Yet another Towel Day has passed and we’ve been out proudly parading our towels around metropolitan Barcelona. Our usual tradition of taking the bike out for a special ride had to be dismissed this year since I can’t legally ride my bike at the moment – a story too complicated to share here – it has to do with paperwork and the full story will be blogged later.
Instead we had Towel Day breakfast at a café and strolled around La Sagrada Famillia flying our towels and trying to appear in as many tourist photos as possible. Later in the evening, after finishing my classes, we went to Parque de la Ciutadella to end the day with a towel picnic.
A fellow Versys rider from Greece was in the area this weekend so I decided to invite him for a drink at the newly opened Ace Café here in Barcelona. We spent a couple of hours talking about travelling and – of course – comparing our bikes and the modifications we’ve made.
Kostas is touring Europe, basically circumnavigating it:
This morning, as always when I’m riding, I was reflecting on life. I was on my way to an interview and I remembered when I started applying for teaching jobs in Sweden 17 years ago, or so – then I never dared to mention that I was a biker. At the time, the Swedish model for writing an introduction letter included a short paragraph about your spare time activities: I always wrote “reading, watching movies and spending time with friends”. Being a biker still had negative connotations and I have vivid memories of the dead silence that was the response when, during a coffee break, I excitedly told my colleagues that I had been out riding my motorbike in the lovely lake area around Landvetter, south of Gothenburg. The silence lasted for what felt like an eternity, until my boss initiated a new subject – autumn fashion. The subject of motorbiking was never brought up again, but for my next job application I did include “riding twisty roads on my motorbike” among my standard interests. My motivation was that if they didn’t want a biker – then they didn’t want me. In the interview at my next school the headmaster pointed out that something stood out in my introduction letter, guess what? And he liked it, “showed that I was independent,” he said. I stayed in this school for nearly 6 years – then I moved to Spain.
So, fast forward, 17 years and I’m crossing Barcelona on my motorbike on my way to an interview. Since I always ride in full gear I’m wearing a dress underneath my biker trousers and I’m bringing shoes to change into. The plan is to lock the gear to the bike before entering the school, after all it is a posh private Catholic school. However, when parking I realise that I have forgotten the pack sack so in the end I have to enter in full gear. Oh well, I comfort myself thinking that if they don’t want me then I don’t want them – and if they want me then it is because of my good qualifications and well-performed demo class and then it doesn’t matter that I’m a biker – or even an atheist.
Later the same day I got offered a job teaching at an academy where I was interviewed last week, also then arriving in motorbike gear. Fantastic, I’ll start next week. Great! I need the money to pay for the paperwork: I’m going to keep this bike after all.
To celebrate such a good day, we spoiled ourselves at a cat café.