By Finley Daniels
“Seriously? You guys are here on vacation?!”
– some Spanish dude in the barrios of Malaga
It was 5AM when my alarm started its ghastly ringing. I was about to smash my phone against the wall and go back to sleep when I realized what day it was – we were finally going to Spain! The tickets were booked, I had already organized a hook-up for a Cannabis Social Club in Barcelona, we had bought a tent a few days earlier, and a couple of hundred Euros were on our credit cards, so we were good to go.
My friend – let’s call him Jack for matters of privacy – opened the door of my room, asking if I was already awake. I nodded and got up. We quickly ate a little breakfast and went through our luggage to make sure that we had everything we would need and nothing too illegal. When we were sure that we were all set we left the house, locked the door, and hurried to catch our train to the bus that brought us to Frankfurt airport where we proceeded to take the plane to Barcelona. Two hours of flying and drinking beer ensued. When we arrived in the Catalonian capital, we waited and waited at the luggage belt but our tent was nowhere to be seen.
“Fuck” I said “Now we’ll have to just sleep in our sleeping bags at the beach…” Jack sighed and nodded. “Let’s go to the lost baggage service point first though, maybe they know something.”
“Aight,” was my reply, and we went and somehow made the lady at the desk understand our situation, which led to her directing us to the belt for special and overweight bags and sure enough there lay our tent. We took it with great relief and left the airport, went outside, lit a cigarette, and enjoyed the Mediterranean weather for a couple of minutes.
“So how are we getting to the city center?” Jack asked. I had no clue but had seen a sign that looked like it pointed to a bus stop on our way out, so we decided that was the way to go and went. My assumption turned out to be right and after paying 11 damn Euros we were in a bus heading to the Plaça De Catalunya located at the very core of Barcelona. The air was brimming with hotness and there were beautiful sights and women were smiling and it was great – we were excited and looking forward to our trip.
I contacted my hook-up during the ride, and when we arrived at the Plaça we waited but a few minutes until he showed up and brought us to the Social Club where I registered and bought some of the best fucking weed I had ever had the pleasure to smoke. It was called “Green Poison” and had a light green color coated in beautiful white crystals only interrupted by the bright orange hairs that caressed the bud’s surface. A potent sativa strain. We smoked some of it and went to explore the city.
We started by walking down the famous La Rambla, which is the biggest tourist street of Barcelona and as such cluttered with street sellers, pickpockets, and, well, tourists. We didn’t enjoy it all too much, but it was a cool experience nonetheless, and the main tourist points had to be looked at, so we also entered the famous market that borders La Rambla and observed the tourists spending more money than some people make in a month on totally overpriced fruits and other foodstuff. When we had crossed the market in its entirety we reached a small square and decided it was time for a beer and a joint. While I was rolling some older Spanish guy approached us and asked for two cigarettes, which we gave him. He then started talking to us, but, as our Spanish was – and still is – basically non-existent, we didn’t understand a word. At some point he noticed that we couldn’t comprehend whatever it was he was trying to convey and so he went away. A few minutes later he returned with almost 0.5g of fine bud in his palm that he proceeded to give us. We were astonished to say the least, so we decided to invite him to smoke a J with us. We did smoke the J together, but communicating was an utter failure – it’s a bizarre feeling, really, to stand in front of someone and not in the least being able to express what you want to say. Whatever we said, he just looked at us dumbstruck. So we decided to not subject ourselves to this social torture any longer, gave him the rest of the joint and left.
Now it was time to find the beach where we would put up our tent and camp for the night. This is highly illegal, of course, but we figured that as long as we stayed away from the main tourist areas we’d be alright. After many, many hours of straining our feet we finally got to a spot that didn’t look all too crowded and set up camp. The night was very quiet, except for the huge-ass machine that smooths and evens out the sand that woke us up around 4AM because we were in its way – we moved the tent back a bit and went back to sleep until around 10.
We woke up in a frenzy because of the heat that had developed in our tent overnight. After we had managed to get out of this hellhole of heat, we started our day by smoking a fat J of the Green Poison and packed our things again. We then looked for something to eat and walked around town for a while before deciding to head to the Sagrada Familia and some famous art-park nearby. We took the subway to get there and looked at both attractions from the outside only because we were not willing to pay the goddamned entrance fee of 8€. I mean, eight Euros to go into a fucking park? Fuck that.
Anyway. Once we had seen both attractions we sat down in a small alley close to a Bodega, got some very unhealthy snacks, and started to get high as fuck and talk about what to do next as my credit card encountered some sort of problem and didn’t allow me to cash out anymore. After some back and forth we had a plan – we would not take the bus to Southern France we had booked after all, but rather book a new one heading to Malaga, way in the south of Spain, so close to Africa that you can actually see Morocco from the beach. So we went back to the subway, rode it until we got to the city center, and looked for a travel agency. After we had finally discovered one, we booked the 15 hour bus ride for 180€, which we paid using Jack’s credit card. It was already late afternoon at that point, so we decided to look for a park to sleep in seeing as we had been advised by some guys at the beach that the police regularly checks the beaches and arrests those trying to sleep there.
We found a park, but, alas, we weren’t the first ones to think of sleeping there; a bunch of mean-sounding and –looking homeless guys were already occupying it, and, as we didn’t really feel like getting robbed, we decided to just smoke a couple of joints there before heading to the beach again. When we left, we started to walk, but suddenly realized that the weed had been too damn strong – we were confused as fuck! As we stumbled through town, we had all sorts of very weird conversations and got equally as weird looks from people passing us by. At some point I reached into my pockets and had a minor heart attack; my fucking mobile phone and cigarettes were missing.
“Fuck man, we need to get back to that cock-sucking park before those bums take my damned phone!” I told Jack who looked at me in disbelief. “You really left your phone there? How stoned are you?” he asked. I just shook my head and answered “Too fucked up for words, it seems. Do you know the way back?”
“Nope.” He said. We lit a cigarette and pondered over the issue at hand. After a few minutes of staring blankly into the void of nothingness, we decided to just go back and check. It took about 45 minutes to actually get back to the park, and, for some miraculous reason, both phone and cigarettes still lay on the bench we had been sitting on earlier. I took both, and rolled another joint to celebrate. It was dark by then, and so we decided it was finally time to head back to beach. We got there pretty much without any hiccups, except for some asshole who somehow managed to sell us the worst hashish I have ever come across. We kept that shit to sell it later, and, when we finally got to our spot at the beach, decided to buy some more weed in the Social Club the next day prior to leaving the city, as we knew that there are no Social Clubs in Malaga.
The next morning we didn’t wake up of our own accord. “Policia” screamed a voice, and our tent was quickly ripped open. “Get up, no camping at the beach!” the officer said. We told him that we were sorry, gave him our IDs, which he checked. Once the check came back as clean for some reason, he told us to start packing our things. We then asked if we were going to have to pay a fine or go to the station with them, but he replied that “the first time, [he didn’t] see anything. Second time, it’s 100€”. We couldn’t believe our luck, thanked him, got our stuff together, and quickly left the beach area. When we got to a nearby park we brushed our teeth and washed our faces before heading off to the Social Club. Once we got there I went in and bought 4 or 5 grams of amazing weed for around 40€. We smoked some more, went around town a bit, and finally the time had come to get to the bus station. Once we arrived we somehow managed to communicate where we wanted to go and got shown what bus to go into. We put our tent in the luggage compartment, showed our tickets, and entered the bus.
The bus ride in itself was an adventure. Our bus driver was a perhaps 50-year old, coked-out, gray-haired Spaniard that did not have any respect for peoples’ sleeping patterns, it seemed. Every two hours or so the bus halted in some small Spanish village, which our driver announced by turning on all the lights and literally screaming into the microphone at the top of his lungs “HOLA, NOS OTROS…….VENTE CINQUO MINUTOS DE RECREATION….” and he did that every single time we stopped. At 10PM, at 12PM, at 2AM, at 4AM, he did not give a fuck! He was also constantly, loudly listening to some weird-ass techno music whilst doing 120km/h on the freeway. I am so fucking certain that this guy was on coke! Anyhow, after 7 and a half hours we got a new driver that was just quiet; no announcements, no introduction, nothing. He barely spoke at all, come to think of it. After having experienced the complete opposite with the previous driver, we were quite happy about that change. Anyhow. Seven and a half more hours of driving, stopping, getting high, and continuing to drive ensued, and the next day at 11AM we finally arrived in Malaga. We instantly noticed the burning heat that was encompassing the entire city. It was exhilarating to feel such warmth and see the clear blue sky above us!
We did not really feel like doing all too much quite yet and so went to a convenience store to get our grub on and buy some beer. Once we had purchased what was necessary, we walked for a few minutes until we got to a few benches next to some restaurant, where we decided to sit down, drink our beers and eat a little something. When we felt a bit re-energized, we started strolling down the avenue until we reached a beautiful tropical park filled with palm trees and all kinds of exotic animals and flowers. The beauty was truly mesmerizing, and, flabbergasted as we were, we sat down near a fountain and rolled a joint. Just as I was getting ready to light the spliff, a few Italians approached us, asking if we had some weed to sell. This was the opportunity we had been waiting for! I got out the shitty hashish and a small bud and sold both for 10€. Once the Italians were out of sight, we smoked our joint and laughed our asses off – we had actually managed to get rid of that bullshit piece and even made a profit doing so! I did feel a bit sorry for those guys, but, well, life’s life, eh? After we had sobered up a bit we toured the city some more, looked at a Colosseum kind of thing, and went on to find a place to sleep at the beach.
We woke up the next morning with burning feet. We had obviously overstrained them the day before. “Damn man, my feet are fucked up” I said, pointing at the blisters and wounds that decorated them. Jack laughed a bit at my miserable condition, and went on to roll our last joint, which settled our task for the day – we needed to find some new weed. And where can you find weed in any given city? That’s right.You go to the ghettos. We headed to the outskirts of town where the run-down apartment buildings stood. The place was really ghetto: all the walls were covered in graffiti, the buildings were unfinished shells, and many groups of African and Spanish guys were hanging around the streets. But we were in need of weed, and so we started talking to a few people, always asking for “Chocolate” and “Maria” until we found a few guys who hooked us up with some decent hashish, which we smoked right next to a police station. The thing that surprised us most about the barrios were how fucking nice the people were – if you walk around a French banlieue the way we did in those barrios, you would get robbed, stabbed, or even shot. But not there; all we got was a few bewildered looks, but that was it. We never ran into any trouble in those barrios.
Anyhow. We bought from those guys two or three times until we got sick of hashish. We wanted some green, and so we decided to head for the “Spannabis Cup” that was conveniently happening during the time we were there. Once we got there, we decided to roll a joint before going inside. I had just finished rolling when two guys approached us, asking if we knew where to find some weed. We said that we only had this mediocre hashish and were looking for some green as well. At that point the guys revealed to us that they had few contacts, so they called them up and organized like 4 grams for 20€. We were astonished by the quality and price of the bud and smoked two joints with those guys prior to finally going inside. The cup in itself was amazing – even though there were clear “No Smoking” signs all around, everyone was getting high. There was not a single person without a joint in their hand. We stayed there for an hour or so, looking at all the great exhibits and trying out some free weed that was offered at some stands, and finally went out again. We had some weed now, so we headed back to the beach, smoked some more, and finally fell asleep.
I awoke at 4AM or so. The first oddity that caught my attention was that the tent’s flap was open; I had closed it the evening before. Then I realized that my backpack was lying in the sand outside, and all of a sudden I understood what the fuck had happened. I quickly got my bag to examine the damage; my phone, my new laptop, my chain, and for some reason my notebook had been stolen. I cursed as loudly and obscenely as I could, and then woke Jack up.
“I’ve been robbed!! Those cock-sucking little sons of bitches, I will cut their motherfucking throats!!” I told him. He was still half asleep, and said “What the fuck is happening? How did this happen? Didn’t you close the damn tent? And where’s your chain?” I told him what had happened, and he started cursing as well. But the thief or thieves were long gone so we went back to sleep. When we woke up again our mood was bad but not ruined. We had decided prior to the journey that we wouldn’t let anything ruin our mood completely, and we stuck to it pretty well.
“Those motherfucking, cock-sucking excuses for human beings. This band of rotten scum, those fucking little sons of bitches!!!” I exclaimed, “I want my damn phone and laptop back. And my goddamned chain too!!!”
“Stay calm” Jack laughed. For some reasons he is always laughing when we’re in the worst kind of shit, which is a good thing technically, but not when $500 worth of electronic equipment has just been stolen from you. I cursed some more and bought a couple of beers that I swiftly finished. I was a little buzzed now and rolled a J, which finally managed to make me calm enough to pack our stuff and move on.
The joint I had rolled that morning had contained the last of our weed. we needed to get some more and once again headed towards the barrios. When we got there we were a bit taken aback because of the lack of people. There were not nearly as many people hanging around the streets as we had hoped, and those that were there all said that they knew nothing of weed. Frustrated, we sat down and smoked a cigarette or two when suddenly a white dog approached us and wanted to play. We entertained him a little when we saw his owner – a topless, tattooed guy wearing black baggy shorts and a cap. Upon seeing that we were playing with his dog, he approached us and introduced himself as “Joni”.
I immediately asked him if he knew where to find some “Maria”, to which he said to follow him. He brought me to an unfinished shell of a cement block still under construction, told me to hold his dog, and disappeared into some apartment. When he came back out, he had the palm of his large hand full of buds. I looked at him astonished and asked if that was really for 20€. He nodded and grinned at my surprise. I thanked him a thousand times and when he asked if he could smoke a J with us I agreed wholeheartedly. We went back to Jack and got really fucking high. The weed was amazing, and cheap as fuck. We made some small talk for a while when Jack had an idea.
“Man, do you want to ask that guy if he has any coke? I could go for a line right now!” I agreed and asked Joni if he had any blow. He laughed a bit and told us that he had some good stuff for about 60€, an offer that we gladly took. He brought us up to his apartment for the purchase and showed us that he had his very own tattoo studio set up in one of the rooms. I decided to let him go over my old tattoo that I had wanted to get rid of for a long time. We laid out a sketch for what the tattoo should look like and shook hands on the price of 50€ and made an “appointment” for the next day. Then we left his apartment and exited the barrios and half an hour later were coked out of our skulls, running around the town excitedly, talking at an incredible pace. At some point we arrived at a park, sat down, and smoked a small joint to come back to earth a bit. We had some coke left but didn’t really feel like going at it again. We spent about two or three hours sitting on that bench holding some bullshit conversation before deciding to go back to the beach. We took the next bus, and after forty minutes or so we were back in our tent at the exact same spot we had been robbed the night before. But so what, lightning doesn’t strike twice at the same spot….
When we woke up we realized that there was another tent next to ours only a few meters away, so we decided to check out who else was traveling the way we did. We approached the tent’s entrance and saw a blonde dude with a Spanish guy, rolling a hash joint. We introduced ourselves and learned that the blonde dude was Dutch, and that he had just met the Spaniard a few hours ago. The Dutch dude wanted to test out the “Law of Attraction” that says whatever you focus most on becomes your reality, and so he decided to leave from the Netherlands with no money and see how far he could get. It was apparently working out quite well, but not as much as he had hoped, which is why he was trying to hustle for some money to get home. After a few hours of talking and drinking we moved on to a more crowded part of the beach to look at some women. Once we had set up camp a Spanish guy with a broken arm called us over. He asked us if we could roll a joint for him. He pulled out a huge chunk of hashish. And by huge, I mean fucking huge! It was about 70g and was the best damn piece I have ever had the pleasure to smoke! He told us that he had just spent thirteen years in prison for murder but was now a reborn Christian trying to change his life. He was also constantly yelling at the women around us to take off their tops, which was weird but funny.
At some point I asked on a fluke for how much he would sell his entire stash. To our mutual astonishment he said for 30€. I stood up immediately and made my way to the nearest ATM. We purchased the hash, hung around with him for some more, and then went on to find a travel agency as it was time to book our bus ticket back to Barcelona. We quickly found an agency and on the inside noticed the date; our plane back was already leaving in two days! We hastily booked a ticket for later that day and hurried to the bus station as it was a good two hour’s walk away and we wanted to have some time left prior to taking the bus to get as high as possible. Upon arriving at the bus station we quickly checked where our bus would depart and then went on to sit in the grass next to some bridge to smoke a nice fat J. I realized that I wouldn’t be able to make our way to the tattoo guy anymore. ‘Too bad’, I thought, ‘I would have loved to get rid of my damn tattoo’. Once we had finished our joint we made our way back to the station, entered the bus, and were on our way back to Barcelona.
The ride went by rather quickly as we both slept a lot. The only minor nuisance was a police stop where all passengers’ IDs were checked to weed out any potential illegal immigrants. Our ID checks, once again, came back clean and we weren’t frisked and the bus went on. When we arrived in Barcelona, we were eager to visit the Social Club once again and so went straight to the next ATM where I put in my card, my PIN, and the amount of money I needed, only to find out that my asshole of a bank had caused some problem while transferring money from my debit account to my credit card, leaving us stuck in Barcelona and a bus to the airport to catch in less than 16 hours. We were fucked. But then we remembered the hashish that was stowed in my sleeping bag and immediately knew what to do. Just like Afroman said: “Sell your dope!” And so we did.
We spent a good five hours roaming the streets of Barcelona, selling our hash until we had enough money to make the trip back, buy two packs of cigarettes, two beers, some food, and a coke. We were exhilarated and took the rest of the blow and ran around Barcelona until it was time to go to the airport where we smoked another joint, stashed the rest of the hashish in my sleeping bag and flew back to Germany. At the airport in Frankfurt our luggage didn’t arrive. Needless to say, we were scared shitless. But, luckily, all that had happened was that our damned tent was sent to the special and overweight luggage belt. We were extremely relieved, and, by some miracle, there was not a single customs officer in sight and we quickly exited the airport. Now all we needed to do was get to the central train station to catch our bus back home. We found a subway line and entered it without a ticket. We didn’t get caught and managed to catch the bus back home just in time.
When we were back at home we split the hashish 50/50. Jack sold most of his stash, I smoked most of mine.
Looking back on this journey, it was an amazing experience. We didn’t have a goal or a plan, ran out of money multiple times, got robbed, hung in the ghettos, smoked, drank, and snorted like maniacs. It was mesmerizing, really. The people we met, the stories we heard, the adventures we experienced, the weed, the women, and, above all, the new perspectives shared with us that broadened our horizon and made us really understand that this life is not about hard work or drugs or being well-liked, but only about living it to the fullest! Being right here, right now, in this moment, and not stuck in the past or worrying about the future. Simply being alive and rejoicing in that fact. That’s what two weeks of living like a tramp in Spain taught me.