Thursday, May 12, 2005

Stinky Barcelona!

Done it, Miss!

That's what all the little year 2 kids used to say when I used to teach art and asked them to draw a circle. They would wave their papers in the air and cry 'Done it, Miss!' I feel like shouting that now.

I've finally done my last event at a Spanish International School. And survived. What's more, I´m still standing!

My last Spanish school (which shall remain nameless) was great, except for some of the 9th graders who skipped my talk to go smoke behind the bushes. Their loss. I wish the three or four girls who had come hadn´t bothered. They sauntered in late, tossing their glossy hair and chewing metaphorical gum of boredom. They kept the 8th graders waiting nearly a quarter of an hour.

It is very frustrating to give so much of yourself and get scorned. I am pretty sure my days of doing these events are numbered. Also, how many times can you describe how Romans went to the toilet and keep it fresh?

But my morning event in costume went well. It´s the first time I've done my talk al fresco. Thanks to a beautiful day and a good PA system we pulled it off.

The librarian and I had a lovely lunch in a nearby leafy square, serenaded by the whine of motorscooters and the cooing of pigeons. We stopped for ice cream for dessert before the afternoon sessions.

Anyway, I got through it and was back in Las Ramblas by 5.30.

I had my usual felafel from Maoz Felafel on Ferran, then rushed to the Museu d'Història de la Ciutat and went underground to see the Roman city which lies beneath the modern one.

It is fascinating. The Roman city was founded during the reign of Augustus and it was called Barcino.

Among the ruins they have excavated and left visible are the remains of a fullonica, (a dye-shop and cleaners), and a fish-sauce factory. I am telling you: that part of Barcino would have smelled extremely nasty!

They used urine to bleach cloth, and the garum or fish-sauce factories were so smelly they were often well outside of town.

Ewww! Stinky Barcelona!

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