Palma pictures

14 01 2011

A few shots I just didn’t have room for elsewhere…

Skatergrrl Camilla next to the 'river'.

sweet office block

Erika in the palm forest

portixol view

...and that's it. Later, Spain.





Adios España: High and Lows. Part 2.

14 01 2011

(…a continuation of the things I enjoy about Spain, and those I didn’t enjoy so much)

The Bad.

This is a regular-size Belgian girl.

  • Low doorways.

It seems to me that a large part of Mallorca was designed to accommodate some ancient race of midgets..

How else to explain doorways [inside and out] that barely reach five feet?

We once resorted to taping pool noodles to our bedroom doorways in order to prevent regular serious head injuries. Annoying.

  • Noise.

Spanish people have a certain lust for life. They also love staying up late.

And chatting. On the street. In front of my house.

This would be fine if so many bedrooms did not have absolute street frontage.

Combine this with the fact that at any given time, at least half of any Spanish city is under construction, and you’ve got a big problem.

Falling asleep and/or sleeping in, is only possible in Spain with the assistance of quality earplugs.

Goddamn you noisy Spanish.

  • Bicycle theft

In four years I have had three bikes in Palma.

These were never stolen but I am firmly in the minority.

Bike theft is rampant in Palma and no cycle is safe from the brazen gangs of professional Pikey thieves. Gypsies!

  • Dog shit

I can’t stand little dogs.

Spanish people, however, seem to adore them.

They’re also fond of letting their little rats foul the pavement every four metres.

This makes me hate Spanish dog owners as well as their ridiculous pets. Gross.

  • Stink

I get it – Mallorca is an old city. Years of filth lie beneath its worn cobbles.

But why, why, why, is it acceptable for sewage to bubble up from the manhole covers every time it rains for more than an hour. Disgusting.





Adios España: High and Lows. Part 1.

14 01 2011

Heading back to Australia this weekend to give the motherland another shot.

During four years of working on boats, the majority of my time ashore has been spent in Spain, specifically Palma de Mallorca.

The place feels like home now.

My buddies are there; yacht work is there; the sun often shines – that’s home enough for me.

But it has been something of a love-hate relationship with ol’ Palma.

There are so many things I’ll miss, but so many others I hope never to experience again.

Here’s a quick rundown:

The Good.

  • Fresh bread.

Sounds simple enough. Easy to find, right?

Nope. I mean so fresh it’s hot.

Only in Europe can you hit the corner store at 7pm after work and expect to find warm, crusty baguettes, straight from the oven. Awesome.

  • The city as skate park

Downtown Palma is pretty flat. Cobbles are few. Bike paths lead you every which way around the city.

So it’s perfect for skateboarding and the cops could not care less.

Longboard sales are clearly booming in Mallorca, probably led by yacht crew but the locals are catching on fast. The buggers are everywhere.

And don’t even get me started on Barcelona.

Surely the only European capital to have been designed by skateboarders.

This can be the only explanation for urban architecture that attracts ‘skate-tourism’ from as far away as Australia. Freakin’ incredible.

under the bridge

  • La siesta.

Start work around 10am.

Take a long lunch at 1pm, chill for a few hours, then head back to work until 8 or 9pm.

When you contrast this with the Aussie/UK work system, ours seems like some sort of Orwellian nightmare.

Please introduce the siesta worldwide. Please?

playaaaah!

  • 500 Euro notes

Nothing screams ‘high roller’ quite like being in possession of 500 Euro beans on a Friday afternoon.

You can buy a house with one in Australia.

But that feeling is quickly swallowed up by the realisation that no one will cash it for you.

At least not until the banks open on Monday. Sucker.

  • Eating late.

I don’t always want to finish dinner by 9pm.

Sometimes I want to drink beer all evening then stumble into a rustic hole-in-the-wall for a much-delayed boozy feast.

And that is why I love eating out in Spain.

A 12.30am dinner is never frowned upon, in fact, it’s the norm. Handy.

  • Lazy cops.

Skating the wrong way down a one-way street last week.

Car swings round the corner, I leap from the board and end up pretty much on the dude’s bonnet.

Behind me, a Spanish bicycle cop appears. Uh oh.

Surely a stern talking to is on the cards.

Nuthin’. The cop doesn’t even stop, just offers a mumbled “Cuidado,” over her shoulder. Gotta love that.

*Cuidado  = Caution.





Seas. Ick.

3 01 2011

Something occurred to me this week, as I was whiling away the hours at Miami Airport during another forced US stopover.

Americans are quite odd? No, it was more than that.

What if there are a whole bunch of people who never go sailing because they fear seasickness?

Now bear with me here…..I love sailing. I’ve also been seasick and it’s truly horrible.

But I have a theory – seasickness can be both avoided and ultimately overcome.

However, I bet there are people who think they’re gonna feel ill every time and thus, avoid the ocean.

So, following more than a decade of salt-flecked, vomit-dodging research, allow me to present these findings to get you back on the water.

Prevention.

  1. If you think there’s even a chance of becoming seasick, make a pre-emptive strike. Knock back at least one tablet an hour before you leave. My preferred brand is BioDramamina with caffeine. That’s right – it contains caffeine. There’s no excuse for modern seasickness remedies to leave you feeling drowsy.
  2. Fresh air is your friend. Stay on deck. Even the saltiest seadogs feel ill if they go below decks. The air is stale, you can’t see the horizon, it probably smells of diesel. Don’t do it. Even if it means being wet and cold, that’s still better than being covered in your own warm vomit
  3. Don’t go sailing with a hangover. Simple. But I can personally attest to this.
  4. Stay busy. Chat to the crew. Ask to take the wheel. Take your focus off feeling ill.

Calm. For now.

Dealing with it

  1. Bad luck. You feel like death and there’s no land in sight. Time to cope. Take the maximum dose of regular seasickness tabs [no caffeine], curl up somewhere and go to sleep. You’ll feel better as soon as you close your eyes.
  2. When you wake up, take two more pills and head outside again. Getting rid of the nausea is tougher than preventing it in the first place.
  3. Drink water and repeat as necessary.

Seasickness medications work.

Don’t try to be a tough guy and brave it out. You can’t.

Use the damn drugs and get back on deck in the fresh sea air.

You will feel better.

Drink lots of fluids and try to eat something bland.

Ginger tea is also awesome, but I can’t speak for those stick on holistic pads.

I’d be interested to hear what people think about all this.

Been sick? Never? Think they’re a bunch of whiny babies?

Do tell….