The Business School

Until recently, my morning walk to work led me to the doors of a well-reputed business school. Usually I focussed on the beautiful gardens and buildings, as well as the people walking by. Almost every day I saw something worth writing about, something beautiful or curious. However, Barcelona, like any city, has a darker side.

The morning I saw a man digging through the garbage bins located practically at the doors of the school, the irony gave me this:

The Business School

Dumpster diving at the business school, now that's a sight to see! His family’s going hungry, but he’s got a fine degree.

He did just what they told him and he doesn't understand why the speculation failed him when he bought up all that land.

It was easy! No one mentioned he was trafficking with air. He thought that he was clever! now he's closer to despair.

He lives near his alma mater until the bank calls in the loan. That could happen any day now. He could even lose his home!

He hopes that no one sees him as he's sorting through the trash. He doesn't want his kids to know that they're completely out of cash.

He bought into a system that turned out to be a lie. You must admire his dignity. he's still wearing a tie.

 

Compartint la vella manta

First post in Catalan! This one goes out to those who too often remain nameless. Any native Catalan speaker is more than welcome to correct errors!

Compartint la vella manta

Compartint la vella manta és amor, al meu parer. Encara que siguin pobres i visquin al carrer.

La mare els coneixia, "Són bona gent amb mala sort." Sovint és el que passa amb la gent que ve de l'hort.

La ciutat els menja l'espirit i els calés. No em preguntis pels cognoms. Són en Joan i na Roser.

Monetize your life

They walk towards you blindly, often stopping in the middle of the sidewalk, completely oblivious to the other pedestrians. Ear plugs in, they see only a tiny device they hold in their hands, tapping it hesitantly or in rapid sequence. Addicted to a parallel universe, deaf to traffic and bird calls, blind to sunshine and landscape, dumping personal information into the grand data base.

I’ll be generous; I’ll suggest a business model.

Monetize your life

Monetize your life! Put advertisements on your face! Crowdsource pursuit of pleasure, join the social media race.

Be the first entrepreneur whose business is yourself! Get some money for your data, you'll be on the path to wealth.

Remember this my Facebook friend, what you give away for free is a product bought and sold by some other company.

So beat the others to it! Don't be shy, (too late for that). Just turn the tables, join the game it's only tit for tat.

 

Designer Bag

It’s the fishnet stockings. I always try to figure out if there’s some message that they’re intended to convey. This morning, it was someone waiting for the bus. Black fishnets, not particularly sexy old black shoes. A non-descript dark knee length skirt. Holding a Louis Vuitton logo tote bag. And then she turned around. A unhappy wrinkled face, a cheap cotton foulard, and OMG, faint pink streaks in her partially fading blonde over grey dye job. This was in a higher income neighborhood, she was obviously not a homeless person. Just someone who seemed to have given up. And the first line came to me:

The remains of a well-kept wife walked by me yesterday. Her dye job has been slipping, since her husband ran away. Her bag is still designer brand. Authentic (I can tell). Too bad the plastic surgery Did not hold up as well.

Dog walks man! See it here!

In Barcelona, you see a lot of people walking dogs, and something made me take note of an interesting dog-human pair I passed yesterday. The dog was a low-slung dachshund-beagle looking thing, and the man holding the leash walked with the slow, jerky steps of someone with reconstructed hips or legs. Neither of them was in a hurry. I thought he was a pretty lucky guy.

Dog walks man!

The dog is out to walk the man. He needs his exercise. (The man that is, he’d never leave the sofa otherwise.)

They've known each other long and well. It used to be the man who organized the outings to the local pipi-can.

The dog now fetches other things than what his master throws -- medications, the remote control ...-- It's amazing how he knows his master's needs, no words and no command.

But if you've ever had a dog I think you'll understand.

Dedicated to 3 special dogs: Penny, Brandy, and Lady

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vocabulary: In an attempt to toilet train dog-owners, Barcelona city planners came up with the idea of establishing officially designated dog pooping areas in parks, and coined them “pipi-cans” (‘can’ = dog).

The red plaid pants

Treasures. This city’s sidewalks are full of treasures. He was impossible to ignore as I walked past him this morning. Barcelona has a silent dress code that makes anyone who transgresses it suspicious.

The gentleman in red plaid pants

The gentleman in red plaid pants stands waiting at the light. I wonder if he's dressed for day, or if those are from last night? A younger man approaches him, and whispers in his ear. Hand in hand, they walk away. I watch them disappear. Too soon to draw conclusions, unless you factor in the fact his absence is so short, and it happens all again.