If you want to buy a rose in the section of Avinguda Diagonal that goes from Francesc Macià to Rambla Catalunya, they will tell you that you can pay through Bizum, Verse or in cash, if you are one of those who still has a euro in your pocket. Any of the vendors that will assist you can give you all kinds of details about both applications. The vast majority are girls and boys in their twenties, students, many of them Business Administration or Law, from Pompeu Fabra. But there are also those from the UB, the UPC, Sant Ignasi… future lawyers, doctors, experts in biomedicine, sports management, marketing or biochemistry.
Friends from school or university who began to receive their first clients after 8 in the morning, under a fine rain from which some protected themselves with awnings or umbrellas. “Because it has failed us and we are hoping to solve it in a little while” or “it is already on its way”.
Others neither have it nor expect it, as is the case of Marc, Santi and Alejandro, ADE students at Pompeu Fabra, who on their first Sant Jordi as sellers wanted to strictly follow the instructions given to them when they got their permit online. “It was specified that we could not mount awnings, or play music or use urban furniture.”
They ask us the prices that they have given us in the stalls that we have consulted for this chronicle and they decide to be the cheapest in the area. “Perfect, because we put them at 3 euros and we will protect them with an umbrella if it rains again; the first thing is the roses”. And it is that with what they earn they hope to pay for their vacations this summer, each with their partner.
Stalls for all tastes
There are luxury awnings on loan from a tennis club and others bought last night at Carrefour
Other vendors have plans to go far, such as María, Duna, Júlia and Clara, who on the last Sant Jordi before the pandemic raised enough to go volunteer in Ghana and now hope to raise for their expenses in Boston, where next year they will go on Erasmus.
They also offer some small homemade cupcakes (Maria has made them) that have been wrapped in cellophane and decorated with a red heart. Their stop is covered with a luxury awning that, they confess, they have borrowed from the tennis club to which the family of one of them is affiliated.
Nothing to do with what they bought last night at Carrefour Gabriel and Robert, who hope to get together for a trip, “we’ll see where.” Or with the stall without table or awning of the gypsies who, a few meters away, below Diagonal, announce “Look what roses I have, friend!”
Among its competition there are stalls of professional florists, and it shows: like Alfons & Damián, where you can buy roses for up to 10 euros, if you choose those that are decorated with exotic leaves and even a peacock feather. There they tell us that the important thing is to choose quality flowers, “the more petals the better, because they open by expanding, like a beautiful rose, while those that are sold as buds end up fainting and withering without ever opening.
a source of income
Selling roses they paid for a volunteer in Ghana and now they will allocate it to Erasmus
Max and Alberto study sports management at the UPC and they have to sell a lot of flowers if they want to fulfill their goal: raise enough to go to Mexico as soon as they finish the last exams of the course. Also Georgina and Lia, Marketing students and future Medicine student, have to get their act together to get 400 euros each, which is what they have calculated and which will help them pay for the tickets to travel to the Philippines in July.
Most of them have obtained their license from the City Council without any difficulty, “it’s one of the few things that makes it easy for you lately,” says Robert, and many of them have bought from some young distributors who sell to students like them. They could buy the roses already prepared, which some sell cheaper, or, as most do, buy the paper, or the fabric with which they want to prepare them so that they look more beautiful and be able to ask for approximately five euros. The important thing is to look for the difference, they all explain, although these differences, marked by sack wrappers or colored paper, are very similar.
Solidarity in times of war
In the flower shop of Maria Ponsà the flowers are crowned with thorns of wheat, in honor of Ukraine
There are some stalls where funds are raised for Ukraine, in different ways: some students sell cloth bags that will be used to buy pharmaceutical materials or medical instruments and there are also flower shops, such as the one run by Maria Ponsà, in which no Sant Jordi there is a solidarity post missing and that this year is dedicated to Ukraine. “And this year our roses are crowned with a wheat flag in tribute to the courage and dignity of Ukrainians.” A good part of its vendors this year are from there. “Ukraine loves flowers.”
A most unstable time
The weather instability in much of Catalonia is one of the factors that is most conditioning the development of this festive day. Moments of calm are followed by others of strong wind and the intermittent appearance of rain. Or even the hail, which shortly before one o’clock in the afternoon was noticeable for just a few minutes, but with great intensity, in the city of Barcelona, wreaking havoc on some stalls selling books and flowers.
The showers have been more frequent and intense in the regions of central Catalonia, with important electrical storms in towns such as Cardona, Solsona, Guissona, Sant Julia de Vilatorta, Balenyà, La Pobla de Llibert and Berga.
The Meteocat forecast service indicates that conditions could improve this afternoon