Sunday, June 15, 2008

ward on the street!

So just in case you thought I was bluffing, here I am at my "stall" at last Sunday's Festival on Bloor. Yes, I'll do anything to sell a book or two - which was approximately how many I did sell that day - but it was well worth it to spend a few summery hours chatting up passersby with sexy pick-up lines like, "Can I interest you in a book about a long walk?"

Of those who didn't just pass by but stopped to talk, five had done the Camino and a good many others had an aunt/ friend/ co-worker/ significant other who was about to do it / had just done it / was doing it right now. Oh yes, Camino fever is spreading.

And maybe even getting out of hand. Reports from Spain indicate record pilgrim numbers this spring and a lot of unseemly sparring for beds in refuges. Much of the pilgrim deluge seems to originate in Germany, where popular comedian Hape Kerkeling's account of walking the Camino topped the bestseller lists last year.

"Hmmmmmm," I muse. "Maybe with a few more efforts like my Festival on Bloor appearance, the next great torrent of pilgrims will be Canadians, every one of them with a copy of All the Good Pilgrims in their hands." Or maybe I've just been in the sun too long...