in the fade

  1. barcelona, 5am

    It’s 5am in  Barcelona and I’m sitting on a street corner drinking beer we just bought from a 16 year old kid. 

    The streets are crowded with people and it’s a little reminiscent of Times Square at 11pm, without the gaudy lights. It’s a weird scene for an American to observe; everyone openly drinking, selling drugs, dropping beer cans and drink cups on the street.

    On the far corner about 100 people sit on the cement where a sidewalk cafe will open in about an hour. Next to them, a group of young men, maybe 50, break out into futbol chants and the people on the other side of the street respond with their own chant. The group sitting down opts for what I think is the Spanish National Anthem. 

    It’s a strange world here. One where 5am is a social event, an outdoor drinking party for all ages where police stand by and watch.

    By 6am the crowd of a thousand or so has dispersed. The cleaning crews will come in and spray the streets down with hoses, clean up the beer cans. The cafes get ready to open for the day, the kids go home and sleep off the beer.

    This is a strange and wonderful city.