TRADITIONAL bad weather, divine retribution and an unorthodox way of tackling football hooliganism. It’s been another quiet week for our man in Marbella.
It’s good to know that even in these greatly troubled and uncertain times there are some things we can always count on.
The Sun rising in the East, England football fans misbehaving when abroad and rain during San Pedro Alcantara’s Feria.
As an aside, I thought that the Spanish police missed a golden opportunity to ensure that there was no trouble when England played Spain in Seville earlier this month. Rather than bus them to the city centre with a full police escort in riot gear, all flashing lights and motorcycle outriders, what they should have done is take them to the stadium via a detour through las Tres Mil Viviendas. For those of you that don’t know, this is a barrio of Seville that makes Toxteth look like a Disney Theme Park.
‘Full of local colour’ in this case means illegal cock fighting and hanging around on corners comparing prison tattoos. There is a famous story of a heavy armed drug squad raid on one of the tower blocks where, having fought their way in, along with the expected huge quantities of Class A drugs, police discovered a donkey in one of the apartments – several floors up.
To deter the hooligan from misbehaving, what the police should have done is drive, very slowly, through las Tres Mil Viviendas with a warning that any funny business would have resulted in the England fans being dropped off there to make their own way back to the airport. I think it would have had the desired effect.
Meanwhile, true to tradition the rain duly arrived in force in San Pedro on the second day, with a tremendous storm in Marbella in the afternoon.
In an uncanny coincidence I was delivering a lecture to the U3A about Marbella’s recent history. I was halfway through telling the audience about disgraced former Marbella mayor Jesus Gil y Gil when a tremendous clap of thunder wrung out. Thor was obviously not a big fan.
If further proof of divine retribution was needed, Stag and Hen Party Central – otherwise known as the Hotel PYR in Puerto Banus – was struck by a bolt of lightning. The PYR was the hotel of choice when my rugby club came on tour to the coast. We were praised by the management for our restrained behavior, which included drinking games at 9am and the hotel’s statues magically appearing in the lifts.
But compared to the Hen party dressed as nuns and the stag in sequined hot pants and roller skates that greeted us when we arrived in the lobby, we were indeed paragons of virtue. The staff at the PYR Hotel all had the look that Vietnam vets referred to as the ‘Thousand Yard Stare’- men who had seen too much horror, too soon…
Biblical retribution aside, after the storm I went to Puerto Banus’ infamous second line where the goings on are of such Sodom and Gomorrah standard that I needed to check to see if anyone had been turned into pillars of salt.
And in true Banus style, I packed a little tequila and lemon, just in case.