Barcelona CS Host Victoria
上圖是Iris，她是我的巴塞隆拿CS Host Victoria的女兒，Iris在上小學，她長着水汪汪的大眼睛，又超喜歡拍照，我們一拍即合，Yeah！
原來在西班牙、葡萄牙兩國，補習盛行，我的里斯本（葡萄牙首都）CS Host Angela是位補習老師；而小小年紀的Iris，放學後也要背着大大的書包，去上英語補習課，晚上我與Victoria一齊接她放學。
我準時到達，但行勻全間咖啡店都不見類似群組，也嘗試問欵似食客團體，都唔中；也在Meetup group chat留言，無人回覆；我多等十五分鐘，都無人來，唯有放棄，回家了。
就在我已踏入地鐵車廂，才見Meetup group chat有人說「已到達」，其他人也陸續蒲頭，看看時間，已是活動舉行時間的一小時後，原來全世界遲到一小時在西班牙是很平常！？
This is Iris. She is the daughter of my Barcelona CS Host Victoria. Iris is in primary school. She has a pair of beautiful brown eyes and she loves being a model. We are friends in the first sight, yeah!
Tutorial school is surprising even common in Spain and Portugal. Angela, my CS Host in Lisbon (Portugal capital) is a tutorial teacher.
And young Iris with her huge school-bag attends English tutorial at night too. So Victoria and I is going to pick Iris up at night after the tutorial.
Iris has her tutorial 2-3 times per week. It’s a 15 minutes walk from home to the tutorial school. Around 10 students in each class with 1 teacher.
Iris seems to like the tutorial school because she still talking happily to the teacher after class.
I can’t speak Spain or Catalan (Barcelona is in Catalonia province in Spain. Catalan is a dialect and Spanish is an official language. Just like Cantonese VS Mandarin). Iris and I can only talk in English.
Victoria said, ‘Iris can practise her English and this is one of the reasons why I host the couch surfers. She don’t like to talk to me in English at home,’
In the other day, Victoria and I are going to pick Iris up after school. It’s again a 15 minutes walk from home to Iris’s primary school. Quite a lot of parents are already waiting outside the school gate. There are white-hair grandpas and grandmas, young parents with dogs and (of course) no black or Asian people.
Iris loves smiling. She keep chatting with different classmates and (surprisingly) introducing me (in English!) to everyone. It seems I AM her family. But her classmates/parents don’t know what to say when they saw me who has an Asian face. They just murmur softly and walk away.
It is still day time when we walk home. The blue sky is beautiful. We took lots of photos on the way home. Iris and I are super high!
Victoria is a barker. She woke up and went to work super early. She is a single mum. Only Victoria and Iris live in the apartment. They live in the suburb near Montserrat Mountain which we have a visit.
It takes 45 minutes drive from home to Montserrat Mountain. Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey is in the mountain. And Black Virgin was kept in the abbey. Black Virgin is a sculpture craved from blacken wood. It is rare because most Madonna are whites. To see the Black Virgin is free and the holy altar is beautiful with golden wall mosaic. But the altar is very small and too many people, so crowded…
Lots of hiking treks in Montserrat Mountain. Victoria said she comes to hike every week.
I am exhausted and she is still flying on the treks. Um, apparently she didn’t lie…
Victoria made a meal for me and Iris. The ‘Potato Cake’ impressed me most. It’s just simply egg+potatoes. Just like potatoes omelette. I never thought potatoes can go with eggs and I never have this in Hong Kong.
I read Benjamin Lacombe's Madama Butterfly at Victoria home, such a beautiful book!
Victoria and I was walking in Barcelona the other night. Victoria show me the secret graffiti place in Barcelona. And we walk into a big park with a huge fountain and an elephant (?). Then we walk to a beach. And we even have dinner in a restaurant. We have a (little too salty for me) Spanish fried rice (my treat). It was fun：）
English is not the first language for me and Victoria. But English is the only common language for us. We can communicate but we can’t talk deep. Sometimes I don’t understand what she is saying. And she is expecting me to answer. I really don’t know what should I response. It’s a bit frustrated…
And I tried Meetup in Barcelona. (Meetup is a global website. Free for anyone to register. Members can organise legal charged or free activities such as hiking, painting, dinning out…really everything. Other members can join if they like.)
I sign up for a free drawing-story-telling event. It take place in a café.
I arrive in the café on time. But I can’t see any likely drawing-story-telling Meetup group in the café. I even asked the diners who seem to be but they are not. I posed in the Meetup group chat but nobody respond. I wait 15 minutes more. Still nobody come. I give up and go home.
Someone in the Meetup group chat pop out ‘I’m arrived,’ when I enter the train. Other participants are showing up one by one.
It’s already AN HOUR after the meeting time. Is it a common sense to late for AN HOUR in Spain!?