News, opinion, essays and links for residents and friends of Mojácar, Almería.
This site, started in September 2002, is called The Entertainer Online to continue The Entertainer name, the name of a weekly newspaper started by me in 1985 which ran without interruption throughout southern Spain until 1999 when a three year option to buy was taken by staffers. They never concluded the deal, or paid me, but changed the name when the option expired in April 2002 instead. Que vamos a hacer.
Overview of this site (Sections at bottom of page)
*Rambeau’s Diary – a blog *Freebie-Jeebies® – Some relaxed comment on the poor quality local free-press *Fallout – quotes from other sites *National News Certain pieces that catch my fancy *Local News Certain pieces that catch my fancy *Essays: Various imput *Links about Spain (see top of page) about 200 useful links, including my other blog Spanish Shilling *To e-mail me - write to email@example.com. I don't always answer or open attachments.
A new bowls club has been inaugurated in the La Marina area of Mojácar, next to the Marina Mar hotel. The new pitch has room for six lanes and also offers a clubhouse, a bar and toilets. Some pictures here. The old bowls club, housed at La Mata, was closed a few years ago leaving the Mojácar Bowls Club without a local pitch. The Miraflores Bowls Club in Los Gallardos taking up the strain. Here's a site for enthusiasts called Bowling in Spain.
Zurgena is to host a two-day event, the Feria de Turismo del Valle del Almanzora, for next weekend, March 14 and 15th. Thanks to the Junta de Andalucía, the Almanzora Valley can't build and sell homes to the wealthy northern retirees, so their only alternative is to try their hand at tourism. Without beaches, hotels or monuments, the week-end will discuss the local 'gastronomic' possibilities, gluten-free food, local handicrafts, free time and jolly walks through the hills (don't try this in the heat of the summer). Spain has to try the minority tourism angle, and thrash it to death; but the average tourist, working for fifty weeks of the year stuffing toothpaste into a tube either in Nottingham or in Frankfurt, wants sun, sea, sex and sangria. Gluten-free walks through an esparto factory in the boonies just ain't gonna cut it.
Quiet, Boring and Shut (No, not New Zealand: I mean Mojácar Pueblo)
Friday 07 March 2014 - 04:15:15
Last night, I saw a Spanish couple I know well, who have been preparing to open a bar in Mojácar pueblo. About time... Mojácar pueblo used to be a fun place to visit at night, but now it's gone very flat. No, they said, we have had to drop the idea of re-opening the old Pimiento Bar after the neighbours all wrote to the ayuntamiento to complain about the idea!
Counts the Pennies and not the Pounds (Isn't there a saying about that?)
Friday 07 March 2014 - 03:54:49
Today's title in the newspapers is 'Diputación a la caza del turista alemán'. The provincial tourist authority looking for more German tourists to fill our hotels (but not rent our apartments, nobody's gonna pay for that). The Mojácar Tourist Office posts a picture of themselves at the Berlin Tourist Fair looking for the same thing. Touristen Jawohl. Turismo Mojácar posts on Facebook a link to 'Traveling Cheap: hotels in Mojácar from 13 Euros'. Then we have the cyclists peddling around in packs. Don't eat or drink, don't even buy a few knicknacks. They just pedal (and disrupt the traffic). But, apart from one Mojácar Town Hall notice placed via Spectrum Radio, referring to the foreign residents who live in the municipality and the local woman employed by the Town Hall who speaks English, German and French and will take care of us, including the unarguable point that 'The Mayoress of Mojácar is very confident because since this service has been opened, many telephone calls have been attended already and foreigners taken to different offices.Mojácar is a town with enough resources to face the future with enthousiasm (sic) which is essential to connect the public to their demands'. My point - a foreigner buys a house, a car, furniture and so on. Pays tax. Pays for silly promotions for tourists (but never, ever for residents). Is here all year long (the Parque Comercial yesterday, for example, was sunny and crammed with foreign residents). Keeps local businesses going during the long winter months. The short-term tourist is here for five days or less and probably won't come back next year. Let's say a foreign resident is worth around 40,000€ a year to Spain: a tourist just a few banknotes (most of their booking fee stays with the foreign travel company). But - since the hoteliers are the acknowledged experts on all things foreign - who gives a shit for logic in Spain?
The Rolling Stones are to give a concert at the Vicente Calderon in Madrid on June 25th. Their first concert in Spain was at the end of a ferocious rain-storm at the same venue in July 1982. El Mundo says that Felipe Gonzalez was there (while completely overlooking my own presence). Mick Jagger suddenly came out before the concert, as the staff were attempting to dry the stage, and joined in with a mop. A great concert as I remember... can they still do it today?
Spain is meant to have more laws than any other country, ever. Perhaps it's all to give the funcionarios something to do. The system works, because most people ignore the petty rules, find a way around it, and get on with their lives. As the Spanish say: Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa. A new rule out from today is to do with the oil that is served in a jug in all restaurants and bars. Now it's to be supplied in cute little plastic packages to reassure the customer that it's a kosher oil and not something taken out of the chipper. I have so far seen these small plastic oil-thingies in one place only: the restaurant at the Torrecárdenas. So from now, it's the way forward, and to hell with the extra cost, packaging and trash generated. But the kicker I mentioned earlier? Add a little bit of pepper, or garlic, a bay leaf or a guindilla to your oil and carry on serving it in a jug. It's now a sauce, or an 'aderezo para ensaladas'. Probably jolly good, too.
The coal-plant power station in Carboneras, perhaps the single reason why that town will never become either a tourist destination or a place for residential tourism (as they call us expats), is to be enlarged. Or even enlargened. Already the Carboneras plant is the most polluting in Spain and 57th in Europe. As David Jackson says: 'Anyway, it’s easy to appreciate the contamination from Carboneras – it’s that big brown smudge across the whole horizon you can see on most days'. Endesa, through its Italian partner Enel, is to invest 200 million euros in the power station to help lower the production of CO2 and to give the plant an extra twenty years of life. Some 800 jobs to last around eighteen months will be created - although it is not clear how many if any of these jobs will be 'local'. Of course, with such a massive production of electricity, little of which is consumed locally, the company exports much of its production to Morocco.
Arise, Ye Huddled Masses, Turn Thy Cheeks to Glory!
Tuesday 25 February 2014 - 09:19:11
Not one to champion that rubbish about 'Almería Independent' or indeed to consider that better than 50% of the town is foriegn, the Mojácar Town Hall is handing out Andalucía flags (green, white and green, horizontal stripes) to all who ask - to decorate their houses on the Día de Andalucía, which is held this Friday: a bank holiday. Patriotic hymns (Hurrah!) and a giant paella at 2.00pm in the village for all present.
Not one for following football, but the news from yesterday's UEFA Euro Cup 2016 drawing of teams in Nice is amusing. Gibraltar was placed, briefly, into 'Group C' - until in became apparent they would be playing Spain. Heh! So they were quietly shuffled off into 'Group D' making (as some comment notes) rather a mockery of having 'a draw' in the first place!
Andalucía has 36.9% unemployment according to the EPA. Almería has 37.1% and (I was reading yesterday in Time magazine), Mexico, (yes Mexico!) has an unemployment rate of 4.76%! I am sure that Mexico is just as corrupt as Spain - or probably more - so the reasons for our high unemployment here, especially in Andalucía, must be something else. Indeed, many people aren't bothering to register as on the paro, or they've gone elsewhere, so the figures are even higher. Three obvious reasons for all this: fascist employment rules, crippling taxes for the self-employed, and complacency among the wretched funcionarios. I've just translated a small piece from today's El País (while we still can...) regarding another of Spain's problems: '...Spain owed 961,555 million euros at the end of 2013, between Treasury Bills, loans and other liabilities. This works out as 94% of the country's GDP, the highest level in the past 100 years, almost a billion euros ('a trillion' in English parlance). The volume of liabilities has doubled with the crisis. In the past two years, it has sky-rocketed in 230,000 million: about 24% of GDP...'. The chilling figures mentioned here are part of an article in Sunday's El País, which asks – who do we owe this money to? If things carry on like this... the shit must soon hit the fan.