I detoured past Barcelona and the Spanish island of Majjorca on my way back to Cardiff.
This time I got to experience Barcelona by night, in the middle of summer. Immigration is clearly a huge issue in Europe, and especially Spain (from what I saw) and Italy as far as I’ve heard.
Immigrants though, don’t only come across the sea from nearby North Africa – but there are a fair amount of illegal Pakistanis all over Spain it seems. I stopped in this one kebab restaurant for lunch in Barcelona, and there was a picture of the founding father of Pakistan in it.
So I tried to practice my Urdu with them ( I do the most cliche traveller things I can sometimes, like those slighlt annoying backpackers who insist on speaking Kiswahili in Kenya). The 2 restaurant guys, just like the guy who ran the Internet cafe I’d been too on were not at all impressed.
Understand this, if you’re in Pakistan and you say at least 3 words in Urdu, you’ll be praised and shown off like a clever monkey, but here I was spitting whole sentences in Spain and not even being asked how I knew Urdu. Anyway, in English the 2 restaurant guys told me they weren’t Pakistani (I asked) in the most Pakistani accent you’ve ever heard, just short of bobbing their heads…lol. I made a joke later on about the bill, and one of the guys laughed and relaxed a little then he asked me if I had ‘papers’, i.e. if I was legal, clearly trying to see if we were on the same boat wading away from deportation. That’s why they didn’t want to be identified as Pakistani, probably a safety strategy. I didn’t tell them that they were a little dumb to put a huge picture of the founding father of Pakistan in their restaurant while trying to be discrete.
African immigrants seemed to be mostly from Senegal and Mali to me. Met a couple of Nigerians hustling beach party tickets on the side of the Las Ramblas, famous street in Barcelona (also met another Pakistani also hustling tickets who was suitably impressed with my Urdu and branded me his brother.) Across the road from them were African sisters, selling themselves in skimpy shorts at 11pm. I don’t understand if prostitution is legal or not in Spain, but it’s clearly an open secret.
I found myself in Majjorca at midnight.The last bus to my couchsurfing host’s house was at 11pm, so I had to entertain myself until the first bus at 6am ’cause taking a cab was literally more expensive than my flight back to Cardiff. I decided to aimlessly wander around taking pictures, when this 30-something, regular, chubbyish woman approached me and tried to exchange a few words in Spanish…then finally asked:
‘Moos moos?’ I echoed
‘Moos moos’…she repeated, ‘Moos moos!’ she said thrusting her pelvis back and forth and reaching for my face.
I think it’s safe to say if you are approached by someone saying ‘moos moos’ in the middle of a Spanish night, you might want to chose your next move carefully. I scampered away, camera in hand, and ended up on a street full of moos-moos ers. I don’t think it’s ideal to be on a street full of moos moos at 3am with a camera that’s impossible to hide…I made it out unscathed though, and turned onto another backstreet, where I eventually ran into the original moos-moss-er. This time I was sufficiently calm and amused enough to say ‘No moos moos…’ as I walked away from her and her glazed eyes.
15 pictures of the Euro-tip here