Barcelona is a huge touristy city. It is more enormous than I imagined before came here. Everyday streets are full of tourists from every country.
Since I came here, I learned one very Spanish word which is used among Spanish people a lot: “guiri.” Its meaning is “foreign tourist” but contain negative emotion towards the tourist. As there are so many tourists, sometimes (or always) make some troubles to Spanish locals. Everyday in the daytime, many place are full of a bunch of groups of tourists which walk like zombies : in a street, a train, department stores, restaurants, the beach, the port and in front of Sagrada Familia or other Gaudí’s houses. And they are all called “guiris.”
I have been living and studying here in Barcelona for almost 5 months so far. (Oh time flies so fast…) I know more or less about the city than when I came here 5 months ago. I also use the word guiri for tourists in Barcelona, because my school is placed near from one of the most touristy places. Everyday there are so many people with a flag or audio-guide machine. I usually talk with my friends, “See that, there are so many guiris today.” When we had a discussion of tourism in our class, a lot of students were complaining about guiris. When I pass in front of Casa Batlló (one of the best Gaudí’s architectures) which is full of people with selfie sticks, I always mumble in my head, “What a guiri instagrammers…”
It’s funny. Because my classmates and I were also that guiris just a few months or weeks ago. (Or for Spanish locals, maybe still we are or forever guiris as long as we are foreigners.) However, since we’ve got used to the life here and been able to live like the locals, we automatically and unconsciously graduate from guiri and feel like “the cool locals.” We always want to be superior to others. Poor human. (I mean myself.)
One day I saw a Japanese guy in my school’s reception. He was talking to a Japanese receptionist to apply a course. I was watching him and said in my head, “Welcome to Barcelona Mr.guiri! Good luck on your study!” But at that moment, the receptionist said to him, “Welcome back to the school! How is your work here? It’s been a while not seeing you! But there is no more course which is good for you. You have finished the course last time and your level is already superior.”
I, hit myself in my head, “You ARE fucking guiri, Rumi.”