George Faya Posts

November 5

My flight from CDG to Amsterdam was scheduled at precisely 4:20 PM. I kid you not.
The plane smelled suspect, although I thought nothing of it at first, but when all the flight attendants were red-eyed, I became concerned.
Of course, it goes without saying, the plane left a few minutes late. …

I arrived at Central Station unsure of my lodging for the night, or of how many successive vowels to use in my speech here.

November 3
October 25

Went to the Rex Club the following night – the wait in line was lousy and some cute girls tried to cut in front of me. I figured I’d have an easier time getting in with them and their male counterpart than I would alone, so I made a deal and it paid off despite the wait. Once inside, I realized that it’s not the French that should stereotypically draw the ire and revulsion of Americans, but simply French hipsters – a total lack of self-awareness and simple courtesy: elbows in my back, my side – and that’s just the chicks… Hate to generalize, but it’s a motion that would soon be seconded by many Dutch acquaintances.

But we gave them Jerry Lewis, so we’re even, I suppose…

Too much good livin’… The French gave me their charming cough – a rumbling by-product of the cold weather, long nights, and too many Gauloises… admittedly, not entirely the Parisians’ fault – everybody in Europe seems to smoke –

October 25

Getting out of the hostel took a bit of effort, but I finally scored a flat – not too far from the same area, but at least I’d be in assuredly more private environs – the place was the size of a doghouse, but it had a shower and kitchenette – albeit in the living/bedroom – it was all I needed. I was now living in the 17th Arrondissement on a street just off the Avenue de Clichy, a pretty active strip with plenty of cafés, bars and such. At night, my block definitely grew a touch seedier – at least I knew where to find hash if I needed it – too bad I don’t speak French.

By contrast to Madrid, Parisians are quite comfortable dining alone – or smoking, walking, sitting, what have you – alone.

October 15

The first two days, it pissed rain. Almost all day and night. Had to double-check my boarding pass stub to be sure I hadn’t been re-routed to Seattle. Didn’t matter much though – I was happy to stay at the hotel for a while – the Intercontinental was top-shelf all the way – and I certainly got used to living it up in there. If you’re gonna get holed up in Madrid, go 4 or 5 star – the timing was right on…

I hit the clubs for the first two nights, as I had arrived just in time for the weekend, and had to see about Madrid’s famed nightlife. Good thing I was being pampered – the nights had their way with me… made some friends pretty easily, and that led to some good hookups. No, not like that….

Madrid is, I’ve noticed, a very social city – everywhere you go, people are doing things together. Shopping, eating, partying – whatever, it’s all a team game. Which again, as I noted in Barcelona, makes it difficult if you’re traveling alone – especially at restaurants, bars and clubs. Unless you make some friends quickly, you’re a wallflower.

October 15
October 9

So I’m sitting in the Barcelona Airport, having watched my connection to Madrid pull away from the gate without me – Irritation Factor: High.

This is solely because my flight from Ibiza was delayed – no fault of my own. Yet the fact that it was such a close margin is what gets to me. But – upon further reflection, is it really that bad? I’m not missing a meeting or anything, no one/thing is being jeopardized by this delay. And I should be so lucky to complain about being stuck in Barcelona on my way to Madrid because Ibiza blahblahblah … so, boo-fucking-hoo…

Correction … Inconvenience Factor: High

October 9

Don’t expect me to write much about Ibiza.

Either I don’t remember – or I don’t want you to know.


October 7

Well, if Day Two was all about taking in the city with my eyes, then Day Three was about taking it in with my hungry mouth. So far I’d had some enjoyable but modest fare, but because of my late hours – even by Spanish standards – I’d been missing out on some of Barcelona’s finer flavors. My hostelmate Rebecca and I even had to resort to Burger King one disappointing night on Las Ramblas because it was all that was open – and she’s a fucking vegetarian, for God’s sake!

On the kind recommendations of some dear friends (check out their travel blog here: I started the day at La Boqueria, an open marketplace under a hangar-sized structure just off of Las Ramblas.

The place is really something to witness – the freshest meats, seafood, fruits & veggies, freshly squeezed juices, and confections you will ever – EVER see. I mean seriously, Mario Batali would jizz in his orange clogs at the sight of this place… The smells, the colors – it was like the finest of European gourmet, artisanal, and farmer’s markets had collided in a dizzying array of color and aroma.