For a 15 year old girl growing up on the Cape Flats Antoni Gaudi’s works were only pictures in a second-hand textbook – those were the days long before the internet. 😖 I first learned about Antoni Gaudi in Ms Carelse’s art class at High school in grade 10 (std 8). She made me fall in love with Art History but never in my wildest dreams did I even think that one day i would stand in front of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. Saturday morning I went to see the most visited sight in Barcelona – the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia. What a masterpiece!
Standing in front of the SF made me realise that I should dream big! That I should never put any kind of limitations on what is possible for my life…because the universe decides these things for us way ahead of time and that life has it’s own agenda and we just need to be ready to go with the flow and carpe diem! I could have spent all Saturday in my hotel room until my departure time but hell to the no…I was in Barcelona…that’s what I mean by being ready. Life gives you opportunities but often they dont come delivered to your door like a spree parcel…you have to actually make an effort too! Thats why I bought my bus ticket online and got my ass up early and headed out of the comfy hotel, even skipping the scrumptious free breakfast!
An hour later I found myself standing in front of this awe-inspiring, imposing, majestic work of art and I needed to walk away from it to capture the entire structure with my phones camera. It was a beautiful morning, clear blue sky, gentle breeze and the sun was hot as I walked away from the crowds through the park opposite the SG to find the best view. The bells of SG started peeling (reminds me of a song …i love to hear the peeling bells) and filled the atmosphere with a calm, surrealistic rhythm. On my right I saw rows and rows of elderly women sitting …. about 100 of them – some in wheelchairs, most of them white-haired and all of them busily chatting away with each other to the sound of the clickety-clack of the small tools they were using. I walked closer and saw that each woman was busy making lace! Wow! I felt so lucky to see this since I’ve heard that handmade spanish lace is world-renowned and I’m a crochet and craft junkie myself. Very cool to see them make lace while the sun shines!
😀 I wished that Aunty Suzie and Charlene were there to see this with me….I knew they would have loved this experience as much as I did.
As I left the park and carried on across the street I found a tiny kiosk that sold newspapers, whatnots and postcards. I walked in to buy my postcard – My bff Ms Jay and I send each other postcards from every city outside of SA that we visit. I greeted the owner with a “Buenos dias” but didnt look up from my phone, and he started chatting away with me in Espaniol. When I looked up I thought that maybe he was speaking to someone else because his eyes were each looking in opposite directions behind his thick glasses…so I had to make sure…but yes he was speaking to me. I responded by saying “no hablo espaniol Senor, Habla solo engles”…and i felt stupid telling him in fluent Spanish that I actually dont speak spanish. Why do we do that? He looked at me strangely and then continued to chat away. I still had no idea if he was talking to me or someone else…but I was the only one in the kiosk. He was kind tho and gave me a pen to write my postcard and also a stamp and showed me where to mail it, chatting away in spanish. While I wrote my postcard a local man came in to get his daily newspaper and the two of them started chatting away – clearly the owner was a chatterbox and that’s what he does all day with everyone – and even to himself ! 🤣
I finished writing my postcard, said muchas gracias and walked around the corner. My eye was caught by four dancing girls swinging their hips, each one dressed in different colours: purple, red, yellow and orange. The one in the red crop top and skirt reminded me of my friend Roxy dancing to Kizomba music 😀. I had to go in and get one. The miniature dancing girl was solar powered and would fit perfectly on the dashboard of my car.
I spent some time browsing in the shop and the owner, with a red dot and white paint on his forehead bobbed his head at me as he asked me if he could help. In that moment I thought fuckkitt and decided to blow my life-savings which were basically non-existent anyways. I cant say yet what I bought since the recipients may be on my FB but all I can say is it got real Messi. 😂 And the nicest moment was as i left the shop. I put my hands together in prayer form and greeted the owner with “Namaste” and he responded with the same…reminder: we’re in Spain. I love the meaning of “Namaste” and use it as often as I can.
I continued my stroll to mail the postcard. I popped into another shop and the salesman greeted me with a Buenos dias and when responded with only a smile he asked me where I was from. I told him South Africa and he immediately said “Nelson Mandela” with his two fists in the air. That wasnt enough tho to convince me to spend my last 20 Euros in his store and as soon as he turned I ran out of the shop. lol
Eventually I got my photo of the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia in all its glory! I saw old ladies make lace while the sun shines. I bowed my head and said “Namaste” and then I quickly ran away. 🤣
The sun is setting in cape town and it’s after 6pm already… I should probably go home now before my boss asks me why i’m not going home. I would have to tell her “i’m making lace while the sun shines”