dijous, de novembre 11, 2004

passing by, hedonism and tourism in the city of Barcelona


After one and a half month in this city I have lived and experienced some of the life here.
I have touched a lot of possibilities. for me it is a city of just so many possibilities, I can hardly choose. everything I ever thought about as being a possible hobby I have found.
aikido, caoeira, singing classes, modern dance, djembe playing, climbing, running, writing poetry and practicing verses, etcetera. I see so many roads, it´s hard to remain focussed on one or two.
as a erasmus student I should study, party, sport, work, play, eat and sleep.. budgetted as well.
balance is always a keyword.

furthermore, you get to meet so many cool people here.. but as I will do too, many of them are passing by. I´m here for three and a half months, some for half a year, others just traveling here for a week, ten days.. I talked to my former housemate, who has lived here for eight months now. he says I haven´t even met half of his friends, for they already left for other places.

I too experience the temporal feature of contact in Barcelona among youngsters. On the one hand, that makes it quite exciting, on the other, right now I´m sad for I met a very nice person who left for other countries to explore. And it is not the first time. now, after one and a half month, four people I got to know are leaving, almost at the same time. You meet friends, fall in love, find a soulmate, and whoops.. there they are, leaving, as I will as well. It makes Barcelona both magical as something missing.

the city itself never sleeps, there are always options to go out to have a party, meet people,
it gives a lot of impulses which makes it hard for me to not be hedonistic. I think the city where a hedonistic mentality can be found, also attracts people looking for a hedonistic experience.
The form of tourism that is in this city, is not only people looking for architecture and culture.
Another form of tourism is present here, which in the long run, might not be actually beneficial for the city.

Tourism is an economic factor, but, tourists, backpackers that go for the cheapest parties, buy the cheapest booze to get drunk, pee al over the center and write grafitti on the walls, might not be the sort of tourism which supports the economy, or the city.

The gotic area for example is still made of ancient roman rock. If the grafitti or the pee doesn´t destroy the walls, maybe the biting means they clean the walls and the streets with will.

No ever could sell an ´eau de Barcelone´ for that would mean a smell of piss and cleaningwater..
i wonder why they do not have public toilets in this city.. either very classy, in a modernist mozaic style, construct many toilets which would be a site for sore eyes and people would go, proudly, in to pee, or a very simple construction, accessing the sewer by a sort of hatch, which closes once there is no more water pressure on it. just a hole in the street accessing the sewer with a big bucket to pee in. Easy build and not that expensive..

concluding I want to write down that this city is a great place for meeting people, although mainly for a certain period.. (either one of the two leaves quite soon.. so you can travel afterwards since you´ve met all these people. ;-)) There are so many impulses one can react one here, so many options, it is a big crossroad where you can find out what you really like, or get lost in the trees so you can no longer see where the forest is.
furthermore, Barcelona is aquainted with a form of tourism that might not be so beneficial for the city. Effects include peeing in the streets, smell, a lot of noise, grafitti, people and means needed to clean everything up. (you always see the BCNeta! team busy, but they will never ever be done working in this manner.) there are options one can think of to remedy these effects, either preventing (public toilets, legal free grafitti spots, attracting a different type of tourism more by doing more for those target groups. elderly people with pension are a nice target group.) as well as repressive means could be installed. (fines, cleaning work by sprayers or peeers.)
just some thoughts about BCN.