First, I want to share a puzzle. From our apartment, we’ve often heard what sounds like a flute, playing a small set of melodies. I guess you’d call them melodies. Anyway, they’re easy to recognize, and there’s never any doubt they’re from the same source. We just never knew what that source was, until we tracked it down outside the market, where I managed to get this video.
That solved one puzzle, but left another one: why? What is he doing? I’ll come back to that later.
I’m going to list this next guy as unique only because I’ve never seen anyone in the USA sharpening tools with this kind of apparatus. Seems to work great, though.
Next, a unique character I’ll probably never meet, but I’ve seen evidence that he’s thoroughly obsessed. We noticed an exhibition in town that featured the name Frieda Kahlo. That rung a bell with me, because I just finished a book about Henry Ford’s uniquely American debacle in the jungle, Fordlandia, and from there became interested in the River Rouge plant, and from there the murals of the plant by Diego Rivera, whose wife was Frieda Kahlo. (Following any of those links is worthwhile, IMO. Fascinating stuff.) Knowing not much more than that, I decided we had to see the gallery.
Here’s the announcement poster.
And here are some of the works.
There’s a pattern, right? I vaguely remembered that Frida did lots of self-portraits, but this seemed too much. After a little more research, I realized that these were not by Frida at all, but by an artist named Fausto Valazquez, who apparently has a fascination (to say the least) with Frida.
It’s only fair now to show one of Frida’s own self-portraits. Here’s my favorite.
In this self-portrait, Frida wears a man’s suit and has just cut her hair, leaving it strewn all around her. She painted this shortly after her divorce from Diego Rivera, who loved her long hair and traditional dress, like in the portraits in the gallery we visited. The lyrics at the top say:
See, if I loved you, it was for your hair, now you’re bald, I don’t love you any more.
Early in her life, Frida had polio, and at age 17 was involved in a trolley accident that caused her physical problems for the rest of her life. Her comment:
There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.
I’ll leave you to speculate about the position she chose for the shears.
In our wanderings elsewhere, we found this intriguing character.
He’s Carlos Edmundo de Ory, a poet born in Cadiz, a contemporary of the beat poets in the USA, including Allen Ginsberg, who translated some of Ory’s work. At home, the beat poets were tolerated, but in Spain under Franco, they were suppressed. Based on the very cool appearance of the statue, I googled, and was surprised to find several videos. Here’s one with that beat vibe.
She is my amethyst crypt
She is my lake citadel
She is my pigeonhole of silence
She is my wall of jasmine
She is my golden lobster
She is my music kiosk
She is my malachite bed
She is my golden jellyfish
She is my silk snail
She’s my buttercup room
She is my yellow topaz
She is my marine Anadiómena
She is my Ageronia atlantis
She’s my orichalcum door
She is my leaf palanquin
She is my dessert of plums
She is my blood pentagram
She is my oracle of kisses
She is my boreal star
Finally, back to the original video, the guy with the bike and the pan pipes. What do you think he’s doing? I think the roll of paper is lottery tickets, which are sold on the streets all over Cadiz, and every other city we’ve visited in Spain. I think this guy is a marketing genius, who’s invented a way to call gamblers as effectively as the sirens called sailors.
As I’m finishing this post, I can hear the pipes outside our window…