When the Lights Went Out in Barcelona...

           Having just moved into our Spanish rental apartment the previous day, we were anticipating enjoying a leisurely morning drinking café con leche and slowly easing into the day.  Brewing a pot of coffee should have been quite simple, non?  Pour water into the carafe, spoon the desired amount of coffee grounds into the filter, press the On Power button and wait for the brew to drip. Having made hundreds if not thousands of cups of java in my lifetime, I know my way around a coffee maker.  The not so perfect start to a dark, bleak and overcast day!  This was not the wide-awake jolt that I usually enjoy with my morning coffee, but a kick of an entirely different kind. The sort of kick you get when sparks start flying out of the electrical outlet, dazing you momentarily and knocking all of the power out. Yikes! Mucho grando problemo!! The refrigo stopped humming, the radio was silenced and the eggs were no longer frying. Hmmm. Not a good situation at all.  No coffee, no breakfast, no power, no shower, no lights, nothing, nada. Silence was most definitely not golden! The perfect time for a Nora mini meltdown!!!!! 

           What to do? All that I can think about is the fact that I've now created a power outage in Barcelona and I don't have enough funds available to cover the massive electrical repair bill! There go my Prada shoes and Louis Vuitton handbag emergency funds!! I panic and start calculating how many Euros the electricians would require in order to restore electrical power. Here's hoping that the exchange rate for Euros was somewhat favourable today!

           Dashing out of the apartment into the pouring rain, I try to find a phone booth in order to be able to telephone the landlord. My European cell phone was not yet hooked up with a Spanish SIM card and I was therefore cut off from the rest of the world. Clutching my coins in my hand, I run up and down the cobble stoned streets in search of a public telephone.  Yikes! Where are the phone booths? Trying to find a phone booth was equivalent to hoping to find a discounted Chanel handbag and so the search was on! 

           Rain soaked and crying hysterically, I am at the end of my rope. I can't figure out how to use the phone, the landlord is not answering his cell and I don't have the telephone number for the Barcelona electrician association. Defeated and dejected, I head back to the apartment.

           Rain cascades down upon me and I no longer care. Really should have taken an umbrella with me, as that would have been a smart idea.  I actually did have my pink umbrella tucked away at the bottom of my handbag but I was too much in a panicked state to actually remember that I had it with me. Oh well, it's only rain. Could have been worse, as it could have been a hail storm.

           I'm almost at my apartment when I notice the Indian restaurant a couple of shops away.  And look, the owner of  the restaurant is beckoning me to come in, to seek refuge from the elements and enjoy a cuppa of java. I duck into the restaurant and spill my tale of woe, bawling that I've inadvertently plunged my entire apartment complex into darkness. 

           My new friend takes control of the situation and thus restores my faith in humanity.  He telephones the landlord, gets in touch with the electricians and serves me the best java I've ever had. He has managed to do the impossible, gets me to calm down and to stop crying hysterically.  He shared his experience of also having been in similar circumstances where complete strangers have befriended him and have helped him in times of need. There is something to be said about karma and what goes around comes around. Parting ways, I presented Lal with a bottle of genuine Canadian maple syrup, as a token reminder of the distraught damsel in distress whom he valiantly helped rescue.

           The Indian Restaurant, Swagatam Bar Restaurante, on Sant Agusti 10  in Barcelona, is the place to pop by for some great food and even greater kinship. I would never have met such a wonderful person as I did on that bleak and rainy day when the lights went out in Barcelona.

           My memories of Barcelona  will forever be intertwined with the not so planned for power failure and the kindness of the owner of the Indian restaurant.

           Enjoy the kinship of new friends and come travel with me...

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