Going Home

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I think that we still have 2+ hours left on this – the longest flight in the world.  Ten hours!  I know that people who travel to Asia think that’s nothing, but it’s pretty long from Europe.  Still, we are very happy to be on the plane, going home.  The flight is not too crowded, so I was even able to snag a row of 3 seats to make a bed!
I have never been able to do that – just too slow on the pick-up on my other trans-Atlantic flights.  By the time I make my way to the bathroom after the meal, I realize that other people have taken advantage and are already sacked out.  Apparently, there is no such thing as sleeping in shifts, either.  I tried to get my husband to move, too, but he is able to sleep in a smaller space than I am.
Still, sleeping’s tricky.  There’s the adjustment of those three little pillows they give you:  I finally stuffed them into my sweatshirt and that seemed to work well.  Then there’s still a lot of turning and arranging clothing and underwear and the thin blankets they put out for you.  I slept about four different times, getting up for lunch, and for bathroom breaks.  I slept through the Haagen-Daaz, though.  Bummer.
When we get off the plane, and after we go through customs, we get to go and pick up my rental car at Enterprise at the airport.  My husband is such the technical genius – I used Skype to check on my car – and it’s still not ready.  I don’t remember whether I mentioned I was in a car accident two weeks ago.  My little car is laying disassembled at the mechanics, waiting for the insurance adjuster to come and approve more damage found once the bumpers were removed.  It may not be ready for 2 more weeks!
Lucky for me, I was able to contact the guilty party’s insurance company and they hooked me up.  Good thing, too, because we didn’t really have a ride home from the airport.  As soon as we pick up the car, I will drop my husband off at my mom’s place to pick up his car, then go to the kennel and pick up my doggie!
My husband had made some contacts regarding a Bob Moog Tribute Concert that will be going on in February.  He works as a volunteer for the Bob Moog Foundation –  see the link for more info (it’s too much for me to explain) – and thought that he would get in touch with the organizers to see if they would make a plug for them here in Spain.  We finally got one of the guys on the phone, only to have him babble on in panic about not speaking English and insisting that we take the phone number of another organizer that did.
We called him and made arrangements to go up to his suburban recording studio in Terrassa.  The ride up was interesting, and we found his studio without much trouble.  He understood more English than he spoke, so I was along for translation.  He apparently has this big collection of vintage analog electronic instruments, and teaches classes in playing them.  He also sells recording equipment from his shop.  He gave us a DVD of Bob Moog’s visit to Barcelona in 2004, and called yet another electronic music guy to see if we could visit him.
After that, for my fee as translator, I insisted that we eat out.  We ate at a little restaurant called Frankfurter.  Yep, it’s just what it sounds like – sausages on buns.  We had the Tiroleana, an herbed Bratwurst on a bun.  And a Diet Coke, of course.  It was good.
During the afternoon, we took the metro to Montjuic and walked through some of the 1992 Olympic grounds.  Then, we made our way to the Poble Espanyol.  The Poble Espanyol was built for a World Exposition in 1926 or so and is a conglomeration of all of the architectural styles found in Spain.  The complex houses all sorts of gift shops and artesan shops, as well as as several restaurants.  It’s pretty touristy, and costs 8 euros to get in.  Being a Tuesday afternoon, it was pretty dead, but I enjoyed walking around (the weather was in the upper 60’s) and making my husband take pictures of things.
After we went to Montjuic, we had a tiny snack – I bought better bread for my sandwich later – and headed over to meet the other Moog fanatic.  We were advised to take a taxi, because it was “just 10 minutes away” from our hotel, and there was no direct subway line to get there.
When a Spaniard tells you that something is “just 10 minutes away” take it with a grain of salt.  They also seem pretty quick to suggest a taxi, even though they are not cheap!  Whenever you get into a taxi, the charge is already set at 3 euros – do they charge you for their time to get to you?  Then, our driver took two minutes to look up directions – charging us for that time as well.  Lucky for us, we got a ride back to the nearest Metro station on our way back.
Joan, the guy we were meeting, has an even more extensive collection of electronic equipment behind his official store, where he sells computers.  We were led through two doorways into what we joked was the Bat Cave.  There, he shared with us the impact that Bob Moog had had on his life.  He has met Bob a couple of times, and has visited his home.  He also was involved with bringing Moog to Barcelona in 2004.
Bob Moog’s death in 2005 hit him hard, and made him take a look at the way he was living his life, he told us.  Moog and his wife lived very simply (they were not rich, contrary to opinion) and Joan decided to a simpler life.  He has sold some of his instrument collection to benefit an orphanage in Chernobyl, for example.  He was a really nice guy.  He gave us many MANY of his CD’s – he also composes and records music – and offered any help he could give.
So, it is experiences like that for which you travel.  Everyone here has been so nice.  Hey, even the waiters that were robbing us blind were nice!  😉  Still, I will be glad to be home – I miss my doggy and my house – but not the cold!
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