Alone in Barcelona, I went to the city’s zoo. I saw half of a dolphin show narrated in Spanish, in a tiny pool, and watched other visitors irritate the animals. One man poked a monkey in the face with a twig to impress the girl he was with. She laughed and drew closer to him. In the centre of the zoo was a pebble-dashed concrete mountain, with paths winding up and around the structure. A peacock displayed his feathers to nobody, blocking the way.


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