identities.

Exhausted, we hit the road, only to hit a pretty significant traffic jam on the way out. That's what you get for leaving the coastal towns towards the city on a Sunday evening. We were among tens of thousands.

Once home, we defaulted to some Buffy and bed. A huge milestone under my belt, I slept soundly, indeed.

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