The Weekly Don Quixote: A Shopping Spree On The Moon!

Many moons ago, when I was a student, I worked in a pharmacy on Finchley Road near Swiss Cottage in London. My co-worker Gaspar, whose family was from Goa, used to joke that Indians were to be found absolutely everywhere, even on the moon.

Well, it looks like they are in very good company up there! My lovely intercambio Raquel sent me this publicity poster last week, announcing Ciudad Real’s annual La Noche Blanca festival:

It's a publicity poster for an annual festival.  Note that our two heroes are laden with shopping bags... anything to stimulate the lunar economy!

Note that our two heroes are laden with shopping bags… anything to stimulate the lunar economy!

I’ve never been to Ciudad Real, although it’s not all that far from Toledo. By virtue of being situated in the Castilla-La Mancha region, the town maxes its Don Quixote connection at any given opportunity.

Ciudad Real hit the headlines in the past with its infamous Don Quixote International Airport, which cost €1.1 billion to build, filed for bankruptcy within months after opening and finally closed its doors in 2012. It only ever managed to attract the interest of a single low-cost airline. The city, with a population of around 75,000, is way too small to support an airport, and it’s not exactly a tourist destination (everybody I’ve spoken to says it’s ugly).

Don Quixote Airport is frequently paraded as Spain’s number one example of the many misguided investments, which pushed the country over the edge into its ever-deepening economic crisis.

And although the Honourable Knight is utterly blameless when it comes to ill-fated modern-day investment decisions, there’s more than just a hint of irony in him lending his name to a venture, which not only failed so spectacularly, but which was doomed from the very beginning.

[For the other posts in the Weekly Don Quixote series, click here.]

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23 thoughts on “The Weekly Don Quixote: A Shopping Spree On The Moon!

  1. northern_star

    Lol! I do like the fact our heroes are on moon with shopping bags! But the airport wasn’t their fault! I won’t have it said.

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      1. Expat Eye

        So big I’m putting it off! Have some stuff in the suitcase – looks like a lot but not nearly enough for 5 weeks. So I’m taking a break. 😉

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      2. ladyofthecakes Post author

        Sounds familiar…!
        Not packing enough is a good excuse to go shopping. Imagine all those non-animal print outfits waiting for you in the Midlands! And Clarks shoes! (I assume that comfy shoes are banned in Latvia)

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  2. Anna

    I have never even heard of Ciudad Real before this. Or if I had (in my Spanish orientation course), I promptly forgot. Too bad about the airport fail – I remember traveling around Spain in 2004 and being in awe of how much investment has been recently put into roads, rail, airports, etc. It was really impressive, and more importantly, promising – of the development/brighter future/econ boom to come. Too bad how it turned out.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      It is really sad to see all those half-finished buildings dotted about all over the place. In Toledo, they had started to build an enormous hospital, but it just stands there now, an unfinished concrete shell never to be completed.

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  3. pollyheath

    That airport story is wild. I’d never heard about it, but no surprise the economy’s in such a rut if those are the things being financed! Too bad even Don Quixote couldn’t save that investment.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      I was just thinking… I’d quite fancy visiting that abandoned airport… though I doubt they’d let you in. Another missed business opportunity, if you ask me!

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      1. pollyheath

        Seriously! I love urban exploring — seems like a good opportunity to grab a flashlight and explore!

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  4. northern_star

    I love the fact that they are in the moon with shopping bags. But the airport is not their faults. I won’t have it.

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