Monday, 6 August 2007
Heaven and Hell
Blightyfied by the minute on my return from
A week is a long time in a place like that and there were so many things which caught my attention and made me curious.
Hard to distill that into a blog post, but I feel that one chance encounter sums up some of it at least.
There is a real disparity between the people who live in these kind of places and the thousands who visit every summer. I feel more at home in the spit and sawdust bars (the kind of places where Port Aventura employees no doubt pop into for a quick carajillo before clocking on) than I do in the schlocky themed places that abound in and around the theme park.
On the first morning of the holiday I woke early and walked into the nearest town of Salou in search of some authenticity.
(I've noticed also that the graffiti in Europe is still politically aware, a bit like it used to be in England in the 70s - a lot of anti fascist, anti homophobic stuff, which is all good, but I wonder why that should be? Perhaps some of my continental readers could offer a view)
So anyway, on to the chance encounter...
We were waiting for the trenet to take us back to the safety of our hotel, when along came a black guy selling sunglasses out of a plastic carrier bag.
There was a white guy (middle aged, paunchy) waiting as well, with his daughter, and the salesman tried his luck with this mark.
"No thanks," he said, "I've got some proper ones here." He pointed to the peak of his baseball cap, where a pair of orange tinted sunglasses rested. The look on his face said all it could say about the way he felt, and the way he would vote, if voting was of any interest to him.
The tram took an age to arrive, but arrive it did, and we reached sanctuary in the end. Back at the hotel, most of the maids and cleaning staff were black.
There will be more to follow on this subject, but I hope I have made a point.