The Chaperone in Barcelona
I spent last week in Barcelona chaperoning a group of 50 13-year olds.
I managed to negotiate a night away to meet a dear friend for tapas ‘and drops’. After a couple of days with teenagers (argh!), I was eager to find me-self some weed. And to smoke it (ideally).
I was getting into town a bit earlier than L., and she pointed me to a decent-looking headshop in the area. I checked it out online and it kind of looked like they sold weed there. I was intrigued. In Spain, it is legal to purchase Cannabis from a Cannabis Club, as long as you have a membership. Those are (technically) reserved for Spanish residents over-18 years old.
Aware of that information, I prepared my backstory in advance. I had just moved to Sabadell (where I was actually staying) and didn’t have any proof of address yet. I was staying with a friend of the family and all I had was the address and her name (this was kind of true, in a way).
As I walked into the store, a nice lady welcomed me. I was having a look around when she asked if she may help me. I replied:
“Well, I don’t know… You don’t sell weed here, do you?”. She looked at me unsure, at which point I volunteered the full (made-up) story.
“Oh! So you live here?”
“Yes… since yesterday only, though.”
“That’s ok”, she replied. “I can take you to a club and you can become a member – are you interested in becoming a member? If you’re living here you’ll be able to get weed whenever you need.”
“I’m interested in becoming a member!”, I screamed with enthusiasm.
Of course, I was interested in becoming a member. I was meant to be a member. And this would definitely make for a decent blog post.
She closed the shop, just like that, and we got on our way. As we walked at speed through the Barrio Gothico of Barcelona (the Gothic Quarter, my favourite area of the city – dark, mystical, and full of surprises), it did cross my mind she might be leading me into a dark trap and corner, only to strip me of all my belongings, or worse.
None of that happened. We had a great chat – K. is Italian and looks after her boyfriend’s shop. She’s been living in Barcelona for 4 years and she’s super nice. Also, she did not rob me – and shortly, we arrived at our destination.
Dark doors, no obvious sign you might spot from the street corner. This place is discreet. When you do stand in front of it, it says Cannabis Social Club. A guy arrives a couple of seconds before us and rings the doorbell. A gorgeous, insanely cool lady opens the door and welcomes us in.
“Just my ID?” “Oh, ok.” Like somewhere within me I was disappointed this was not way more dramatic of a procedure.
I handed my ID, 20 euros, and I got a piece of cardboard back (ie. My membership card) together with a big smile. I was in.
The Cannabis Social Club
I pushed the 2nd door to enter the lounge/coffeeshop/social club – nice-ish atmosphere, different style of people spread around the room rolling joints. It felt more chilled than most Amsterdam coffeeshops, less judgy. I walked to the counter and stared at the list of 25+ Sativa strains (the same amount was available for Indica strains, plus around 15 hash strains). Some names were followed by 2 stars – apparently, that’s better. No price. I took a shot in the dark and ordered 1 g of one of my favourites strains, which has been declared missing in Amsterdam lately (if you find it in a coffeeshop there right now, they’re lying): New York Diesel.
The New York Diesel State of Mind
I rolled a joint in a hurry – my friend, whom I had forgotten for a minute in light of my new member’s status – was totally waiting for me and the club had no reception. K. said goodbye. I asked for her FB, she gave me her number/WhatsApp. I’ve been dreading to contact her – should I come clean? I found L. and we strolled around, looking for tapas, leaving a delicious citrusy sent along the narrow streets while I day-dreamed (I mean, visualized) about the day I would live there, grow my own weed, raise my own happy chickens, and plant trees.
Much Love, A.M.P x