I wouldn’t necessarily call myself smart, but if you put me next to some of my 19-year-old peers, I would definitely stick out like a sore thumb. One cause I don’t look 19. And two, because I don’t act 19. That’s because I was raised by a set of parents who instilled the fact that if I wanted to succeed, I needed to be smart and outsmart my peers. I never went out with the rest of my students and growing up in a desert didn’t necessarily encourage sports. So I did what any 7-year-old kid in 2006, who did not own a gaming console would do. I read books. And I mean a lot of books. At least, until I moved to Barcelona.
“Time Life”: It’s good for a Lifetime
The year is 1961. Time, Incorporated have a meeting in one of their dusty, underused meeting room. Not a very important meeting, one would seemingly assume from the looks of it. But what they didn’t know was that that was probably one of the most important meetings that lead to who I am today. You see, that meeting gave birth to something previously unimaginable. The meeting gave birth to a new division within Time Inc, and it was called “Time Life”. Time Life started out as a book marketing division and then pivoted into a music and multimedia corporation. Because the Time-Life book division published a series of children’s encyclopedias. An 18-volume series that more or less included everything under the sky and beyond.
My earliest memory of ever reading something of my own volition was that very set. Absolutely mesmerised by the books and the information it held within its spine kickstarted my quest to pursue knowledge. So I read even more and quickly found a way to use said knowledge. Quizzes. My primary school had a year-long quiz competition that spanned 10 preliminary rounds, and a conclusive final round that was staged in front of the entirety of the school. Suffice to say, this should have been a walk in the park for me. But as luck would have it, year after year, I never won the competition, and only once made it to the final round. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty details of why I was unable to achieve said glory, but let’s just say that internal politics amongst the overly ambitious parents of the participating students didn’t help.
And now what?
So why am I writing about this 10 years down the line? Well, in 2017, I moved to Barcelona to pursue my education in Cyber Security. And as a self-proclaimed smart person, I find it hard to find engaging and challenging things to do in Barcelona. Sure, I could find like-minded people through meetups, but where’s the challenge in that? How do I emulate what it felt like all those years ago in that tiny little classroom, answering those questions as beads of sweat ran down the side of my head? And like a ray of light from the Gods, I stumble upon Imprfcto. Imprfcto is a surrealist Belgian bar at Parallel in the heart of Barcelona. What’s surrealism got to do with a bar, you might think. Well, I’m glad you asked. Sure I could write paragraphs on why so, but then I already have, so here’s the link.
Trust me, I’m leading into something
“But wait. How does this connect with anything that the rest of the story is about?”, you might ask. Worry not, my friend. This isn’t season 8 of Game of Thrones, so I’m not setting things up that don’t pay off (I’m looking at you David Benioff & D. B. Weiss).
Well, Imprfcto apart from its marvellous collection of Belgian beers has quite a few events spread across the week. From language exchanges to writer’s meetups, the week is often jam-packed with activities. All really cool things to do as a smart person, but it never really struck me as challenging. Until my eyes fell upon the blackboard that said, “Pub Quiz on Sunday nights at 2100”
A truly welcome surprise
That was it. It was everything I was looking for. A challenging nostalgic activity from my childhood that could finally get me through the mundanity of cybersecurity classes from Monday to Friday. My weeks quickly turned into a long and tiring wait till Sunday nights at 9. Every Sunday, my brain cells were getting the well-deserved work out it needed, and I quickly turned into a regular at Imprfcto.
So if you’re considering busting out that thinking cap you stowed away in your closet, just because you’re in Barcelona, fret not, because this quiz is definitely going to light up the darkest parts of your brain. From Eastern European history to advanced space travel, the Imprfcto Pub Quiz consistently steps up to the challenge and it truly deserves the title of “Barcelona’s official Pub Quiz”
Now I would like to end this very elaborate and possibly TMI article on what smart people do on a Sunday night in Barcelona by quoting my favourite author. Me. (And I thought this article couldn’t get more arrogant)
You come for the quiz, but you stay for the fries.Joy, 2019
Ask Max (the bartender and owner) what it means. He’ll start heating the oil, and you truly get to see what Belgian fries stand for.