Saturday, May 19, 2007

Temps de Flors

Yesterday, Andrew and I and three of his friends went to Girona for the Temps de Flors, the annual flower show where the interior courtyards of private homes are opened up and filled with flower displays. It was so nice to be back in Girona—the last time we were there, we got engaged—and I really think that if I had to choose anyplace in the world to live, Girona would be at or near the top of the list.

The flowers weren’t what we expected. The displays were more artful than bountiful—one featured plaster hands reaching out from a swath of grass, like they were rising from the dead; another featured single gerbera daisies tied to the ends of giant orange balloons—but it was fun to see these otherwise hidden spaces. On the steps of the cathedral, large balls covered with moss were arranged as though they were cascading from the top; and on the steps of another church, flowers and grass covered the steps from top to bottom in a blocky graphic design, which was more the sort of thing we expected to see.

Later that night, we went to a club at the beach to see Moby DJ. We were looking forward to seeing Moby in person—had even gotten tickets in advance—and were then subsequently so crushed and pummeled by the Ecstasy-blurred crowd that we wound up leaving halfway through, at the unheard-of hour of 3:30am. That was shamefully early for Barcelona; outside the club, people were lining up, waiting to get in. I felt old.

One thing we couldn’t complain about was the volume. After our experience with the eardrum-shattering sound at the club in Romania, we’d come prepared with earplugs that Andrew picked up beforehand at a pharmacy. Unsure of the vocabulary word for “earplugs,” Andrew explained to the pharmacist that we were going to a concert and wanted something to put in our ears to protect them from the sound. The pharmacist was flummoxed. “But then why are you going to the concert?” he asked. “That’s ridiculous.” He reluctantly agreed to sell Andrew the earplugs. “I don’t understand why you’re even going if you can’t hear anything, you absurd, safety-obsessed American.” I wasn’t there during this exchange, and I’m making up the last part, but that was definitely the gist. And indeed, not one other person at the club was wearing earplugs, even though the bass was absolutely painful without them. Once again, I felt old.

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