Mound of cloth, stinky.
How long have I worn these pants?
Five weeks is too long.
Other than rinsing out our underwear and Anders quick-dry workout shirts at the hotels that supplied heated towel bars, we have worn the same garments since we began this trip.
Note to self: we wish our clothes way too much at home. I wouldn’t suggest going five weeks, mind you, but certainly the “wear it once and wash it” mantra of home is overkill.
Note to friends: be grateful that you have American he-man washers and dryers at home. We spent close to five hours at a laundry mat in Barcelona, not because there weren’t enough washers (we took over all four of them), but because the two industrial dryers must have been programmed with the “gentle breeze” cycle instead of the “high hot scorched earth” of home, and as such it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to dry our four loads. We struck up a conversation with the Pakistani-born guy behind the desk, who is studying to be a dentist. I think he took pity on us, because during our marathon time there we played chess (which was fun), and attempted to do math with Hans (which wasn’t). He tried to suggest to Hans that studying habits are very important (at which Anders and I nodded vigorously), and that math is at the root of everything.
The flip side to the very boring (and at time trying) day was our evening, which was spent at a Barcelona vs. Getafe soccer match in Europe’s 2nd largest soccer pitch. We joined 75,000 enthusiastic fans to watch Messi and his friends dismantle the other team. Barcelona is ranged #1 in the Italian league, and you can see why. Anders and Hans understand the game far more than I, but it doesn’t take a soccer aficionado to see when someone can take a ball away from another player, or can dribble it up to, around, and then past a defender. It’s pretty. We had shared a taxi with a Swedish man and his daughter, and he explained that the Swedes are very enthusiastic about Ibrahimovich, who is Swedish but plays for Barcelona. Indeed, I sat next to probably 8 older men all speaking Swedish.
Final score: Barcelona 2 Getafe 1. (Getafe scored in the last minutes on a penalty kick. Barcelona played a good part of the first half and all of the second half a man down thanks to a red card received for going into a tackle with cleats facing up), and they still won. They are that good.