martes, 20 de diciembre de 2011

Argentine parrots

I'm sure they do not appear in travel guides, and I am positive that tourists haven't noticed them, but they are also part of the landscape of Barcelona: Argentine parrots are those little birds of the family of parakeets and cockatoos, that emit a peculiar noise.

They arrived in Barcelona more than 30 years ago, from South America and it looks that they have adapted well. It seems that at some time they were fashionable as pets, due to their green plumage with gray belly, and they were much cheaper than the typical parrotsBut they turned out to be were unfriendly, they pecked their owners, they shrieked and....were keen on escaping! In other words, they wanted to live in freedom. So some of them escaped from their cages and now we have about 3,000 scattered in Barcelona, ​​living with us.

Some look at them as a plague, but considering that there are about 250,000 pigeons in the city, I think they don'l give any hassle.

And besides, it is funny to think that the birds that have arrived from Argentina to Barcelona  are parrots, which is an animal that has traditionally been used to describe someone who talks too much.

An irony, as well as Argentines (Argentine humans, that is) have a reputation for talking a lot. Of course it's a cliché ....isn't it?

lunes, 19 de diciembre de 2011

À la ville de...

Those of us who are old enough remember the 1992 Olympic Games and what they meant to Barcelona.

Those who are still a bit older can also remember that day 25 years ago, when Juan Antonio Samaranch opened an envelope and said in French "à la ville de ... ... (short dramatic pause dramatically) .... Barcelona! "

It is probably one of those moments that all who live in the city can remember, a day when Barcelona began a new path. Everyone has his own story that day, and I have mine:
as a 10 year-old, I was not aware of the meaning of all that, but I remember that the news ran fast at the school. Everyone was shouting, shooting soccer balls up in the air and running endlessly.

In the middle of all that inexplicable joy, there was a moment when I became aware of the importance of the day. And what made me realize that was something that happened for the first time in my life: our teacher gave us free time and we were allowed to read comics in class!

It was precisely then, reading a Tintin comic in class, when I realized the historical moment that we were living.

jueves, 15 de diciembre de 2011

A concert at La Mercè!

I like Mercè. I mean I like the Mercè festivals. The Festival of Barcelona, of course.

Held since 1871, when the City Council decided to make a series of festivities to celebrate the Day of their patron saint, on September 24.

And although there are massive events scheduled, as one would imagine in a city like Barcelona, I ​​like that you still can feel the village beneath the city. Using the word village in a good sense, of course. We continue celebrating the correfoc, the human castle towers, different parades and dancing the sardana.

In the evening, I try to be aware of the concerts throughout the city, mostly free. Because, even if I don't know the artist, who can say no to a good concert in a place like Plaça del Rei?

All this, of course, if Santa Eulàlia behaves herself and decides not to cry because Mercè has taken the honor of being our patron saint. Come on, Laia, that was a long time ago! It is time you get over it!