Friday, March 20, 2009

Sitting Here On The Bench

Well, it all seemed to be kicking off in Puerto Pollensa's market square yesterday morning. I say kicking off; that is a bit of an exaggeration. But were it Easter already, there would be some unhappy Easter bunnies among the restaurant and bar owners. It's all to do with how much, or how many. Metres. Metres of terrace. It is not a new story in that restrictions have been anticipated for some while, but a by-law was passed last month which stipulated that terraces could be no deeper than 3.4 metres. Why 3.4 and not 3.5 I don't know, but that - apparently - is how far the tables and chairs of the establishments in the square can stretch. 3.5 metres are not very much, and - from a tourism and business point of view - it sucks; sorry, they suck. The owners can appeal, and have. Just as well; the last day of appeal is 24 March. As far as I am aware, this is just something that applies to the square, though it seems that - buried in the town hall - is a document which shows how far terraces can go, even for places that don't currently have them. Whatever. Anyway, the mayor was there in person, flanked by the local plod, while the traders put forward their case. I can't believe that this will not be challenged and overturned. An argument is that, because the tables stretch right across the pavement, they prevent people from sitting on the benches. Maybe so. In which case, why do they allow the market to take place? It may only be one morning, but the same problem applies. Why not move the benches? If I had to guess, there would be more people, far more people wanting to sit at a table in the square to have a meal on a warm summer's eve than there would be those who want to sit on a bench.

You do wonder at times if town halls would rather just kill off the tourism industry. If they got rid of it, then they would get rid of a number of headaches. Of course, one other development in Puerto Pollensa which, so the spurious argument went, would be a benefit to tourism, was that of the pedestrianisation. It seems like a long time since that was mentioned here, but what I am hearing is that, as far as traffic restrictions are concerned, vehicles will be able to use the whole of the coast road into Puerto Pollensa coming from Alcúdia. What's the point of that? If today is anything to go on, there are vehicles currently coming from the other direction as well. But were the road to be made one-way, it would not be a pedestrianisation, so why bother? This was never about benefits to tourism; it was all about an obscure piece of road legislation dating back to 1967, which appears to have brought ruination to some businesses since the so-called and botched trial was started last autumn. It was always a pointless exercise, and now it seems even more so.

Take it easy - sitting on roundabouts
More on the latest tourist excursion - the island tour of roundabout furniture and art. Further nominations for the birds nest affair in front of the Parc Natural (11 March: Fat Albert Rotunda) include a tornado (if you can actually sculpt a tornado), while the roundabout at what were the traffic lights and junction in Las Gaviotas now boasts something which is quite clearly a deckchair. Actually, it's pretty good in a sort-of contemporary, robust, IKEA or perhaps Paco Muebles deckchair style, as opposed to a Bognor-beach-circa-1965 way. I shall take a photo and you will be able to see for yourselves. I wonder how much it costs to sit on? Perhaps it is an ironic statement regarding the beach wars in Playa de Muro these past few years; those to do with sun beds and so on. Hopefully though, no-one will see fit to slash the sculpture in the dead of night.

The best election
Yes, that is election. Thank God. They could have got the word wrong I guess, rather than just the wrong word. And they are? GC Hotels. I was checking through the Google map that I have done and it seems the link to what were the Almarsa hotels (Estrella de Mar, Coral de Mar etc.) is out of date: it diverts to GC Hotels. The thing is that when you go to that site, you are greeted with a legend which states "The best election". Now, the word "elección" can mean election or selection (choice). Clearly, they have picked the wrong possibility for translation. They shouldn't have. Please, no more of the oh well it's quite funny when foreigners make poor translations excuses. It is not funny. It is downright unprofessional. The hotels of Mallorca are meant to offer quality. And quality should exist in all aspects of their business, including translations. Poor.

Yesterday's title - Daniel Bedingfield ( Today's title - line from a fabulous song from the '60s. Circa 1965 in fact: the British hit was by a well-known George.


No comments: