I am in that place again where I don’t want to leave but can’t wait to get back.
It is amazing to come away and not feel like I am escaping life, I have never understood why people work 50 weeks of the year and then blow a months salary or more on two weeks away.
A change of scene on a regular basis works really well for me. Last night I posted that Vigo was my new favourite place. Really I think this is the closest I have ever actually got to Spain.
So much of my growing up (well growing up is probably not the right phrase) was done in shit bars in shit holiday places that were built for shit tourists (like me). Here in Vigo the people sitting in the cafés live here, the menu they read is in two languages – Spanish and Galician.
Menus in this town don’t have HUGE STICKERS so you can turn to the page in your language. I know this works for a lot of people but I never trust any restaurant in a tourist town, especially if it has pictures of food in the window and on the menu.
The ‘old town’ here is a joy, it actually was the old town and had people from the town living in it. It was not full of AirBnB apartments (yet) and the town square was full of local families with their children out at 8:36pm at night. (shock horror).
For a country in economic and political turmoil being in a town like Vigo seems to be a good thing.
Near our brothers home are apartment buildings, in the UK we’d call this ‘an estate’, to me this everything the Barbican centre in London is meant to be but is not. Every three doors there is a cafe with at least five tables outside two with old men reading EVERY page of the newspaper, one with a cool kid on an ipad and the the other two tables usually have two to three women armed with either small dogs or small children on them.
Every few blocks there is a well maintained children’s play ground opposite one of these cafés. In the morning the streets are deserted, it is like being in a science fiction movie. 5pm the playground, cafés and streets are busy with people of all ages, shapes and sizes walking their small dogs, drinking coffee or playing with their children – often all three at the same time.
When we go to the beach we are not hassled by people selling shit stuff, every so often someone comes up offering me a choice between a straw hat, a porno movie or a wallet, but that has happened twice. I suppose what I want to ask is why do people crave the ‘tourist experience’.
This week is the best time I have had away for years, mainly because is it a real holiday and I got to sit on a beach. Also because I was not hassled by people selling crap, I did not have to walk past ‘amazing offers’ in restaurants or be chased down the street but someone wielding a menu in every language known to man or woman.
One theme that keeps poking me in the eye about the #sharingeconomy is the ‘city as a platform’ – how we all live and interact in cities and share “stuff” out of all the shiny, ground breaking, talking heads, the slightly battered Vigo seems to have a community spaces down to a fine art. may be it is the Spanish culture, maybe it is that food here is real, maybe no outside forces have interfered or maybe Lisa Gansky is secretly on the board of directors for town planning.
One more thing that did catch my eye everyday was this place above. It is a bakers opposite where we are staying that always has a queue outside. WOW! It is not as though it is the only bakers nearby, I am sure in Vigo there is a baker, a physiotherapist and a dentist for every two people. I still have to investigate it, which I am off to do now with #babybernie and #supercoolwife.
I have to run, as always ‘sent from my mobile device – please excuse any typos