Naked and Passportless in Barcelona
If you’ve never had the pleasure of visiting the Spanish consulate in Barcelona I can happily inform you that they are the most relaxed and seasoned employees you’ll meet when it comes to stolen passports. The only issue was that I hadn’t exactly told him the truth about how I had lost it, or the Spanish cops, not that any of them had questioned it. No doubt they assumed that this was just a typical case of a naïve foreigner getting pickpocketed along Las Ramblas. But it was a little more embarrassing than that.
Her name was Aimee (sorry Aimee) and she was a fellow Aussie who I had met in the hostel dorm that day. I’d just come in from Germany and was keen to get down to the bar to watch the La Liga final between Atletico and Real Madrid. It was only about 3pm at this point, but we’d figured we’d get to the bar early and get prime seats for the game.
We started necking Coronas and by the time the game started we were fairly “happy” and getting right into the rivalry. The bar was packed and the atmosphere was unreal. We made friends with some Spanish guys who convinced us to barrack passionately for Atletico and continued drinking and chatting with them throughout the game.
Eventually, the game finished and we all decided to check out what the city’s nightlife had to offer. Aimee and I ran up to our room to get changed and do a few shots out of an empty tic tac box, somewhat successfully, before re-convening downstairs. Unfortunately, our new friends had left before we got back and we had lost our local edge. Not disheartened, we decided to soldier on, even if it meant having to hit up the typical tourist spots.
By this time the shots had hit us and we were still feeling the excitement of the game. I therefore can’t exactly remember whose idea it was to ditch the bars and head for the Parc de la Ciutadella is hazy, although I’d like to blame her. The park is locked at night, so after scaling a couple of fences we eventually got into the middle of it and decided that it was the perfect place to have an exotic, romcom-style public soiree. In our drunken minds this was quite romantic and certainly beat having to try to quietly do it in our 16-bed dorm.
Without going into details the patch of grass we were on was on a bit of a hill and there was a little bit of rolling around, so we ended up a few metres away from our starting spot. After the romantic-comedy moment was over and we’d had a bit of a laugh at our drunken debauchery, we went back to our clothes to find all but our underwear and shoes had mysteriously vanished. Along with both our wallets, my passport and her phone! After walking around for 10 minutes hoping that somehow all our things would turn up we finally found our shirts, which seemed like a pretty big win at that point. We put on our shirts and realised that this was a good as things were going to get, then began to deal with the reality that we were now going to have to walk through the streets of Barcelona back to our hostel in our t-shirts and underwear.
When the hostel receptionist finally stopped laughing he was actually quite helpful. We managed to cancel our cards, my passport and he even gave us a spare key for our room. The next day, still grinning, he pointed us towards the police station and told us to make up a story rather than telling them we broke into the park and lost our pants. This was probably good advice, especially seeing as I no longer had any identity.
Having had time to reflect on this bizarre disaster, I’ve come to realise the worst part of it all wasn’t having all my stuff stolen, I mean it’s turned into one hell of a travel story, but the fact that some guy had literally watched me have sloppy drunken sex in a Spanish park is a bit weird. I kind of feel sorry for him.
Cover by Hypotheis