Thursday, April 10, 2008


All human life, and some which is only just. To define the tourist market as one homogeneous mass would be quite wrong. Of course it's wrong. The market is as broad and diverse as society in general. There is no one tourist market. Within this variety of sub-markets, there are those towards the top of the food chain, and those towards the lower end. This sounds awful, but it is not untrue. And Mallorca gets all of these sub-markets, not least that hovering in the relegation zone. I heard a cracking story yesterday. Jack at the Smugglers, who is not actually Philip after all, well he is, but he's known as Jack, related what had been told to him by Barrie, his predecessor at the pub. It concerned a British couple who came into the bar. Having gone through the "DO-YOU-SPEAK-ENGLISH?" slow and precise questioning as though the people running the bar would not be English, there was the follow-up question. Now, just bear in mind, we are talking about Alcúdia and Mallorca, the latter being, and having long been, an island, with lots of water around it, having long not been a part of the mainland of Spain. I will willingly concede that not everyone possesses an encyclopaedic geographical knowledge, but there are certain things you might expect folk to know. Not necessarily. The question was: "Can you tell us where we get the bus to Barcelona?"

Funny though this is, it is also rather sad. At least the replies the couple got did not include an "oh, go up to the main road and just ask the bus driver", which would have been especially cruel. Hard though it may be to believe, I rather suspect that this couple are not alone in not knowing that they are holidaying on an island, in not realising that they have booked to go on a plane to an island, and in not appreciating that Mallorca is one of those bits of land stuck in the Mediterranean.

And still down at the Smugglers, another tale that Jack had concerned the largely all-inclusive Piscis hotel that is next to it. Apparently, it is not unknown for people from the hotel to sit on the Smugglers' terrace and to be passed free drinks through the railings. Some people have got real class.

QUIZ: Yesterday - The Turtles. Today's title - everyone surely knows this is Freddie Mercury, but who did he duet with?


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