It seems that the film set on the Camino (“The Way”) won't actually be released in the USA until after the summer, reducing its impact on this year's pilgrim numbers. The IMDB entry says it was filmed partly in Burgos cathedral and makes no mention of Santiago cathedral. Which is odd as special permission for filming there was given to the makers. I tried to correct the IMDB comment today but screwed things up. Maybe tomorrow.
To say the least, brothels are very visible in Spain. Largely because they're lit up in pink neon at night and because they're nearly always called Club or something like Motel Venus or Factory Girls, to name two of the three we have in Poio. Here's a blog on the subject from someone who has an advantage over me; he's been inside one. And here's a picture of a road sign to said Motel Venus.
You might take this to be a normal motel, if it didn't boast of having 2x2 beds, whatever they might be. Big enough for 4 people, perhaps. Incidentally, the Spanish government is talking of banning the (exceptionally explicit) brothel ads which fill the back pages of local and regional papers. It'll be interesting to see if this actually happens.
Talking of Poio, I finally happened upon the Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón) museum today, while looking for something else. Being a holiday, it was naturally closed. Another day, then.
A couple of days ago I gave Google a bouquet for being so good at stopping spam getting into my Inbox. And now comes a brickbat for News Now. This company provides an excellent citation service but its filters are useless. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to 'Hide' some weird journal or other. But still they come!
Which reminds me . . . I see that Google Labs is to be scrapped. This news might mean more to me if I had any idea what it is. Or was.
'Solidarity' is a word much bandied about in Spain and the EU. In my experience, when an institution, a country or a region is accused of lacking solidarity it means they've decided to stop subsidising some other institution, country or region. It's the bleat of the deprived. Meaning “Give us more of your money and stop asking questions”. I suspect Germany is going to be regularly accused of failing to show solidarity in the years to come.
Interesting to see Paul O'Grady doing a bit of moonlighting as someone interested in a pension from Banco Pastor, the Spanish bank which failed the recent stress tests.
Following hard on the heels of “Rivers of Gold”, I've now finished Amin Maalouf's “Samarkand”. This has not only re-awakened my interest in Omar Khayam's “Rubaiyat” (and all matters Persian) but has also strengthened my long-standing resolve to visit the eponymous city. I first encountered the “Rubaiyat”, by the way, when I was 18 or 19, several years before I went to live in Iran and learnt Persian. But, anyway, I rather liked this comment from one of the main characters, very near the end of the novel:- “We should have been patient and waited, used tricks, procrastinated, yielded, told lies and given promises; that has always been the wisdom of the Orient.” And so visible in Arabic as well as Iranian culture(s).
Finally . . . What to say on the EU and the euro? It seems everyone agrees that a significant step has been taken, that disaster has been averted and panic nipped in the bud. But nobody thinks it's enough or that the underlying structural problems have been solved. Or even tackled. A false calm, then? Will the narrative cycle I described the other night resume? Has it already started? Will it wait for the European August shut-down? I suspect not. Per ardua ad astra.
One thing that can be said it that it's ironic that it was the European-owned Fitch ratings agency which responded by downgrading Greek debt. This was supposed to be an Anglo conspiracy.