The waiter placed the coffee and the desert on the table and I smiled widely and said “Merci”. This is what you say in Catalonia as “Thank you”. Why did I smile so widely? I looked at myself in the mirror this afternoon and smiled, just to see my face smiling. Lots of wrinkles all over my face when I smile. Also the smile does not look natural on my face. I should not smile if I do not feel like it. Looking without smiling is ok too. At least there are no wrinkles and I like my face then.
I turned 35. Today. I also turned to be a depressed person. Nope, not today, but over the past year or two. Depressed does not mean that I sit home and cry. On the contrary, I am always busy, doing something, taking care of something, talking, walking, meeting, drinking coffee and making plans. But when I am on my own I do not smile. And I do not like it. I used to smile to myself before all the time. And the only line that comes to my mind right now is “Life is not a walk across a field”, which is from my favorite poem by Pasternak.
We went with my family to Velodromo. It is by far my favorite place in Barcelona. I come here two or three times a week. It is thirty minutes walking distance from my house and a lot of times I walk here in order to do some kind of exercise. Thirty minutes here and thirty minutes back home is already something. I walk to the place even when it rains. And it is raining now.
Today was just a day. For some reason everybody expects you to be super happy and excited on your birthday. And I felt it was just a day. It was as good as any other day and I wished people would leave me alone and stop asking me to smile all the time. If I felt like smiling, I would have smiled myself. Thus, we went to Velodromo. Even if I feel sad, I come to this place and I start feeling better. There is something about the space and the food that makes me feel relaxed and be part of the people around. As always, the food was very good and the desert and coffee even better. They have one of my favorite Catalonian deserts El postre del musico (The musician desert). It is a selection of nuts and dried fruits and a glass of muscatel.
When the waiter left the desert and the coffee on the table I smiled widely and said “Merci”. And my family asked me what happy thoughts I was thinking to suddenly smile so nicely. And the truth is no thoughts. I just smiled back without thinking. It did feel really good to smile without any reason. I love this place.
The menu in Velodromo had birds on the back. Which was great as the kids and me are working on a bird project at home. Those are single-use menus and people are welcome to take them (we asked). Last time we were here they had girls in bikinis with Spanish football club logos! We took some copies for our football loving friends in US.