Sunday, December 28, 2008

Spain Trip - Part 3

Ain't Gettin' in No Glass Elevator, Fool.

Living in north England, I don't see too many buildings with more than three storeys. This is where my fear of heights may come from. As you can see, Benidorm has a lot of tall buildings, probably nowhere as tall as ones you might find in New York or Tokyo. But they're tall enough for this vertigo sufferer.

The boats in the harbour give a sense of perspective. Just looking up at the rooftops made me feel dizzy. Is it possible to get vertigo from gazing upwards? I think so, though this was the first time I'd experienced it.

The one advantage of talls buildings is that you get a good view, at least for the brief period you dare look out of the window. My hotel room certainly had a view, it had a view of lots of concrete. The water in the pool had the same appeal as an ice bath, thus, nobody ever went in it. Why bother when you can walk in the sea without the slightest chill. And the view is better.

Spain is a deeply religious country and there are beautiful looking little churches everywhere. This religious culture might go some way toward explaining why the Spanish are so hard-working. And they certainly are hard-working; they never once complain about anything during their extremely long working day and night. I couldn't help but think that both the Church of England and the RC Churches in England have not done much to accomodate the expanding population in England, and maybe this is why Christianity is failing here; the churhes don't have the capacity for the township. Well, that and there's a stuffiness associated with some churches. I'm sure that, even if God does exists, he wouldn't mind people turning up to Church in torn work jeans and paint spattered t-shirts.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

In Inverted Commas #1

"Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity." - Karl Marx (allegedly) rewords a Chinese proverb to suit the capitalist thinker.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Spain - Part 2

We all know it's not unusual to go on holiday and have people trying to sell you genuine "Armani" sunglasses for the same price you can get a burger. Being offered counterfeit goods is part of the holiday experience; you make the choice: buy or don't buy. There are some things that you just can't resist, even though you know they're not genuine. Especially since the genuine thing in question doesn't even exist outside of an animated world.Turning down the opportunity to enter an animated cartoon world - after all, it was our first day - we decided to explore the town, without the aid of a map or a tourist information guide. There were certain clues which should have told us we were heading into the newer part of Benidorm rather than the historic part, the traditional buildings and culture. We missed those clues. Of course, they were easy to miss:
"Missing the clue"

One thing we were pleased about was the temperature, some twenty degrees celsius warmer than back home. One thing we weren't pleased about was how dangerous crossing the road could be. Especially after beer. It didn't matter if the little green man was lit or not. Those cars just won't stop. Fear of heights? Pah. Nothing. Crossing Avenida del MediterrĂ¡neo gave a whole new definition to fear.

Less frightening, but mildly annoying, were the bar promoters every ten yards or so in the street. They were mostly young British ex-pats who had moved to Spain, lured by the constant sun and the "good life." I don't envy these people. I admire them for their courage in taking up such a challenge. But I did tire quickly of being told it was a beer and a shot for one euro in this bar or that bar. It was pretty much the same price everywhere. Dirt cheap alcohol and a free pavement pizza later on. I didn't need anybody to give me a piece of paper to tell me. And besides, I wanted to go to authentic Spanish bars, drink Spanish beer, make an idiot out of myself trying to speak Spanish.

I was actually surprised by how many pubs/bars there are. In fact, I have never seen so many pubs in one place in all my life. Quite how they all stay in business is beyond me. Oh wait, it's not. They stay in business because of British beer monsters of all ages, who go there for two reasons: sun and cheap booze. Of course, our downfall as Brits is that continental lagers are much, much stronger than anything we brew in the UK. Proper head-fucking tackle. It leads to bad judgements...

You know, it does exist, it really is genuine. At almost four euros a bottle, I imagine it is genuine. It must be.