One thing we have been noticing here is the amazing amount of people carrying around a single crutch. Most of them are older, and I wonder if there isn’t some agressive government program to hand out crutches to the elderly. Then again, it is always the way with things you take notice of. After the first time, you become hyper aware of the existence of the thing, and tend to spot it more readily than before. Especially when outside of one’s home environs, one looks for things that are definitive of the other culture or place. Still, there are very many indeed.
I took a little walk to the “other” side of the Ramblas today. (If you think about the Barrio Gotico as roughly heart shaped, and you are standing at the Plaça Catalunya facing towards the water, we are staying in the left ventricle. This other neighborhood is the right.) As I remembered from back when, it was the dirtier, less glamourous, more seedy half of the Barrio Gotico. Things have changed somewhat over the past 20 years as it (like the whole of the city) has undergone a number of upgrades and transformations. That said, it retains an air of other about it vis-a-vis this side, and I spotted some definite economic and ethnic differences in the inhabitants. I also stumbled upon a mini red light district, really just a street with hookers walking up and down it.