Spanish Fever, 8, Barcelona

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The Year of The Spanish Fever. Post 8

Spain gave the old student an enthusiastic welcome.

He was met by natives who enjoy visitors pursuing its languages. Barcelonans use Catalan among themselves but Spanish (Castilian) also enjoys official status.

By day, there are those beaches, boulevards and plazas with startling public art — they’re made for walking. Barcelona isn’t a dense and vertical place like Manhattan. It’s a San Francisco.

By night, the place is electric — or so the old man was told. The kids in his class regularly skipped first period after they had been out at the ‘discotecas.’

The Metro is cheap and reliable. The trains are full of school kids, office workers and grandparents with toddlers. Here are the faces of Europe, Africa and the Middle East. You’ll see beggars and pickpockets.

Topless sunbathers disappear from the beaches just as the time changes in late October. As soon as temperatures dip into the upper 40s, the city starts to parade its winter outfits.

The American’s favorite souvenir from Spain is a national treasure recommended by Professor Noemí Bayona Rodríguez: Radio y Televisión Española is a mix of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Country Classics, British Rock, Jazz, African and Latin American music — mostly by artists he would never have known. The diction is perfect for students of Spanish. You can tune in at www.rtve.es.

| LOST IN TRANSLATION | Don’t be surprised if a Spanish speaker invites you to ‘kiss the bottle.’fingerprint4-only-final-40px

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