Jueves Santo | In the Dark

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Jueves Santo | In the Dark


Today, Jueves Santo (Holy Thursday, aka Maundy Thursday), is a public holiday in many parts of Spain but not here in Catalonia, where all the shops have been open. I mentioned that Barcelona is not the most religious city in Spain and this is another demonstration of that. I am glad the shops were open because I used the occasion to stock up for the approaching long weekend.

Nice weather having resumed, the tourist areas of Barcelona were extremely busy today. I’m not sure what the Spanish or Catalan words are for Chuggers but they were out in force. One guy stepped right in front of me and I couldn’t avoid bumping into him. As someone who is often very nervous in large crowds I find this sort of thing very irritating. I gave him an earful (in English) and walked on. I still don’t know what he was plugging.

Like everywhere I’ve stayed during this sabbatical, the apartment I’m on is equipped with a Nespresso machine. This one, however, is different from the usual type and takes larger capsules like those shown above. While you can get standard Nespresso pods in supermarkets and other stores, these funny hemispherical pods have to be purchased in a Nespresso shop. There are plenty of these shops around – there’s one just over the street from my apartment – but it’s quite hard work just buying the capsules at them. You can’t just pick up a box of capsules and take it to a till: you have to queue to see one of the assistants who will try to sell you some sort of subscription. On the other hand, they also offer you a coffee to taste if you don’t know which of the myriad types you want. You can also recycle used capsules there. Anyway, despite my broken Spanish, I did succeed in buying what I wanted and will be sufficiently caffinated for the next few weeks.

P.S. As well as the ceremonial purchase of coffee, one of the other rites performed on Jueves Santo is the Lavatorio de Pies which means “the washing of the feet” and has nothing to do with lavatories or pies.

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