The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, aka Alonso Quixano, was obviously not from Barcelona! But we met him here yesterday, looking for his Dulcinea, Aldonza Lorenzo.
This seems to be his place when he is here, a very fine 16th century house from La Mancha, in the Poble Espanyol.
And if you’ve never done it, please read Miguel Cervantes’s book, or watch one of the many good movies or operas about El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha. It’s marvelous!
You might have heard or read about what the medias call ‘the Spanish Revolution’, tens of thousands of mostly young people occupying, Egypt style, the main squares of over 60 Spanish towns and the front steps of many Spanish Embassies abroad, under the slogan ‘real democracy now’.
Young people with no future, as the unemployment rate hit a record 21.3%. 4.900.000 unemployed people, in a total population of 47 millions… 11% of the total population, including kids and retired people. 43% unemployment in the young population.
So, well, who got us there??? They think it is the politicians.
In Catalunya, they’re called Indignats, the outraged ones. They occupy since May 15th our main square here in Barcelona, the Plaza de Catalunya. And sleep there, Tahir square style, ‘Yes we camp’ is another of the slogans used.
What makes the whole story complicated is that we have municipal elections here on Sunday, and the law says that they will have to vacate the squares at midnight tonight (Friday), as the Saturday is a reflection day, non-political. They are recognized as a political force, as they say not to vote for any party…. So we will see what happens.
I don’t want to enter in a political debate, but guys, I am with you! This mess has got to change!
Above, some outraged firemen, bombers in Catalan. They would like the replace the socialist mayor, Mr Jordi Hereu, by Pep Guardiola, captain of the Barca, the Barcelona Football Club.
On more or less the same subject, a new political party is emerging in Barcelona right now, the Partido P.A.T.O (pato meaning duck in Spanish). P.A.T.O. stands for Partido Abre Tus Ojos, the open your eyes party. In their program, amongst many things, they propose lie detectors and intelligence tests for all politicians, the right to vote in US elections as ‘it is really them who lead us’, that politicians be fined for misleading publicity if they don’t hold their promises, and so on. Oh yeah, they should be dressed as clowns to be easily identified. Common sense, really.
What could be more Spanish than this; Sangria!
The Parque Guell, 17ha or 42 acres, was originally meant as a city. As every city, it has a main square, with a fantastic view over the city and the Med.
And there is a public bench. Just one. Well, it is the longest in the world, 826 meters, half a mile. The bench is in the shape of a sea snake, and decorated with broken tiles, in a technique known as trencadis. Here is a view of a part of it.
And some more detailled views of the tiles.
What medieval festival would be complete without them? Yes, them, the Spanish Inquisition. We’re in Spain, after all.
So, these people were walking around, shouting “repent” and, should you show the right level of contrition, “ego te absolvo”.
But, probably just in case, the hangman was there as well. You never know, might come in handy.
And I absolutely love the guy in the back’s moustache!