| We felt thwarted at every turn, and thought if this is what we experience so early in our travels and in Spain, what will we find down the road in Mali or Turkmenistan? But we didn´t feel too bad as we were still buzzing on the excitement of having witnessed that night´s anarchy and having stumbled across a celtic band/dance party under the shadows of towering Gothic architecture the night before.
The next day was Sunday and, although we were ready to move on, we resigned ourselves to taking it easy in Barcelona as car rental places were closed. Anyway, we figured our best shot at dealing with our equipment failure would be in Barcelona—and that would have to wait until Monday.
Monday morning, we hit the ground running. We were determined to make progress on the equipment front, but also to get out of Barcelona that day. We arrived at the video shop at 9:30—just as the gate was being pulled open and the sign was being flipped from "cerrado" to "abierto". We threw out some Spanish words such as "video camera" and "floppy disk" and used a lot of sign language, but they couldn´t help us. They did give us the address of a Sony service center near La Sagrada Famillia (Gaudi´s still in-progress life´s work), so we jumped in a cab and headed that way.
The first woman we spoke with said we could leave the camera and floppy drive (we didn´t definitely know that our problem was with one or the other) and it would take 20-25 days for them to check it out. Not an option.
A second woman arrived (with young son in tow) and took over helping us. She was all over the phone trying every angle. We wanted to find a shop that carried our camera model so that we might determine for sure whether the problem was with the camera or the drive and then convince them to sell us a new drive. But no, this camera (Sony TRV-900), which is quite popular in the States, is not sold here. We did learn that we could special order a new floppy drive from Sony Europe, but it was rather pricey (the Spanish I.V.A. tax at 16% didn´t help matters), and would take too long.
So much for that. They did take the camera and drive into the back for a quick test and returned saying that the problem was, in fact, with the floppy drive. Now we had to hightail it back to the room to check out before the 11:00 check out time. Cheap rooms were already hard to come by in Barcelona so we were pretty much committing ourselves to leaving the city that day. We moved our packs out of the room, stowing them in a back hallway and hit the pavement again in search of a car to rent.