The Catalan: Three’s a Crowd? (I)

Attentive readers will probably recall mention of the Catalan discretely in few of my previous blog entries. Si, a third romantic contender spicing up the summer and autumn. We all know what a disaster the Mexican and the Film Guy were, so would I have better luck with the Catalan… had I finally found someone worthwhile?

Catalunya, for those unfamiliar with Spanish geography, is a region in northeastern Spain. It used to be its own wealthy principality, that is until it fell under the control of the Spanish Crown in 1714. To this day, Catalans are still fervently “nationalistic,” and the region might finally have an opportunity to jump ship from the economically sinking Spanish “Armada.”

Alas, what would Spain do without its best city? How I love Barcelona! So much that I have been toying with the idea of moving there. Could I really leave Paris? The sun, liveliness, and coolness of Barcelona is more than tempting and I so happened to need to start going there frequently for work. These new business trips have given me the perfect chance to evaluate the potential move, allowing me to get to know the Catalan capital—and its inhabitants—much better.

On a trip back in March, I was recommended to meet someone, an expert in expat life in Barcelona, by a foreign friend who had declared: “you’ll absolutely loooove the Catalan!” I instantly understood the reason behind her enthusiasm as I approached our meet up point upon catching a glimpse of this suave polo shirt and sunglasses wearing stud, think Tom Cruise early 90s. Que guapo! 

Smooth, almost too smooth. It was obvious that he was used to seductively selling his (professional) services. I sweetly smiled and nodded along to his charming discourse. After lunch he insisted on showing me around the area despite my pressing need to get to my next meeting. Could he not tear himself away from my delightful company?

During that first meeting I hadn’t been able to tell if he was mildly flirting or just trying to charm me into possibly working with him, however, his suggestion to have dinner on his upcoming visit to Paris gave me the strong hunch that it was more of the former than the latter. He was passing through for only two days, right when my eccentric friend Rose was arriving to stay with me from London.

This might not have been great timing as I could only manage an early dinner just before she arrived on the last Eurostar into town, yet, it was excellent timing on the romantic front. His visit came a few days before the Mexican’s project launch and, as I hadn’t seen him in ages, I was on the verge of giving up (well, that’s what I was feeling at the time, but you know how that story ended!). As for the Film Guy, he was lost in the depths of Burgundy for work and hadn’t sent any news for a while. As far as I was concerned, I was a free agent. Now the only question remaining was which cute summer dress should I wear for our dinner date?

I arrived slightly late to our 7:30 pm appointment, but there he was, graciously waiting for me on the restaurant terrace, casually well dressed and sporting his Ray-Bans. He greeted me warmly, complimenting my pretty dress. He was looking mighty fine himself, with a nice sunny glow from his travels. We chatted away, and he told me all about the company he was working with on these trips while I looked like a busy business exec, fielding the last of my problem phone calls for an emergency that had come up for the next day. Time was flying, and after our main courses, we settled on another glass of rosé in lieu of dessert.

”You’re looking just as pretty as when I first met you back in March,” he slid in as we were nearing the bottom of our glasses of wine. Someone giving me compliments? I’d almost forgotten what those were, with the Mexican and the Film Guy muteness. I most certainly blushed and made a clumsy attempt at a reply leading to my announcement that I would have to be going. We got up to leave, sharing the bill, this wasn’t a real date as of yet.

We walked slowly to the metro emblazoned by a golden halo from the setting sun. A gust of wind tossed back my hair. Had it also blown dust in my eye? The Catalan offered to check. Movie-perfect occasion to kiss me. However, he gentlemanly did not, though he did slyly offer to take me back to his nearby hotel room for some eye drops. But no, that was dangerous territory and besides I really did have to rush home for Rose. The perfect exit, leaving him in eager anticipation for our next encounter… but when exactly would that be? It seemed like I was actually winning this seduction game, could I be finally playing things right? Cruise off into the Spanish-Cruise-esque sunset?

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