Today was supposed to be an exciting day in Girona at the All-Saints Festival, but instead this happened:
I broke the glass on the door to our laundry/balcony-like room!
Last night, I had planned to catch the 8:45 train this morning to Girona, where I was going to meet my roommate to see the Castellers at 11. The castellers are human towers built from groups of men standing on each other’s shoulders. You’ve likely seen a picture of them. After the castellers, we were going to spend the rest of the day going to whichever other events of the festival we desired. Then I was going to return to Barcelona in time for Halloween.
However, that was the first plan of the day that failed. It had started storming at about 3AM this morning, and consequently, when I was planning to leave for Girona, the storm had moved north. I received a text from my roommate that it wouldn’t be worth it to go because of the rain and wind in Girona. I was partially relieved, because it meant that I got to sleep longer (which is never a bad thing).
When I woke up, I was in a pensive mood, and it seemed like a perfect day to write. Sundays in Spain are pretty relaxed. Most things are closed and people spend time with their families. You can feel the mood even in my apartment, which is technically on the 11th floor (but it’s called the 9th). There are less cars, less people, and the trains and metros run less often. Today, there was even the calm that comes after a storm. Clearer skies, cleaner streets, and fresher air. Even the sun was serene. However, this plan to write failed as well.
I was just about to sit down and focus. I had finished cleaning a bit, and although I wanted some chips to snack on, I decided I would go downstairs to get them later. So I went into the kitchen to make a coffee to increase my relaxed and cozy mood. I had opened the sliding glass door to the balcony for some fresh air. Now, often, if the door so the balcony is open, a breeze will sweep through the apartment and cause doors to slam. I knew this, and knew that it wasn’t a very breezy day. I was careful, but not worried, when I left the kitchen to return to the living room. As I was closing the door to the kitchen to prevent the draft, the door to the laundry room slammed shut. I’m sure you see where this is headed…
The door slammed shut so hard that the glass in the door shattered and spread all across the floor of the kitchen. I cursed loudly, put my coffee down, and went back into the kitchen to survey the damage. UGH. It wasn’t just cracked or missing a few pieces of glass. There was a huge jagged hole in the door with the pieces of glass making it look like someone had roundhouse kicked it. With my plans ruined, or at least postponed, I sighed and started to clean up the mess. I swept up the glass and loaded it into a paper bag. Then I had to figure out what to do with the gaping whole in the door. It’s not like it matters to prevent thieves or weather issues, but I couldn’t leave it like it was.
The laundry room is called a rentador in Catalan, or a lavadero in Spanish. It is a common element to apartments in Spain. They are usually partially open to the air and are where the laundry is done and other cleaning supplies are kept. We often leave the door to the rentador open, as it is nice to have fresh air in the apartment. There is no need to worry about rain because the type of wall we have prevents most rain from entering, and it isn’t like we have anything in the rentador that matters if it gets a little wet. I realized that it was important to patch up the hole just to prevent any further accidents or more pieces of glass falling. Thus, my trip to get chips was expedited.
Still cursing, I went to the OpenCor market, which is one of the few grocery-type stores open on Sundays. There I found some plastic sheeting, but no masking tape. I wasn’t sure how I was going to attach anything to the door without something stronger than scotch tape. Hoping for some luck, I stopped by the Pakis on the way back home. This one of the many stores in Spain that are mostly run by people from Pakistan. They have longer hours than the regular stores, but only stock essentials like cold sodas and beer, boxed milk, candies, etc. You could compare them to a 7/11. As I stop by this Paki often, I have made friends with the owners. So when OpenCor and the Pakis didn’t have any tape for sale that was stronger than scotch tape, the Pakis lent me their personal packing tape.
I spent the time I had planned to spend writing fixing the door with plastic on one side and paper bags on the other. This was an adventure in and of itself, as the tape kept sticking to everything but what I wanted it to. Then I had to wipe down all the surfaces that might have had small pieces of glass on them. I had to throw away the open box of salt, as who knows if there was glass that got mixed in. And I had to wash all of the dishes that were left, just in case glass got on them too. Then I swept again for good measure. What an unnecessary chore! And the kitchen was just cleaned yesterday!
Here is the final result of my clean-up:
At least I got this blog-post written…