Friday, May 4, 2007

Strumpet City

It is the policy of this blog to report the truth as we see it, recognizing that this might be upsetting to some. Or indeed that doing so might draw the attention of the wrong kind of reader, lacking in the discernment that characterizes the great majority of our readership. But these are the risks we take in the interests of truth.

Thus, for instance, I fear that earlier posts may have given an incomplete impression of the nature of the Calle Valverde, where I am currently billeted. Not all is leafy grandeur and "My Fair Lady" like elegance. At least I don't remember seeing any sex boutiques in "My Fair Lady", though Henry Higgins was clearly more than a little bit kinky. So it would be remiss of me not to mention the two cheerfully decorated sex shops right here on the street where I live. And, I suppose, in the spirit of full disclosure, it seems only fair to mention that there are four more within a block on either side of the Gran Vía.

Now, lest any of my readers become concerned for my safety, I need to say that, from the outside at least (the limits of my experience, I assure you all), Spanish sex boutiques seem to match more the clinical cheeriness of their German counterparts than the sleazy, fear for you own safety nature of the corresponding establishments in the U.S. (Again, I must plead limited experience here). So there appears to be little element of danger surrounding these establishments. Neon? Lots! Danger to one's personal safety? None, assuming one has the good sense to observe from the outside only.

Then there is the following observation to be made. On Sunday afternoon, as I was figuring out the way to school for the next morning, I accidentally found myself strolling down the Calle de la Montera (which runs parallel to c/Virgen de los Peligrosos, where the school is located; the two are linked by the c/Caballero de Gracia).

tart walk

Gentle readers, I am not entirely clear about the literal translation of Calle de la Montera, but an accurate functional translation might be rendered as "Street of the Working Girls". ¡Strumpets! In hot pants! Plying their trade at four in the afternoon on a Sunday, right in the center of Madrid! With the apparent full approval and cooperation of the local constabulary.

This must be what they mean when they refer to "the new Europe".

The plain people of Ireland: Begob, that's shocking altogether! And on a Sunday no less?
The management: Indeed.
The plain people of Ireland: Tell us, were you able to get any pictures?

The management: Salacious wretches! If it's dirty pictures you want, I suggest you indulge your prurient curiosity elsewhere on the internets, that is, if you can unstick your fingers from the keyboard.
The plain people of Ireland: No need to get huffy. Just askin'. So tell us - "Strumpet City", that's a reference to that book by yer man, James Plunkett, isn't it?
The management: Yes, a fine panoramic tale of strife-torn Dublin during the lockout of 1913, booklink later adapted by RTE into a fine television series. Available on DVD.
The plain people of Ireland:
Strumpet City in the sunset
Suckling the bastard brats of Scot, of Englishry, of Huguenot
Brave sons breaking from the womb, wild sons fleeing from their Mother.
The management: dear God. So ye've learned to google, have ye? This cannot end well.

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