A day in the life: 3rd-wave Covid in Barcelona edition
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these day in the life posts.
But it’s not because nothing’s been happening.
Actually, it’s because I’ve been working on some new projects. Projects that – hopefully – will put some new passive income in my pocket.
More about one of those projects in a bit.
For now, let’s start the day…
I’m awake, and my first thought is coffee.
I head to the kitchen.
I’ve recently moved to a new house, so I’ve got a new induction stove that only sometimes works with the coffeemaker. I have to position the thing in the exact center of the burner for it to turn on, and it’s not always easy to find exact center.
Today it works pretty well, though.
Also, and incidentally, the fact that I’m thinking about coffee first thing is a welcome change of pace…
Because for the past 9 months, most of my first thoughts upon waking up were about:
- The Coronavirus Pandemic.
- The horrific mismanagement of said pandemic by the idiots in the Spanish and/or Catalan governments.
So all else being equal, I’ll take angst about coffee over the other kind of angst any day.
A few minutes later I’ve got a cup of bitter oily heat in my hand and I’m on the sofa, planning the new week.
The year 2020 sucked pretty hard. So far, 2021 is looking better.
Morena’s up and getting ready for work.
Of course, we’re working from home, so what this means is that she’s rolling out of bed and connecting to the WiFi just before the daily team Zoom meeting.
I’ve been working from home for years, so I’m used to it. What I’m not used to is having to share a WFH space with someone else.
It’s been (somewhat) difficult, but we’re managing.
Sitting on the sofa, trying to come up with topics for a new video.
I’m teaching Spanish now, and you should totally subscribe to my channel on YouTube…
That’s the video I ended up making.
Not bad, huh?
Anyway, I haven’t actually studied Spanish for years – this will be a good opportunity to refresh my memory.
My goal for 2021 is to work out “every day”, even if it’s just a little bit.
I’m tracking it on a calendar.
Back in one of the lockdown posts, I talked about the “Do it every day” heuristic for decision making.
It’s really easy. All you do is decide you’re going to do something every day, and afterwards you don’t have to wake up and decide whether or not to do it.
I do some squats, some pushups, some Captains of Crush.
I feel the exercise buzz.
All good in the ‘hood.
Headed to the market.
Santa Caterina market here in my new neighborhood is great.
Tons of amazing fish, meat, and produce – and no tourists.
Of course, “no tourists” describes everything in Barcelona these days.
There aren’t even tourists at the beach. The Picasso museum is empty, and Sagrada Familia has about four random pensioners standing around outside, most days.
It’s actually not bad – presuming that your income doesn’t depend on tourism. If nothing else, we have a greater sense of community than before: a year ago, I still felt like a tourist myself. But now, we’ve all been through something together.
The people at the market have seen me week after week, through this whole ordeal. They know I must be serious about this Barcelona thing. I know I must be, too. Because the times I’ve thought about getting the fuck out of here since the first lockdown have been… several, at least.
I still love Spain, but I’ve never hated Spain more than this past year.
Of course, being from the US, I know a thing or two about incompetent governments. And I know how it feels to find all political parties repugnant. Thing is, in my country we only (really) have two.
Here there seem to be at least 28 parties, and they’re all full of vapid private-school twats in blue suits – people you’d never agree to have a beer with, even if they were buying.
In any case, I now have a love / hate relationship with two countries.
As if my opinion counted for anything.
I’ve dropped the food from the market off at home, and I’m out looking for coffee.
Most things are closed, but there’s a restaurant up the street with a table blocking the open door. The guy there gives me an espresso in a tiny paper cup. 1,30€.
In about an hour, bars and restaurants are allowed to open for lunch. Otherwise they’re shut down. Only takeaway.
Most places are just staying closed.
I drink the coffee and then wander up towards Arc de Triomf.
I find a terraza that’s not bathed in cold wind and sit down.
The waitress brings me a glass of Ribera del Duero. Wine at midday, because Mediterranean lifestyles.
I pop in my earphones and listen to Tim Ferriss interview some guy who’s a proud New Yorker and just happens to work for a billion-dollar hedge fund.
Honestly, I’m sick of everyone being from New York. As a guy from the middle of nowhere, I feel like the “proud New Yorker” meme gets way too much press.
Of course, most of that is owing to the fact that they’re the ones who own the whole media.
If there’s one group of people I respect less, after all that happened in 2020, it’s the mainstream media.
(Politicians too, of course, but I honestly never respected most of them.)
Anyway, let’s not talk any more about that…
Morena’s escaped from her job for lunch at our favorite Chinese place.
Peking duck, spicy beef, xiao long bao.
People back home seem to be surprised when they learn that I eat Asian food in Barcelona.
“But you live in Spain… Surely you must eat nothing but Spanish food all the time!”
Um… not really.
Barcelona’s got all kinds of great international restaurants.
So while Spanish (or Catalan) food is always an option, it’s not exactly our go-to for the day to day.
Back at home, reading Rebel Yell, a biography of Stonewall Jackson.
If you think things in the US have never, ever, ever been as polarized as they are now, I’ve got just five words for you:
READ A GODDAMN HISTORY BOOK.
Just not necessarily the one I’m reading. Unless you’re into a lot of mind-numbing detail about marching.
And incidentally, if you think that your life in 2021 is in any way difficult or uncomfortable, you should probably also go read a history book.
I’ve actually got a whole hypothesis about it.
I call it the “history sucked” hypothesis, and one day I’ll write a full article about it. But suffice it to say, we’ve got it pretty good these days.
At least most of us here in the “developed” world.
Between reading and napping and generally being lazy, the whole afternoon has passed.
Time to make dinner.
Normally, I’d consider going out.
But bars and restaurants are closed, and curfew is at 10 pm. Or maybe eleven.
Anyway, there’s nowhere to go. Because bars and restaurants are closed.
I wouldn’t mind travelling this weekend. Or even going on a hike somewhere. But that’s illegal, too. Can’t leave the city limits. I think.
Actually, it’s hard to tell what’s legal and what’s illegal these days.
Last night, in the supermarket, a police officer told me I needed to lower the hood on my jacket.
Like, why, bro? New anti-hood law just passed?
I considered arguing with him. But I don’t think it would have turned out well. He had a gun, and all I had was my huge problem with authority. Could’ve gotten messy.
And anyway, as far as I know there is a new anti-hood law. They’re passing new moronic, insane laws every day. Maybe I’m only allowed to wear hoodies on Wednesdays and Fridays between 6 and 8 pm. Maybe if I wear one at any other time, everyone gets the coronavirus.
I mean, probably not. But at this point I wouldn’t put it past those buttwipes in government to do something like that.
Anything’s possible in the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dinner tonight is homemade macaroni and cheese.
Here’s the recipe.
It’s fatty and delicious, just like Cardi B’s WAP.
(Get it? Because she says “macaroni in a pot” in the song? Ha!)
And with that, I’m out.
Safely and corona-freely yours,
P.S. I know I’m corona free because I already had corona. All in all, it was a pretty underwhelming experience. But hey, I guess I was lucky. How ’bout you? You feeling lucky today? Hit me up, right here in the comments…