Gregorio del Laboratorio goes to Spain: day 5

August 24, 1999

Saw Seville’s Catedral (Cathedral) and West Indies archive today, along with many more city streets. I’ve enjoyed walking around town taking photos of Spanish store signs and advertisements. I wish I knew a little more about photography — not a lot, just a little — so that I could be assured of having a decent photo record of these things. Photography is perhaps a hobby I would take up if I needed another hobby.

Speaking of photography, I’m developing (no pun intended) a disdain for those tourists who, upon arriving at what seems to be a good photo opportunity, immediately take a picture without even pausing to figure out what it is that they’re photographing, much less how it could best be captured on film.

Joel, on the extensive system of labyrinth-like mines created by Spanish settlers in South America: “With enough slaves, you can accomplish almost anything.”

Got swindled today by a woman hanging out in front of the Catedral. She gave me a sprig of something or other and read my fortune from my palm — she said I would lead a long, happy life full of love, plus some other stuff which I didn’t understand but which was probably equally wildly optimistic — and then demanded 2000 pesetas (~$13). I gave her 1000 — still too much for 40 seconds’ worth of reassurance that I have a bright future.

At the track, the sight of the night was Gabriela Szabo, an absolutely tiny (less than 90-pound) 5000-meter runner from Romania. Since she appears to have the body of a 14-year-old girl, I find it difficult to believe that she can outrun me. Yet she can.

It’s been interesting to hear the national anthems played in honor of the various gold medalists. To my ears, many are rather trite. However, the Romanian one is in a minor key and sounds somber rather than celebratory (“a song about gruel” was Joel’s description), while the Moroccan one ends unexpectedly. Like this paragraph.

A not-so-subtle ad for the pleasures of eating ice cream.
A not-so-subtle ad for the pleasures of eating ice cream.

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