Title photo: «Age of Empires 1» by CLF is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
What it is
Before I get started, I just want to say that I think I’ve been too negative in recent articles, so today I want to focus solely on good things. Despite the tone I often take, I sincerely believe the world is amazing and it’s unfortunate that life is too short not to see every last corner of it. That’s why I’ve decided to write about Cambados, a lovely little fishing town in Galicia about which there is absolutely nothing I can possibly complain. Let’s dive in.
How it was made
Like much of Europe, the oldest settlements in the area date from the Iron and Bronze Ages. It’s not so much that no one lived there before that, but in those prehistoric days “housing” didn’t really exist in Spain, and while people sometimes sat or laid down, for the most part they tended to just wander around aimlessly within the same 5×5 grid in isometric perspective until they died or were assigned a task indoors and disappeared.
Trade routes gradually opened and expanded, and things changed as the region, beset by constantly pulled hamstrings and bugbites from lying on the ground waiting for the progress bar above their first constructed hut to reach 100%, readily embraced the so-called “Castro Culture” and its introduction of holes in the ground surrounded by defensive rock walls. The ruins of some of these castrejas still exist, and I highly recommend you visit them if you want a glimpse into the past. Upon looking at the castros it is immediately clear why they were so rapidly adopted and, sadly, why it took so long for the Romans to conquer and civilize the stupid native people who lived there before:
“¡No batirán!, they bravely cried” – line 37 from the medieval epic Cantar de los topos de Pontevedra by Unknown (Photo by sa_ku_ra under CC-BY-2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
Speaking of Romans, an interesting anecdote about Cambados is that its small congregation of early Christians were the addressees of Paul’s famous Epistle to the Galicians. Unfortunately, the apostle was too cheap to pay for registered mail or a tracking number and his letter was misdelivered somewhere in Turkey to a place no one had ever heard of. On one hand, I feel sorry that Galicia missed out on its chance to be name-dropped by such an influential proto-incel, but on the other hand, fame isn’t everything.
Nothing else really happened in Cambados until about 150 years ago with the birth of nationalist movements across Europe. Fortunately, we’ve all gotten nationalism out of our systems long ago, so I might have to take off my spainsplaining hat for a moment and put on my historysplaining bicornio to define the term for you. Nationalism was a widespread fad in the 19th and early 20th centuries whereby people believed that if they fucked their cousins for enough centuries, eventually the world owed them their own flag and a shot at winning the Olympics. Also, there might have been some inevitable ethnic cleansing involved. A similar term that is often confused with nationalism is regionalism, which is where you and your cousin are still really into each other, but if you want to see other people you’re cool about it. Regionalism still exists in our relative Utopia of the 21st century, but nationalism completely disappeared from the globe (along with fascism) at the end of WWII.
Galicia was not immune to this nationalist fever and at the forefront of Cambados’ outbreak was the author and municipal bean-counter, Ramón Cabanillas, who, when not writing for the pro-cousin-fucking newspaper A Nosa Terra, attempted to inspire Galicians with poems about Merlin and King Arthur, the alleged Battle of Monte Medulio, and a bunch of other Dungeons and Dragons bullshit that somehow tied Galicia’s fate to that of the Celts, with whom I’m curious how much actual Galician DNA is shared today. My bet is on something between 23 and negative infinity percent. The dude was a nerd, is what I’m saying. It’s a shame most of his works weren’t translated into English because at least then we’d have 20 badass Led Zeppelin songs about them that don’t give any writing credit or pay royalties to the original author’s estate.
I think what bothers me most about Cabanillas is that he tried to reach as wide an audience as possible for his political (and, let’s be honest, racial) ideology and yet hid so much of what he wanted to say behind symbolism and metaphor that he ensured as few of them as possible would spend the time necessary to understand it. Why he did this, one can only guess. And my guess is: he was a coward. He was afraid of the consequences of what he was writing and hid behind allegory and allusion and archaic words and concepts so he could deny it later if necessary. What a poltroon. People with this little conviction make me sick. If you truly believe in something, say it plainly and put your name on it.
What I like about Cambados
- The sea—any sea—is always beautiful to look at. This isn’t the setup for a joke. I mean it. Go sit by the sea/ocean/lake and do absolutely nothing for a few hours. Don’t talk. Don’t dance. Don’t barbecue. Just sit.
- It’s also rightly famous for its Albariño white wine, which pairs quite well with seafood because white wine is what you drink when there’s no red wine and seafood is what you eat when there’s literally nothing else left. Imagine being that first human who crossed him/herself, stared into the ocean and thought, “Neandermaria, is this what it has come to? I’m going to put that in my mouth? My mother was right. I should’ve never travelled this far from the isometric grid. Oh, well. Maybe I’ll get lucky and those terrible grapes I ate yesterday were poisonous.”
Just because the human body can digest something doesn’t mean it should («File:Barnacles (Percebes).jpg» by Ned Dwyer is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0)
- On a related note, there’s also the famous Festa do albariño. Annual harvest festivals are common all over the world, but Cambados wisely makes it last an entire week to ensure nobody is sad when it’s over. Being such an important source of tourism cash and repute, they take this festival very seriously and no expense is spared. One year they even hired Alejandro Sanz to perform his legendary love song and fan favorite, «Who Gives A Shit? I’m Seriously Asking. Who?!» [Somewhere in Madrid a Catholic girl with braces and 80 stuffed animals just read this and doxxed me on TikTok.]
- Another thing I am impressed by is the relatively high standard of living. You see so many people driving Audis and BMWs and wearing gold jewelry, you’d never realize how high the unemployment rate was. Even their local football club is the highest paid in Spain. I can only assume it’s a sign of an economic miracle the rest of Europe could learn a few things from. I’ve written a supplementary article about it for ZeroHedge (see the notes at the end for a link) called, “Why you should all be buying Spainsplaincoin.”
- Additionally, I find the ruins of all religious buildings cool, but Santa Mariña Dozo looks like a Minecraft rendition of the ribcage of a dead whale, which is something I’ve wanted to build a cabin out of and live in since Free Willy came out in 1993. Stunning:
Seems that the wrath of the gods got a punch on the nose and it started to flow. I think I might be sinking — Ramón Cabanillas(?) («File:Igrexa de Santa Mariña Dozo.jpg» by Bene Riobó is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0)
- If walking isn’t your thing, Cambados has these little pseudolocomotives for tourists to sit in and stare out the windows. So if your legs work fine, but you want to look like an asshole surrounded by other assholes, yet at the same time your neck is kind of tired and you need a place to set down that Leica M10 you don’t know how to use and probably don’t deserve to own in the first place, there’s one centralized location for all of you to meet and be conveyed to the next douchebag wine tasting event on the itinerary that the most Type A dillwad in your group planned out 3 months in advance. It’s a 40-minute tour, so make sure you arrive early and stuff a lot of snacks in your fanny pack for the driver to have to sweep up later, you piece of shit. I hope at the end of the line the driver jumps out backwards holding up two middle fingers yelling, “Fuck youuuuuuuu….” and the train goes over a cliff into the sea with everyone onboard filming all of it on their phones vertically. Then the driver has twenty minutes to run back as fast as he can and start the next tour. It costs the city a fortune, but it’s worth it.
What I dislike about it
It’s a little too close to Portugal (ugh), which in itself is pretty bad, but brings me to my one and only real complaint about Cambados (I lied when I said I didn’t have any at the beginning). If you’ve ever lived in Spain you know exactly what I’m talking about and where this article was heading from the beginning. We need to talk about smuggling. Namely, the illicit and sometimes violent importation of this:
(«Manteigaria pastel de nata» by Kent Wang is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)
For years these burnt hors d’oeuvres have been snuck into the mainland through Cambados and sold out in the open (I’ve heard near schools, even…) so that Spanish people can indulge in their sick vice without having to degrade themselves further by crossing the border. Control of this confectionery contraband is maintained by several familial clans, the largest of which, I’m told, is called “Os Pasteleiros.”
This madness won’t stop until regular people in Spain have the courage to stand up to these smugglers. I’m sure you’re thinking, “That’s easy for you to say.” Well, I too initially thought I was safe writing about this in a foreign country under a pseudonym, but after floating an early draft of this article on Twitter for feedback, I woke up the next morning to a broken window and this lying on the floor:
Message received («IMG_8678» by bankbryan is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
How it could be improved
I’ve been saying for years that Portugal has to be taken care of while there’s still time, and that Spain ought to stop toying around with the idea like they have for centuries and finally do what needs to be done. Conquer Portugal. Call it “West Spain,” or “New Madrid,” or something. Look, I don’t know Spanish. This is your job. Come up with a good name, call up your weird army of hipster male strippers with their shirts open and noncommissioned goat officers or whatever the hell is going on there, maybe as reinforcements those police who look like 3 Musketeers cosplayers with plastic dogfood bowls on their heads, and you can end this tomorrow, Spain. I love you, but you’re being a bunch of poltroons right now.
Next time on Spainsplainer: Paco de Lucía is sadly dead, which means his greatest achievement will forever remain his relatively insignificant contribution to Bryan Adams’ 1995 magnum opus, «Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?» in which the latter spends 5 minutes doing an impression of Don Henley fulfilling a contractual obligation to finish an album while recovering from lidocaine.
Somewhere in Andalusia a 50-year-old Reiki therapist with a ponytail and zero socks in his possession just read this and vowed to kill me with his bare hands in front of all of his ASMR channel subscribers and immediately got demonetized by YouTube.