It would be easy to believe there is a national obsession in Spain with eating and drinking. It’s all the casual visitor tends to see as you walk around the place. I’m told it’s only the tourists that do this but I’m not so sure it’s the case.
Everywhere you go you will find food and you can get a beer in many of the train stations but not much else.
Some things are hidden and one of these is the washing of clothes. You can’t find a lavandería automática anywhere. Another is hairdressers. It you walk around in most towns in the western world you will see many hairdressers. Not in Spain.
COMPLAINTS Madrid 13th June
No laundries. I have to keep washing my clothes in the sink. My hotel room has a string with socks and underwear drying about, t-shirts, pants and then there is nowhere to iron anything – Fuck!
I don’t have any complaints – not really – the people here are cool, they don’t give you any hassles. The cities revolve around the churches where no-one seems to attend or perhaps I should get up earlier on a Sunday.
Madrid 14th June
I walked as far away from the traffic to block out the noise. On entering the park, I could smell the sweet humus of rotting leaves and the fresh smell of the greenery. I found a spot in the shade of hedged-in forest trees near a hidden tennis court. I could still hear the traffic noise but it was overlaid with bird song and crickets.
A man appeared with a small well dressed girl. The man seemed in conflict with himself, embarrassed to be robbing a tourist while taking his child walking. It was risky to do this with a child. The girl could be in danger but the man must have been desperate like so others at this time. You can see people selling toys to others who only buy them as a measure of charity, or so it seems. African men selling sun-glasses and cheap fans.
Buskers of all kinds, musicians, human statues and strange displays of floating gurus. There are beggars including old women begging in front of churches. The church is so wealthy, I hope it is doing it’s best to house and feed those who have very little to survive. I don’t mind tipping but people need hope and a way ahead.
Madrid 15th June
Death in Madrid
Death wasn’t a skeleton with a scythe, wearing a black cowl and riding a red horse. Death didn’t look like anything I expected.
I sat on the bench reading as a grey haired well dressed man in flat walking shoes and a grey cardigan strolled past. “Hola,” I said but the man didn’t answer. He just walked past and then stopped and looked around. I knew the man was DEATH. He looked around with a stupid but knowing closed mouth smile. He was death and I knew it somehow.
Is there anything to do in this country besides looking at old shit?
The tourist guides all tell us about churches and museums. Fuck this – I want to see how people live now, what they are painting now, the music they are playing now. Museums are for dead people. That’s right folks, you’re already dead because you gave up on life when you gave up on your dreams.
Madrid is a big city with a big city attitude but like most big cities is full of drones. Not all of them, some portend to exceed that mandate and are truly different.
Léon 16th June
..use smartphones to navigate through gothic towns and taxis to overcome the difficult parts. Eat 9Euro pilgrim meals at restaurants beside tourists who are eating a little better.
Todays pilgrim wears all the fashionable shoes and trekking gear. The best walking poles and sweat reduction underwear. Slazenger shoes, Salomon shoes, North Face pack with rehydration camel-back including GPS tracker. Sure safe watertight poncho with a special absorbant travel towel. Takes tablets to purify his water – spares no expense, todays pilgrim.
Todays pilgrim is a fashionable pilgrim and wants for nothing with the lastest in survival gear and credit cards – just in case.