Monday 12 January 2009

Singing like a Canary

Tempers, temperance & temperatures

After 18 days in the sun and rain with temperatures never bottoming 12 degrees Celsius on the worst day and sometimes cresting 33 degrees Celsius in January, it was time to return home.

To others, they might wonder about the wisdom of ditching a charter flight of 4 and a half hours and a group pickup that traverses every hotel in the dregs of Playa del Inglês before you are dropped last, exhausted and annoyed having arrived in Gran Canaria a good 3 hours before.

I ditched the wisdom for the convenience of sorts, I have to stop over in Madrid, the journey is 2 hours longer but you get picked up in your chauffeur-driven car for your return trip to the airport.

When it comes to holiday, comfort and convenience always trumps facility and commonality, I would pay for the convenience probably because I like to know I would be taken care of properly if things do not work out right and I would not have to raise my voice to have things sorted out.

Getting out Canarias, Keeping in Caribbean

I was picked up quite early this morning after bidding farewell to all the staff the day before, chief among whom is the chef de reception, Javier, whose administration of ease, comfort and convenience in service knows no peer.

The chauffeur then sold the Canary Islands to me again – for a third of the price I paid for visiting the Gran Canaria, I could have gone to any good sunny island in the Caribbean, stayed in the most exclusive 5-star hotels and lapped the white beach sands as if I was in paradise.

The paradise however is within the walls of the hotel resort where they can seem to guarantee your security, wander out of those hotel walls and you are swimming with sharks and giggling with barracudas.

The element of relative safety

You basically do not have the leeway and freedom that this European group of islands offers, I can get up at 3:00AM and walk up to any of the centres of entertainment with any fear – OK, I have seen the one opportunistic mugging but nothing that fills you with dread, fear, trembling and utter loathing.

I have never been to the Caribbean but I do not want a situation where I cannot get out and do stuff because I might come to some mishap or harm – it makes the carteras of the shopping precincts look really tame – you probably need that sort of thing to allow for a broad spread of human character in such a seemingly idyllic place. See links below about relative crime perception and statistics between the Caribbean and the Canaries.

Work begins again tomorrow and there are pictures to publish of the wonderful time I had in Gran Canaria for the 8th time already. Maybe May and definitely December/January again, there might be a long haul to Asia too – in the mean time I need to gather my thoughts for the blogs incubating and ready to be hatched in writing very soon.

There is no doubt that I met some pretty interesting and nice people – all will be revealed in due course.


Law enforcement in the Canary Islands - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Crime and the Caribbean -Times Online

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