Mixa will not be held responsible for any comment or opinions expressed by her badge.^^
When I’m taken from the bag, I see the day is bright. The sky is blue and not a single cloud dares to cross its path. I’m surrounded by books and people, and I soon feel how they open my safety pin and place me at someone’s heart level. Oh, this is so much better! From my position I have a 180º privileged view and I can see how the rest of the badges from the Laie Bookshop are given to a bunch of pretty diverse teenagers. For what I can manage to figure out, they will be the ones in charge of wearing us this Saint George’s Day, in order to get free access to all the book stalls from Laie in Barcelona, to find out what one feels like from the inside and to document the Dyad.
Wow, I had nearly forgotten today is Sant Jordi! Just kidding, with all the fuss around libraries it is practically impossible not to be aware of it! I hear how Gemma Muñoz, the head of Laie’s Communication Department, tells the recently designated “Laietans reporters” about keeping their wits about themselves… Today is going to be full of nerves! Standing next to her, Jordi Ingerto, ID expert and marketing specialist, reminds them the plan: interview librarians, pedestrians, florists writers… They have the green light to live as never before one of the most electrifying days of the year!
Nevertheless, before they separate and set off from the Laie stall in Casp Street, the youngsters talk excitedly and start recording themselves. I feel how my wearer’s heart beats gladly, just as if she is in her element. Ah! And I’m not sure why they are calling her Mixa (does she maybe have a fixation about cats?).
After having a chinwag and interviewing Laie’s Marketing Manager, (Nàdia Puig), the moment of truth comes… The most important wave of activity of the day is coming and it’s about surfing it or falling in the attempt! The main objective: to mix with the crowd and arrive safe and sound at as many signature events as possible! Which for my wearer include ones from Sebastià Bennassar, Jofre Martell and Pere Mejan, and Patrick Ness and Bayona.Oh my gosh, what queues! If I had lungs, I think I wouldn’t be able to breathe! The Sun, reaching its zenith, gets reflected on my surface and bounces back in flashes of light. Despite this, I feel the waiting has been worth it and Mixa leaves on cloud nine!
Luckily the worst has already passed… hasn’t it? From my place on the young reader’s chest I see how the hordes which are beginning to assemble, cross Catalunya Square to the beat of celebration and culture and, among others, flow throughout Passeig de Gràcia like turbulent rapids from a river. Sounds pretty discouraging, doesn’t it? But for my wearer it isn’t enough. She bites the bullet and starts rafting among the pedestrians without stopping recording with her smartphone everything that catches her eye.
The arteries of Barcelona are completely saturated and if they keep at this pace someone will have a heart attack! Dozens of people march as an army, trying to cut the way out to us, but I hold tight to my safety pin and shout a war cry (although nobody can hear it).
After a few minutes flavoured with eternity I finally glimpse our destination and jump with joy: the Laie Stall in front of Gaudi’s La Pedrera! At last I will leap into action! And that’s exactly it: once we arrive there they allow us to enter the book stall and we meet up again with the other reporters, who have also risked their lives in the midst of all these people. Booksellers turn around like spinning tops so I almost don’t have time to say hello to the rest of badges they are all wearing, but I can already see they are feeling a bit dizzy.
The Laietan Reporters also look a bit tired. The signature events have stolen a lot of time from them (this is the first time some of them have celebrated Sant Jordi in Barcelona and they didn’t expect such an uproar) and they are not sure if they’ll be able to get to all the signature events they had planned! One reporter even carries a suitcase full of books, although what does catch my eye is the penguin badge she is wearing on her hip (Hi honey! Are you a customized wedding badge? Because I think I want to marry you…).
It is one o’clock midday and the authors shift changes start taking place, just as if they were playing the musical chair (except for the music). Mixa manages to get a signature from the Catalan writer Care Santos and while she waits for the queues of readers to diminish so she can record a clip with Santos for her video report, she shares experiences with her mates and keeps recording some interviews (now it is the turn of a florist who evaluates positively what’s remaining of the Dyad).
Practically two hours later, the Laietans reporters start making way to the Laie bookshop/cafeteria to recover energy. The first round of the day has finished and it looks like the wave of people starts to retreat back. Not for a long time, though, but enough to be able to walk with a bit more normality.
Once my wearer has her stomach full again, she runs along with the reporter with the penguin badge (hurrah!) towards the Casp Street stall (where the Swedish author Jonas Jonasson will sign their copies). Soon all the reporters are together again, this time to interview the Manager of the Children and Young Adults section of Laie and wait for the moment to talk as an exclusive with Jonas Jonasson. When the moment comes, I realize exactly how much Mixa is enjoying herself! I hadn’t thought about it for a while, but her heartbeat is so nice I could sleep just listening to it. But there’s no time for that! It’s time to walk through the centre of the city and enjoy a bright afternoon.
Unfortunately, the clouds decide there have been enough blue skies for today and start getting rid of the sun, which fights back with all its strength. A wind able to sweep the Portal de l’Àngel rises, and ends up imposing a pouring rain that makes all booksellers panic. If I wasn’t plasticised I would panic too!
With or without rain, Mixa is determined not to miss the last signature event of the day, the one from the children’s books author Knister and the last but not least interview with the Catalan author David Martí.
Now yes, the Laietan reporters meet up in the Laie bookshop in the evening to finish the day with a selfie that, by general consensus, looks very good.
As far as I can see, my wearer has taken some very nice photos of her own of beautiful landscapes of Barcelona and selfies with friends. But the truth is with such a wonderful city and celebration, who wouldn’t?
At home, Mixa and I look each other in the eye. Today has been one of the most exhausting and incredible days of our lives, but it’s time to part. I think she will miss feeling so special with me on her chest and I’ll miss being close to her heart… Nevertheless we will always have this Sant Jordi and who knows? Maybe the ones to come too!