Sunday, April 09, 2006

Caffeine Setback

I am sorry to report that here in my little studio in Barcelona's Old City, I have broken my coffee travel mug.

Which doesn't sound like a big deal, but I use it daily. It's a clever device that I have never seen for sale in the US. There are larger, cheaper styles for sale in the States, but nothing quite so ingenious as this well-designed one, which I think is from the UK. I bought mine in Australia, though I've heard there's a shop in Hong Kong where people buy them as well.

It's just an insulated mug—in itself, a useful item for traveler's as you can have soup in it or brush your teeth with it while camping—but it's got a coffee plunger that fits neatly into it, via a little slot. Hot french press coffee anywhere you can boil water, yum!

This one has made it through two years, which is also about the shelf life of my last one. I break off the little tabs on the plungers. Oops. My mother has done the same with one or two of hers.

Fortunately, I'm in Barcelona, and actually have no business making my own coffee inside when I could be in a café having a morning espresso. I've sung the praises of Rentalona before, and I'm doing it again; what a great deal they offer. I have my own tiny studio near George Orwell Place for 56 euros a night, and a visiting friend got an entire apartment just 50 meters away for 72 euros a night. Wow.

Barcelona is lovely. I was stunned when I got off the plane from Kuwait. Even the airport seemed so colorful after the beige desert. I went straight to a sandwich shop and had a bacon sandwich.

Pig meat never tasted so good.


Quim Gil said...

Dear Marie,
Came here via the Warren Ellis blog. I live in Barcelona's Raval too! Should you need any help and/or tips about the city, just drop me a line.
Can't help you with the coffe mug, I'm afraid.
Hope you enjoy the city!

scarfalonius said...

coffee angst. Aieeee...

Di Mackey said...

Bacon ... I did the same when I left Istanbul, still eating it wishing I wasn't.

Enjoy Barcelona, it already sounds incredible :)

Pville Peg said...

By the way, I want to say a loud THANK YOU to Marie for going to Kuwait (even though some people--not me-- thought you were crazy), thank you for giving it a chance, and for sharing your experiences with us. I've learned so much. Travel is mind-broadening (and mind-bending), not just for you, but for everyone who reads your words.

(I know you're stressed about finishing "Stalking the Wild Dik-Dik", but, you do realize that you've already written much of the sequel, don't you?)

Yarema said...

Do you have any telephone contact details for Rentalona?

I booked a flat with them in the early hours of 10 May, paid a deposit online, and got an automated email saying they would contact me with a Booking Confirmation.

Since then I have not heard from them, and have not gotten a reply to my numerous emails. The only phone number I have for them (+34 93 310 0826) does not pick up)

If you have a number for them, could you please either post it, or email me at

Many Thanks!

Yarema (a bit worried now)

Marie Javins said...

I don't mean to discount your concern... but May 10 was just yesterday and today is a Catalonia public holiday (St Anastasia Day)! I really wouldn't worry about it. It's a legitimate business with employees and an office and stuff.

I'm sure they'll respond. I've stayed with them twice and a friend stayed with them once, and there were never any problems though sometimes it would take a day or two to get a response.

Obviously, I cannot speak for Rentalona but I am sure your booking has gone through.