263. For the love of food

“My weaknesses have always been food and men—in that order.” —Dolly Parton

Truth.

On my backpacking trips, I usually scrimp on actual meals and splurge on desserts. Ice-cream, waffles, gelatos, roadside pancakes loaded with nutella and banana… You name it. It’s easier when I stay at backpackers that offer free breakfast as part of the deal – I’d eat up for breakfast and have snacks and desserts for the rest of the day. Occasionally, I’d splurge on a good lunch or dinner to keep my system in a semblance of an order.

Example of breakfast provided at a backpacker’s hostel.

This arrangement usually works well for me since I’ll be up and walking for most of the day and have minimal time for food. Hey, it helps the wallet too! 😛 I am in no way advocating this (not very healthy) lifestyle to anyone, as it goes, whatever works for you. 🙂

Ah but yet in Barcelona, I went against the norm and had some really good food. For everything I do not fancy about the city, it makes up for it by offering me food so well-suited to my palate. Om nom nom.

I had what was posited as the best gelato in Barcelona:

Not going to argue about the praise because heck, it was awesome.

I also had some fantastic paellas.

How can I forget the fresh and sweet strawberries from La Boqueria?

They were my de facto snacks in Barca!

I was also in for a pleasant surprise while wandering alone earlier after visiting FC Barcelona stadium (!!!). I’d stumbled across a random foodcart selling the most awesome churros ever!

The churros was hugeeeee and fully filled with chocolate! I mean, just look at that!! By far, the best (& cheapest) churros I’ve had.

But best of all?

I had Maggie ramen noodles cooked with so much love.

Wait, what?

While in Sevilla, on to day ten of my two weeks long trip, I started having mad cravings for ramen. There was no particular reason why; I’m weird like that. I posted a status on Facebook about missing ramen and lo, I received a message from an old friend, Sarah, asking if I was heading to Barcelona and telling me she had loads of Maggie noodles with her!

I was taken aback by the message because…. the last I heard from Sarah was back in 2009 while in the Australian National University! We were all friends together with the late Kak Ziq, whom I had written about in a previous entry. Sarah is also a Malaysian, whom I know is already back in KL, so what was she doing in Barca?

I immediately replied, ecstatic to be given the chance to reunite with a dear friend! It was amazing how things worked out because Sarah rarely checks Fb but that one time she did, she saw my post about missing maggie noodles in Spain! She was in town to accompany her aunt for a conference, and they had extra space in their apartment to house me! As a result, I changed my hostel reservation (the cancellation fee was waived too, alhamdulillah!), hunted down her apartment (now that’s an adventure, a story for another day!) and we spent the night talking away, eating and catching up. I was then acquainted to Kak Anis, a super inspirational & humble lady who’s an Electronics Engineering lecturer in UIA and who was in Barca to present 3 papers in a conference!

I was due to head back to Manchester the next day but oh wow, what a way to end my journey through Spain.

I am immensely thankful to have been blessed to spend my last night with the best of company and the sense of home. Barcelona ended up taking up a special place in my heart for reasons I didn’t foresee. Indeed, He has protected me and placed people into my path to guide me through the entire way!

Lots of love,

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