cafe con leche
CIEE Barcelona Program: Language & Culture
Semester: Spring 2014
Home School: University of Colorado Boulder
Whenever I drink coffee in the States I’m running to my 8 am class, hoping I have a spare $5 to give to the incredibly overpriced, yet convenient coffee shop on my way to campus. In Spain, it’s very different. No one rushes down the street holding their venti Starbucks as if it’s the key to their own sanity. They, instead, enjoy every taste their coffee brings, which I must say is incomparable to the states.
I've found enjoying a cafe con leche with my new friends has been one of the most enjoyable way to spend my time here in Barcelona. A few hours becomes a combination of endless conversation with new friends and incredibly enjoyable people watching.
One day after orientation activities we were having cafe con leche in a little plaza in the Gothic area. Two men came in the middle of the plaza and began playing lovely music. Within about ten minutes about several police showed up and actually ticketed him and confiscated his chello! Apparently in the city of Barcelona it is actually illegal to play music in the streets without a permit, something this guy clearly did not have.
It was a very emotional event for everyone in the plaza. People were yelling "muy feo" (very ugly) at the police in disapproval. The man knew he was going to get in trouble and attempted to give his chello to anyone besides the police. A guy in my program actually tried to help this guy out but then figured it was probably not a good idea to get involved with anything that involves the police! The police ended up taking the man's chello away in a large van. It is little things like that, that I have been able to while enjoying the Spanish tradition of "cafe con leche".