Tue, 21 Dec 2004

Dinner with the Softcatala crowd

Last Friday I attended to the dinner Softcatalà organised for all of the members and supporters. Just 3 days after coming back from Mataró, I was on a train again for my shortest trip ever: less than 24 hours.

Softcatalà organises a dinner every year that helps all the contributors to put faces to names and nicknames, discuss a few of our problems in person and in general have a nice time. After two years of being heavily involved in the organisation, it was the first time I went to Barcelona to meet them.

Núria, one of the LliureX translators, came with me, as she's currently working on the OpenOffice 2.0 documentation Catalan translation. I arrived a bit early to the train station (for the second time in two weeks I arrived early to some place!), and while I waited for Núria to show up, I saw two police men asking two immigrants for their documentation. I guess I couldn't help looking at them (the policemen) in dislike as I passed near them. They apparently noticed, and 10 minutes later they came over to where I was standing and asked for my documentation, and searched my bag and pockets, for absolutely no reason. One of them took my ID card away and spent 10 good minutes asking about my background through the radio. After a while, he handed the card back and they went away, not even saying "thanks" or anything. As this brings some old memories back, they managed to piss me for the following half hour.

Just as the policemen went away, Núria appeared and we got on the train, which left the station 30 minutes late for apparently no reason. After a long chat, we arrived at Benicarló, where an 80 year old man got on the train and sat next to us. As he sat, he started talking to us, and at first we didn't react too much, as we didn't know what the stuff was about. He talked about how sucky people are now in our society, as they only think about things that benefit themselves. He asked "What do you do to help the rest of the world?". Of course, I didn't even try to explain what Free Software is about... :)

He linked this topic to explain us how fucked his life was, and how his family ignored him. Honestly, I couldn't feel too sorry, because just listening at him you could tell he was a very conservative man, with very sexist ideas and all of that, but neither Núria and I found a polite way to stop him and get rid of him. He kept talking, and every once in a while, Núria turned her head slightly to see how I was reacting, as she was about to explode in laughter. Everytime she did this, I thought I would burst in laughter myself, but we managed to show some respect for the man. In the end, we said we were going to the cafeteria to have some food, and fleed the wagon.

Once in Barcelona, we got to the place quite easily, a Via Fora! in the barri de Gràcia, where most of the attendees were already waiting around the table. We met Jordi Mas, Jesús, Mireia, Toni, Marc, Òscar and others and we had a nice meal, even if we were quite tired and sleepy and the place was very noisy.

After the dinner, most of the people quickly left the place and for a moment, it was just Núria, Toni and me. Núria and I would be sleeping at the house of one of her friends, who lived quite far away, and worked until 3:30 in a pub. Our idea was to go to the place to wait for her, but then we found Jordi Mas and a bunch more that hadn't gone yet, and decided to have a drink in some bar. At 2, we were kicked out, and it was too late to take the Metro, so Toni came with us to the barri del Raval, which meant a a 1:30h walk. We got there, and Toni had to leave, but unfortunately Ana wasn't home yet, so Núria and I had to sit on the street for like one hour until she appeared. At that point, I was freezing, and quickly went to sleep, at around 5 in the morning.

I woke up at 10 and got out of the sleeping bag at 11, just as Ana's flatmate left her room too. She seemed pretty puzzled, as she didn't have a clue of what I was doing there, but anyway... I left the flat before Núria got up (even if she said she'd wake up when she heard noises) and phoned my uncles, which luckily were around the Plaça de Catalunya area. At their house I had a nice shower, downloaded a Ubuntu CD for my cousin and had lunch with them.

Unfortunately not long after I left for the train station, as my train left at 16:00, and there was no way I could get one a bit later: Mako was already in València waiting for my arrival.