Being in Barcelona always triggers a lot of soul-searching in me, although things have gotten a lot better recently after a fortunate if casual encounter with a girl who, like me, came to Barcelona, but stayed on for 10 years, after which she finally left the city for good. Coming here is nevertheless insightful as it provides me a way to compare what is, with what could have been.
I realize that I am seriously out of touch. When I speak to my friends, I talk about New Delhi, Sofia and Teheran, and the many things that have happened since I was here last, factually not very long ago, even though it seems to me that ages have passed. My friends, conversely, do not seem to have done much, apart from living their lives, tranquilly and peacefully in the same place. My sensations are reminiscent of the ones I had when I visited friends in Hamburg, or even Munich, for that matter. The only place where my kind of live seems to be normal is in Geneva, where I happen to be living. I have been suspecting this for a while, but it is becoming ever more evident that there is a gap between my life-style, conception of live and topics of conversation and almost everybody else’s. I am restless, global and troubled, while my friends are calm, local (in bad moments I would say provincial) and happy, even though many of them struggle with ordinary life much more than I do.
I am most astonished by the different of speed. Taking in so many impressions, locations and people has become so much of a habit that it is priceless to see how much beauty of detail lies in a life that is focused on a home in which you see people and things evolving gradually.
One of the themes relevant to the discussion of friendship in one of my last postings is certainly also time. Friendship intensifies as time is spent together and lives overlap. To the contrary, superficial friends nobody really cares about are made in a high-speed and super individualistic environment like the one I call home.
As my friends will enter into the next phase of their lives (I struggle already to get to grips with them living with the same partner for years), the situation will probably only get exacerbated.