A new friend, trying to calm us down about having no luck with the pisos, explained an aspect of the culture which made many things clear.
"Salimos de la casa," translates to, "We leave the house."
When Castallanos retreat, they go out. They sit in a cafe to sip an espresso or go for a long walk in the streets, which is real different than what I did in Oakland: put on my cozy slippers, jump on the couch in a spacious living room to watch a bit of T.V. or read the New Yorker, all by my lonesome.
Well, hello - your houses are so microscopic, who wouldn't leave the house?!
People here don't even cook en casa. Maybe one night of the week, they'll make a small salad (with vegetables from a can) and go to bed early. But for us, living in the Bay for five years, it has been the reverse - eating out once per week and cooking with vegetables from our garden the other six nights.
But now, we are Barceloneans, and we will adapt.
We found a piso!
And I ran down our new street - Calle Lleo - yelling this after signing the contract:
Not only did we land un piso but we celebrated in a bar in which hangs a trapeze. It was a happy day.