IF you are a regular reader of my column, you will know that I have a problem with San Pedro de Alcantara.
Before you all rush to form a mob and force me away with burning torches shouting, ‘kill the monster!’, I hasten to add that I have nothing against the good people themselves.
When I was living in Marbella in the 80s, the town gave me one of the funniest nightclub moments of the decade – and there were several, trust me.
Heading home after yet another late night/early morning in Marbella’s Puerto Deportivo, a group of us decided that we needed a nightcap in San P.
The only place that was open was the Ruj nightclub, next to the old bus station.
We must have all been fairly plastered because the Ruj was the sort of place that a bunch of big-haired, big shoulder-padded guiris (it was the 80s) was not welcome.
Luckily we had Brenty with us, our half-Australian mate who was considerably larger than the crowd of diminutive Andalucians who turned to look at us as we walked in.
“Play it cool, drink your drinks and don’t do anything to draw attention to yourself,” were Brenty’s instructions.
All was going well and we were starting to think that we might get away with this when Madonna’s ‘La Isla Bonita’ came on the sound system.
Suddenly the dance floor was full, and a hundred Andalucian voices belted out the first line in unison
“Lasz nigh eye dreem of San Pedrooooo”.
It was all too much for us.
I’m sure that Brenty actually spat his drink out, he was laughing that hard, but all was lost in a blur of hair gel, diamante brooches and felt boots as we got the hell out of Dodge, followed by the mulleted Spanish hurling insults.
But whatever damage they wanted to visit upon us that evening, it was nothing compared to the damage that the current OSP party has done to the town.
The ‘visionaries’ that run the place have gone on a remodelling rampage that has seen large swathes of the town pedestrianised. But with cheap parking no longer around, the shops have seen a drop off in trade, while historic palm trees and sculptures that heralded the main street have been uprooted and moved elsewhere and, sadly, a ‘modernisation’ of the Church Square has provided wavy sunshades that offer no protection and ugly LED lights that shine blue at night.
The last time I saw this amount of ugly urban architecture was in UK town centres when I was editing a property publication, and at least they had the excuse that the Luftwaffe had previously flattened them.
Looking at the damage the powers that be have wrought on the town, I have to conclude that OSP really does stand for Obliterate San Pedro!
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