Friday, 22 August 2014

PADDELING IN PORTIXOL


Yesterday we had our second lesson in the canoeing federation. This time, we used a closed canoe. It wasn’t the first time I got into one of these. In fact, Johannes had bought two in August 2009 and, in those days, we went a few times to Colonia San Pere, Cala Falcó, Pollensa and Malpás. Once we even got close to the Dragonera. But, when I was about to turn the island around, Johannes started yelling out:

-            Luisaaaa! Come back! If something happened to you, what would I say to your mother?

Actually, the sea was rather choppy, I must say. And by the time we got back to the beach, the canoe was half full with water.

As we yesterday set off, the sea was choppy again. I couldn’t say how much in technical terms, but if the waves were measured by hands, they might have been two hands. Having the instructor near us, sat on a Zodiac, one gets the feeling of safety. However, he took care to emphasize that there was a certain risk and the importance of following guidelines. After the theory class, we were doing some simple maneuvers: going over there... turning left... going back, etc.

As Nacho (our instructor) commented the safety guidelines, I realized how irresponsible I had been when I set off to the sea before. When danger is ignored, there is definitely no fear... but accidents can happen anyway.

We came to a creek and the instructor gave us instructions from the Zodiac.

-            Far from bathers and fishermen!

Someone came up to us on purpose to ask where he could rent a canoe. A lady asked us if there were courses for children.

And as we paddled back to the port, correcting our route once and again, with the waves pushing steadily at the stern, the wind head-up and Portixol face to us, we saw the sunset from the canoe. The sparkling water, the red horizon, the sea swallowing the sun and our thoughts focused on paddeling. Portixol has a zen touch, when one sees it from the sea


 
 
 





 


Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón



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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

LIFE IN THE STREETS OF PALMA

I’ve just seen that opera singer again, sat on “San Miquel” street. About sixty-something, with her hair combed up in a bun, always sat on a stool, singing “La Traviata”. It hurts to see her singing in the streets. And it hurts even more if you have once watch her singing ten years ago. Her voice is now tenfold weeker. I guess it might be partially due to the kind of life she has. Still, it impresses me.
I wonder how she got there and what she does the rest the day. Being busking in the streets is sometimes the result of bad luck; others it’s an option of people who don’t stand a more “regular” and “strict” way of living. Some of them begging on the street have no choice; others have rented a flat for a very cheap price and sublet the rooms for a very expensive one.
Strange houses with strange people are plentiful in Palma. I refer to those houses where a lady (a “badonkadonk”, in American terms) attends the door dressed in inlaid pants. Those people always look for a tenant who spends the whole day out and comes back home strictly to sleep (a “non-visitors-allowed-flat”).
-We are looking for a calm person, without a partner, with a full-time job, who spends the day out.
 
Some years ago, I met a girl who was devoted precisely to these two tasks: she was a sort of real estate “subagent” (of a “non-visitors-allowed-flat”, of course) and a street artist.
-          I don’t get any profit – she used to say – because my friend and I need two rooms of the house for us. The rent paid by the tenants is “only" enough to pay the flat-rent, water and electricity...
And so she explained her “little” undeclared capital profit. And the last straw was that this person was illegal, which means, she had no papers. However, she had a rental contract and a Social Security card...
Yesterday, I met her on the streets. She was concerned by a recruitment process for a receptionist in a sort of brothel. She also sells truffles and strudels in some bars and restaurants. And, in her leisure hours, she gives massages in the non subleased rooms of his leased flat in Palma. Thirty euros an hour. This month, she is paying off her flat in France.
And that was all folks.
 
 



 

Copyright Luisa Fernández Baladrón 

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