Wednesday, 18 May 2016

1 Year in Mallorca - what I've learned so far...

1. Mallorca is the most beautiful place I've ever lived.

2. Which is why over 13 million guiris visit every year. Guiri means foreigner.  More specifically one who look like a lobster after a day in the sun. Mallorca is so full of foreigners people jokingly call it guirilandia.    

3. Mallorcans have a love / hate relationship with their tourism industry. They appreciate tourists are great for the local economy but the loud, messy, drunken tourism, they'd rather do without.  Magaluf is referred to as a British colony, or a jungle. Arenal is the German equivalent. Both places evoke disapproval from the locals.

4. Mallorcans are a rare species who keep themselves to themselves. Out of all the new friends I've made, from a group of thirty who are predominantly Spanish, only 2 are from the island. These 2 think their fellow Mallorcans are a closed bunch.  

5. I once asked a Mallorcan, "How long do I have to live here before I can call myself a Mallorcan?" He answered: "You will never be a Mallorcan." Apparently it takes at least three generations to produce a genuine Mallorcan.

6. People from the rest of Spain also feel foreign here. That said, it already feels like home to me. 

7. Most of the colonising of Mallorca was done by King Jaume. Either I, II, or II. Pretty much every important castle or church was founded on top of a Moorish equivalent.  

8. The only moors left on the island are white people in fancy dress who re enact the epic battles of the Christian Vs Moors. Spoiler alert! The Christians win every year. In every town.

9. Mallorcans love a medieval festival. In fact they love ALL festivals. At any given moment some village somewhere is celebrating something.

10. Everyone I've met here agrees that Mallorca is paradise and realise they're lucky to live here. 

11. Most of these residents aren't very good at picking up their dog poo however, even though their dogs are very small and produce very little poos.

12. The Balearics are more animal-friendly than some other parts of Spain. Bull fighting was banned here in February. Yay.

13. Cycling is huge here. Pro rider Bradley Wiggins described the roads of Mallorca as a 'scalextric set for cyclists'. 

14. In Winter many businesses close for as much as four months at a time, with some shops only opening on Tuesdays when the cruises come in. I thought these quiet months might be rubbish but it was actually wonderful to have the place to ourselves.   

15. Out of all the wonderful months I've enjoyed over this last year, one of my favourite months was October, when I expected it to grow cold but it didn't... and when the last of the tourists were flying home, but I knew I was staying!   

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