Saturday, January 29, 2011

Homeless in the Med Part 3

Hello, Readers, and thank you for tuning in to trumptettravels - the true accounts of my 11 year career on cruise ships as a crew member aboard Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, P&O Cruises, Premier Cruises and the Holland America Line.

It is hard to imagine the transition from unconsiousness or sleep to full awareness on that morning I woke up in the bushes in Barcelona. I'll do my best to describe it.  If you are just tuning in and you don't know how I ended up in the bushes, click here: Royal Caribbean Cruise Crew Member Blog

The one thing I knew was that I was outside. It wasn't cold, but sleeping outside definately has a different feeling than sleeping in a warm hotel bed somewhere. You are kept on alert, even while asleep.

My next realization was that I was quite cold. Sleeping outside for 5 hours anywhere would make someone cold.

As I tried to look around my next realization was that I did not use a pillow that night and for that reason my neck was as stiff as a board.  Also, it was quite painful.

As I breathed in I realized I was quite parched and the drinking and staying up until the wee hours with drinks on the house did not do me justice.  As I became quite aware that I was sleeping in the bushes behind someone's apartment building in Barcelona and that someone would probably call the cops if they found me, I gathered my things, hopped off the little ledge and put on my backpack, picked up my trumpet case and camera and had my final realization: carrying a trumpet and flugelhorn and all my stuff for a full day was KILLING my back.  I was tired, hungover, and in a lot of pain.  I had nine days left until I was boarding a ship to work and Barcelona was completely booked and "NO VACANCY" was the phrase of the day.

I remember the sun wasn't even out yet, it must've been 5-6am.  As I set out down the hill back into town, I stopped at a diner and sat.  I heard patrons greet the waitress, "Bon Dia" in Catalan so when she came I did the same and order, "Un cafe por favor."  I overheard other patrons ordering churros and other local breakfast foods and without knowing really what it was just repeated what I heard and have a great breakfast.

One thing was for certain - I had to get rid of this trumpet that was killing my back.  I went to the Ramblas and sat on a bench for an hour.  At this hour it was only locals and it was interesting to see a whole culture that I didn't know about previously.  Walking through a huge market just off the Ramblas there was a colorful assortment of everything from candies to goat's brains.  The goat's brains did look quite fresh, but I passed on those.

At 8am the Lladro store was open and I went in to plead my case.  The owner didn't want to store my stuff as it was and I told him the whole story of how I slept in the bushes and I had to get rid of the weight.  Relunctantly, he let me store my trumpet there.  To be honest I didn't want to leave it, but it was digging into my shoulder and my back hurt so much.

I set out of the Lladro shop with the goal of having a great day, seeing the city and finding a hotel room.

If you have the chance - check back with trumpettravels soon.  I thought I would have a few hours to write a nice chunk of this adventure, but my son just woke up.  "Follow me" on the right if you'd like updates, or you can subscribe by clicking the RSS Link (that orange chicklet thingy with BLOG FEED by it.)

Bye For Now!