ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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No End in Barcelona

Home to La Rambla, the only street in the world which the Spanish poet Lorca wished would never end, Barcelona is now enlivened by migrant Pakistanis.

After a long and tiring flight, it was nice to settle down to an early dinner in the Ramblas District of balmy Barcelona. The waiter who approached my table—a sharp-looking young Spaniard—was friendly, perhaps a bit too friendly. My response in English to his Spanish Hola made him switch to English as well.

In the country for the first time, I naturally felt compelled to order paella, the national dish of Spain. A few casual exchanges with the waiter about the city and the weather convinced me that this totally Spanish-looking young man was almost certainly South Asian. My switching to Urdu did not surprise him either. He said it’s mostly the Spanish and the South Asians who can tell that he is not ethnically Spanish or Basque. Originally from the town of Gujrat in Punjab province of Pakistan, he successfully passes off as Spanish for most international tourists.

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