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Observations on a New Life in Spain

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Anything Goes Beach

23 June, 2008 (03:06) | Living in Europe | By: admin

Yesterday was a gorgeous 28 degree (about 85 F) Sunday here in Barcelona so Mark and I improvised an afternoon at the beach. It is so simple here, with no car but living so close to bus stops and 2 metro stations; in this case we walk down the block and around the corner, where we catch the number 39 bus. It takes about 10 minutes to get to Barceloneta beach on the bus. (It takes me 6 minutes on my bike if I go non-stop). The number 39 drops us off right there, and the final stop lets us off across the street from our favorite beach – the “anything goes” beach full of (mostly Spanish) naked people. There is a chiringuito (shack that sells food) directly on the beach where the bus drops us off, pumping out surf, reggae and techno grooves, but we walk along the sand to the right for a bit to get to Anything Goes Beach. Lots of naked, not gay men. Lots of older women too, of all body shapes and sizes. it is great for people watching – but not for everyone. There was a skinny and very dark naked lady who looked to be about 92 years old, wearing only a thong and a turban like scarf on her head who reminded me of a lizard. She was an evenly baked dark brown on every inch of her wrinkly body. There was a handsome, mahogany color man walking along the beach, no clothes at all but he is talking on a cell phone. I decide he must do all his business from this beach, because he is the same mahogany shade from head to toe.

Another couple walked by, looking to be in their mid 30´s, with no clothes but carrying backpacks. They were Spanish, but probably from Madrid or somewhere with no beach. Catalans have a lot of conviction. A plump family of 3, all naked, playing with a beach ball, plopping in the water to retrieve the ball every so often. There were also plenty of gorgeous, young bodies interspersed, with a total “live and let live” vibe. There were a variety of skin colors too, from the extremely tan (completely tan literally all over) to the English translucent white to the Senegalese purple/black. There were a few ‘giant’ men, completely naked with white skin weighing over 300 pounds, splashing and flouncing in the water like they were 9 years old.

One man, possibly a tourist, kept sitting in the sand just near the edge of the water directly in line of where people walk up and down the beach. He was completely naked and had a full erection. He would sit there with a silly look on his a face as people made their way around him and past his erect penis. He seemed to be quivering and shaking as well. Very strange.

On the way walking back along the sand to our bus stop we noticed a legless man, naked, standing on his one good leg, rinsing himself in the beach shower. This is a disturbing image in and of itself, but in the context of Anything Goes Beach its just another detail and ultimately part of the beauty.
Looking down the coast of Barcelona the mix of beautifully modern architecture, old roman era buildings and 70’s style apartment blocks seemed to match the wide variety of people gathered on the beach.

At one point, as Mark and I lay there, marvelling at what a charmed life we have, a beach vendor came up to us holding a tray of fresh coconut meat on ice. We bought and devoured the two remaining pieces he had and were transported back to memories of our little cabana in Fiji where a native would come and crack open a fresh coconut from a nearby palm tree for our breakfast every morning.