A comment on Andy’s Real Tenerife blog made me stop and think for a moment. It was a very honest comment about development on the island which concluded with the statement ‘I hate Brits who live here and then just criticize everything.’
I found myself nodding in agreement one second and the next, remembering the blog I’d just written moaning about Spanish TV scheduling, wondered in horror if I’d become one of those Brits.
When we first moved here there was one paper in particular which regularly pissed me off. Most editions usually included a moan about one fiesta or another – they were too loud and too boisterous. Sometimes it was suggested that even the Canarians didn’t like them.
You don’t have to spend much time here to realise that a suggestion like this is nonsense – fiestas are put on by Canarios for Canarios (everybody is welcome of course).
Every time I read these pieces which basically wanted to change the culture, I had an overwhelming urge to shout ‘Why on earth do you live here if you don’t like it?’
I regularly read threads on various forums from people moaning about aspects of Tenerife, most of which are flavoured by personal experiences of the area that they are familiar with rather than Tenerife as a whole.
When I read ones which say things like ‘Tenerife doesn’t have any decent restaurants’ I think ‘why do you say Tenerife when you obviously don’t really mean Tenerife; you clearly mean in the geographically limited area that you happen to frequent?’ and wonder why they live here or, if they’re a visitor, return for their jollies year after year.
And then I think of this blog – I moan here…a lot. I criticise politics, business practices, roadworks, lack of environmental awareness, insularity and all sorts. Anyone reading it could easily think of me as one of those Brits who criticises everything and wonder why I continue to live here.
But I’m not…honest. At least I don’t think I am. I love the island and the culture – I’ll be the last to call for fiesta fun to be curtailed. Seventy five percent of the time I write about the things which I believe make Tenerife a very special place to stay and visit.
On the other hand, Tenerife is my home, the place where I live and work and just like I did in Britain, I take an active interest in politics and business practices. And also like living in Britain, there are some aspects of living in Tenerife that I think could be improved. This blog is an outlet to vent my frustrations about those.
But the comment did make me think about perceptions, so I’m going to make a concerted effort to tone down the moaning because I really don’t want to become one of those Brits who criticises everything.
So it’ll be all sweetness and light from now on…until something really winds me up…that’ll probably be tomorrow then.