Travel Update: They’re Speaking Catalan, or I’ve Totally Forgotten Spanish

Made it to Barcelona!

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Out for a walk by the sea

Badalona more specifically, which is a small suburb 25 minutes outside Plaça Catalunya, traffic willing.  I had my first day of au pairship yesterday and also finished reading The South by Colm Tóibín, my selection for this city.  Turns out that The South was a good choice as it covers the experience of an émigré in Spain.  I definitely related to the main character, the runaway housewife and artist Katherine Proctor, more than I care to admit.  The setting is split between Barcelona and various locations in Tóibín’s native Ireland, also convenient given my plans to travel there next.

Badalona is quite nice, with a lovely beach and a bustling commercial zone.  My Spanish class starts next week, but my education has already begun…  In addition to reupping my familiarity with Spanish, I’m getting an earful of Catalan.  It’s the primary language here (95% of the region at least understands Catalan, although most people speak Spanish as well).  It has a full, wonderful sound, and though it resembles Spanish, a language I studied off and on for most of my life, I can’t yet understand much.  I’m working on changing that by studying alongside my host family’s daughter.

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Learning basic Catalan

Today I’ll head into Barcelona to see the city for the first time, practice public transit, and explore the neighborhood where I’ll be taking Spanish classes.  ¡Deséeme suerte! / ¡Desitja’m sort! (Spanish / Catalan).

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