The Doctors and Brazil

I sorted out my bus ticket for Madrid in the morning, I’m getting the 10:45 getting in at 14:30 and it cost 15 Europeans. The lady didn’t speak any Spanish so I wrote down what I wanted, it then occurred to me that tomorrow is Friday 13th. Crikey.

After a bit more lazing about I done a fair bit of walking this afternoon. The highlight was a visit in the Basilica-Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar. I suppose it is no more impressive (that’s not to say that it isn’t impressive) than many of the other Cathedrals I’ve seen on this trip but this one affected me in the same manner that the one in Napoli did. I think the difference is the lack of tourists. The overall grandeur, power and atmosphere resonates much more in such buildings without a huge Japanese tour group clicking away at anything and everything. I’m obviously a tourist myself so that sounds hypocritical and I suppose it is, it doesn’t make it any less true though.

The pattern on the exterior of the Cathedral turrets remind me very much of the Brazil flag, here is the best example I can find for you to judge for yourselves.

I’m absolutely dying to watch a decent film now, when I get back in Blighty in December there will be a full on cinematic blitz on the go in the Bowen household. To ease my cravings I found the street in Zaragoza’s city centre that I thought most likely to have a cinema on it and proceeded to walk down it, my instincts proved correct as within a quarter mile I’d found one.

‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’ was the only thing that I remotely fancied. I queued up for a ticket and then enquired if the film was dubbed or with subtitles, dubbed! Philistines! Just like the French and the Italians! I don’t understand why anyone would want to watch a film in that capacity, it completely ruins it. I thought we were supposed to be the uncultured ones.

I once bought a cheap copy of the ‘The Seventh Seal’ not realising it was dubbed, some dodgy American accent not remotely in sync with lip movement of the Swedish dialogue kind of spoilt the mood just a tab. Just say no!

Anyway, as much as I’m curious to see Heath Ledger’s last film, it was propably a lucky escape. I’m not that big a fan, ‘Brazil’ never done it for me and I think ‘Twelve Monkeys’ is overrated.

I had a €5 spaghetti carbonara at a little joint on the same street as the hostel called El Papeo. It was standard fare really but nice enough.

The authentic Tapas experience I’m after can wait until Madrid where I will have mates to share the embarassment of making a complete pig’s ear of the order (though you can probably actually order pig’s ears). I’ve been tempted a few times but not that many people seem to speak English so I never know how much anything is and it’s bad hobo style to just point and order without knowing the price of stuff, that path leads to early flights home. My mate Topi used to go out with a Spanish girl so he must know the score, I hereby appoint him the ‘Tapas Sheriff’ for the Madrid trip.

Dr. Dog (who I first discovered earlier in the year when I saw them at a free festival in Brooklyn) have been providing my musical enjoyment today. Specifically the 2006 EP ‘Takers and Leavers’ and their 3rd full lentgh album from 2005, ‘Easy Beat’. The mood, style and tone are all pretty similar in both and though from what I’ve read they see to be have been received pretty poorly in the music press, I like them. The Beatles influence is obvious but there’s more to it than that, it’s just good time rock ‘n roll with a bit of Americana and psychedelia mixed in for good measure. For my money they do the Ben Folds Five thing better than Ben Folds Five themselves. I’ve another 2 albums of theirs to listen to and I will do so with relish.

Oh yes, I discovered that the large group of Germans I suspected of being some sort of youth group are actually an amateur theatre group here to learn Spanish. The way they seem to learn Spanish is by hanging about the hostel all day acting like tools while talking in German to each other. I’ve met some very slick Germans in my time, but I have to say that no one does uncool and gimpy quite like the folks from the Deutsche-Land.

Search of the day: ‘jewish boy eating a sausage’. Come one Google, what’s that about!?!

The photo is of the Cathedral which I took from a bridge overlooking the River Ebro.



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