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Published: September 30th 2017
Geo: 41.2348, 1.81122
This morning was a sad one, as we lost one of the Ocean's Six - Justin was up early and off to the airport, for the long journey back to Calgary. Obviously, this cast a bit of a dark cloud over today, since our little group had been separated, but I shared a bit of wisdom with the boys that I had picked up over the millennia that my life has spanned, in order to keep our spirits up. It's never easy dealing with loss, but I have only found one thing that continually gives me the strength to go on, through the countless low points I have suffered throughout my countless lifetimes.
It's actually not a thing, but a person, one who is a shining beacon of hope and love, and who has provided a strong hand whenever I needed guidance, and a sympathetic shoulder to cry on whenever I needed it. He's my lord and saviour, JC - of course, I'm talking about Jean-Claude, as in Jean-Claude van Damme! Come on, who else did you think I was talking about, the other JC? I'm Buddhist, after all! And don't forget, the other JC and I had a
huge argument the last time we spoke in Rio!!
The thing I respect most about JC is the way in which he embraces the notion of self-help ... in the form of plastic surgery. It's his secret for stress - your worries have given you a furrowed brow? Have a shot of of Botox! Got some serious worries and wrinkles? Go for a face lift! Why be embarrassed about it? EMBRACE it! It's basically been a daily ritual for him for the past 20 years! Now, the only thing is that with JC, you need to make sure that you don't follow his recommendations for plastic surgeons because, well, it's obvious that they don't do a quality job, based on recent pictures of him. Luckily, I have some great surgeons in China, that help maintain my chiseled facial features and ripped body, allowing me to forever keep my youthful smile and wrinkle-free face.
But for real, JC has been my rock, and his appearance has inspired me for decades. Now, JC wasn't actually with us in person today, but as always, I carry a small memento of him with me when I travel. I like to bring the picture out occasionally
Ocean's Five ...
... yes, I know there are only four people in the picture, but somebody had to take the snapshot!
and light a candle, having a drink in his honour. That's exactly what we did last night, in a final round of drinks with the boys. I felt blessed that the boys were able to partake with me in a little JC worship, and I was almost brought to tears when I saw that Tri was especially emotional - I had no idea that he idolized JC even more than I do! But that is the power of JC - he has the uncanny ability to bring people together, and allow them to truly be themselves.
However, sometimes even JC isn't enough, especially when sadness is combined with an extreme heat wave - so to forget our troubles, we were off to the nearby beach town of Sitges for the day! After some sun, sand, and Señoritas, the question was no longer where did Justin go, and instead becoming Justin who? Sitges rocked - I had only been there once before, just an evening and morning before moving on to the airport, and had never before taken a dip in the inviting water. So today was a great day, especially since the temperature was rising close to 40. Renting some
lounge chairs and umbrellas was a necessity, for safety reasons - getting heat stroke on the last day would definitely ruin an otherwise awesome trip.
There wasn't much to do in Sitges, which was exactly the point - we'd been beaten up enough by the Mediterranean sun and heat the past few days, so a little beach time, a little kebab, a little strolling though the cute little town, and a little browsing at the market was enough activity for today. The second-best part of the day was having a refreshing Belgian beer - and the only thing better? Diving into an ice cold chalice of Belgian beer, and drinking it from within, like I did! It was like my own private effervescent swimming pool! Too bad I was a tad embarrassed, as I drank too much of the beer while inside, needing help after getting stuck inside, unable to reach the rim!
The final dinner in Barcelona ended up much like our first - with yet another disappointing meal! We had walked by the Mercat Princesa the other day, and it looked like an interesting concept - a bit like a gourmet tapas food court, with a variety of
Spanish Saffron ...
... even better than eating the saffron itself, will be when it's all gone - I plan on modifying the boxes into trundle beds for when the Japanese hottie triplets come to visit. The three extra beds can be used for their friends, the Korean hottie triplets, muahahaha!
stations serving different tapas, and the guidebooks seemed to suggest that it was a worthwhile place for dinner. But unfortunately, it was yet another case of style over substance, with subpar food served in a very cool setting, much like the other night El Nacional.
Our last night in Barcelona was a quiet one, due to the early morning flight home tomorrow - just a walk and an ice cream, before heading back to the apartment, for some more quiet time with JC ...
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