Days 32 & 33. Barcelona

lilla and kiala

After Friday night’s rain, I woke up Saturday with a sore throat and being cold. It was obvious I got a flu. I have some medicine with me that I took from Romania before starting the trip, but I was worried not to have the flu for a long time. Luckily, Saturday was supposed to be a rest day on the beach with not a lot of eating, so I didn’t have to cancel any shoot. I ate some cereals from Carla as a late breakfast, made myself some tea with lemon, honey and paracetamol and started sweating during one of the hottest days in Barcelona. I couldn’t leave the house, I was almost dizzy and had no energy. Shooting almost daily for a whole month and traveling more than 1500 km was also getting to me. In the evening when it wasn’t that hot I went out to meet Ana, a Romanian girl who works for a crepe restaurant in Barcelona. We haven’t seen each other for more than 5 years and she welcomed me with true Romanian hospitality. I had a salty crepe with goat cheese and honey, a super-tasty gin based cocktail and, of course, a tea. She finished work at 2 AM and we walked through the city, had some wine and talked about how affectionate and open Romanians are compared to the people in the Western Europe.

On Sunday I was going to shoot Lilla, Kiala, Macarena and Alina wearing Kiala’s jewelry (you can check it out here). I woke up sick again with a big pain in my throat. I had no mood for shooting and definitely not the energy. All these girls have been so sweet to me to buy me a place in a car from Montpellier to Barcelona without even knowing me, so I had to forget about my illness and go shoot. Alina couldn’t make it and Maca was tired after a long party so I only met Lilla and Kiala. Lilla was the typical relaxed American girl and Kiala, a mix of Arabic and German, was exotic and free. Both were taking the shooting really serious, even if it all seemed to me more fun than work when we were chatting on Facebook. Lilla was there first, very punctual and carrying 10 outfits, I was late for 30 minutes and Kiala was moving around from place to place around the meeting point until she arrived. Lilla seemed to me like someone you can really count on, even if it’s a professional thing or a crazy party. Kiala appeared to me as young, curious and full of creative energy.

We had a sandwitch, a donut, an energy drink and Lilla’s favorite, an avocado, and started climbing Montjuic to take photos. It was one of the most fun shoots, the girls being crazy and playing all the time. Kiala’s jewels were shining on these beautiful girls’ bodies under the burning sun of Barcelona. Lilla had to go to work so at some point it was just me, Kiala and her longboard. I was inspired by her hidden sensitivity from the moment I laid eyes on her. Actually, there’s a nice coincidence about Kiala, like all the coincidences I’ve had along my trip, but more about that later. Always in the spotlight, always shining, Kiala seems untouchable. But it was nice to discover a real friend, a warm person who cares a lot about her close ones. But back to beauty. Beauty that she says she hates, by the way. I wanted to capture more of that beauty, so when I proposed her to shoot some more she accepted happily. We went back to her place and took more photos, as her neighbors were spying on us from the building in front of her flat. We had some pasta and then I went home to change my clothes for a party that we were attending later.

At the party I met Macarena, another quarter of Barcelona’s Angels, who I had the impression was my friend for years. Warm and always happy, even though Sunday night was not her best one, Macarena is the definition of the enthusiastic, always funny, always happy friend. Macarena was the one that, a few days earlier, pitched my story to a very cool magazine, lamono, who now has an article about me.

After the party I went back home and found a really surprised Carla. “How did you meet the girl from Jamboree?” she said. Jamboree is the dance club where she works as a photographer, as for the girl from Jamboree, I had no idea what she was talking about. And then she reminds me that on my first night in Barcelona we were watching photos that she took in Jamboree. While we were watching I was amazed by a girl in her photos and said that I really wanted to shoot that girl. As she was not tagged and as Carla didn’t know her name, the story ended right there. Or so I thought, because when Carla saw the pictures of Kiala that I posted on Instagram she recognized her as “the girl from Jamboree”. So yes, another day, another karma attack.

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