Barcelona. Day Four. Part Two

by HelluvaGirl

We have 30 minutes till our visit to Sagrada Familia. I take Pia to Placa de Gaudi where she instantly starts playing with the sand. I sit on a bench and ask a guy there whether it’s ok if I smoke. He puts away his book and says he is a smoker, too, thanks for asking. Where am I from? Ah, Lithuania. Welcome to Barcelona.

He asks what traditional Lithuanian food is and perhaps I could write the name down so he could look up. He gives me a neat notebook and a pen. I write half of the cepelinai recipe, including the vegetarian version. 

Are you a chef?

Ah, not a professional, no. I would like to open my place some day, though. But I’m mostly interested in different cultures and how a kitchen can embrace them, offering something for people of different backgrounds and tastes.

Pia notices a group of elderly people posing for a picture and saying something but definitely not cheese. She requests that I ask the man what’s the Spanish for “cheese”.

Well, in Spanish, it’s queso. But in Catalan, it’s formatge.

I tell him about my conversation with Maria’s son who has objected when I said I knew there were different dialects.

They are not dialects!

They are not dialects, the man smiles. He goes on to tell me facts about Spanish and Catalan history, and as he does, I feel so ashamed to not know the basics. I apologise and on the other hand, I can relate, because whenever I travel and someone comes up to make a smart guess about me being Russian, I do have to extinguish a temptation to snap.

That’s right! You have experienced it! And the human chain – we did the same years back, so Lithuanians were an inspiration to nations like us.

I am amazed by his knowledge of history and cultures. I would love to talk much more but it’s our time to enter Sagrada Familia.

On that note, I apologise sincerely for my unspeakably inappropriate comparison of Barcelona to another city as well as referring to the Catalan as Spaniards. First was a completely subjective reflection, second – my utter ignorance. I hope the fact one of the waiters at Pulperia thought I was from Russia makes it an even.

Ask his name, mum.

I ask his name.


He smiles, we introduce ourselves and as we part, Pia remarks:

Marcel is like Ross’ monkey from Friends. Swell.

For visual impressions, please visit my Instagram account @krislaurin.