Coming off of the plane, having slept the whole way through with that exhausted-via-travel sleep, I was greeted by the familiar sights, sounds, and smells of Barcelona. It’s my second of hopefully a continual many times here, and the familiarity of it was a bit of a relief. I’m not always one to cling to comfort zones, but with the flux that has defined my life lately, I will be the first one to admit that comfort is a luxury sorely missed when it isn’t there. So, I was in a bit of a middle ground when it came to this trip – on the one hand I am worried about my well-being and state of mind coming into a very important part of my work; and on the other hand, I want to dive far into it and get lost, if only to get myself out of my own head.
That’s probably why I’m actually quite relieved to feel somewhat at ease, stepping into the slight cold of the Barcelona air. I hear the familiar lisp-riddled version of Spanish that is quite different from the one I’m used to from Southern California. I see the tall buildings riddled with small apartment-like residences that I know thousands of people call home. And I enjoy the ride provided me by the taxis even if the drivers seem a little awkward the whole way, likely because it is hard to converse with me. Don’t worry, driver, I feel the same way.
The hotel that I was supposed to be staying at with my boss greets me in English – I wonder if the bags are my dead giveaway… or if it’s my style… or if it’s because I’m Asian, they just default to English as a language bridge. Either way, I’m in the room after a little bit of time.
As I put in my previous post, an ending line from my book on the Tao recounted a simple question about a character named Sai Ong and his lost horse, posing the idea that perhaps the lost horse could be a blessing – bottom line is, you wouldn’t really know, so there’s no need to go crazy over it. Despite my having to trek it alone due to my boss’s own troubles keeping him from arriving, I was greeted with this situation myself – as there was only one bed in the room. Well, it was two small beds pushed together but there was no hope of separating them. I shrug, thinking, “Hmm. Just as well.”
The jet lag gets the best of me and I end up sleeping for quite a long time, only to wake up in the middle of the night. I have some work to finish before the Mobile World Congress starts, so I figure I should try to do that. There’s more to be done, but at least I got the ball rolling. Hours later, breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant actually isn’t bad, but I’m reminded of just how much the Spanish love to salt their meats. I take the above picture with my phone, turning on the flash to get the (fake) rose captured right since it’s blown out by the background. After taking the picture, I notice a couple people in running gear jogging up the street. I think, “That should be me.”
And now I’m at the Princess Sofia hotel, where some of the work will begin well before the real show is to start. Still trekking it alone for the meantime, but I’ll deal. Let it be known that I’m a talkative person especially when I have stuff on my mind, as I have to get it out – being alone, then, is not very optimal for me. My form of travel doesn’t often help in this regard, but at least things will be picking up from here on out.
Stress is best left to the rest.