When Will They Ever Learn?

Posted: August 28, 2008 in Life, Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It’s surprising that after nearly five years on Tenerife that I’m not as fluent in Canarian Spanish (and there is a difference from Castilian) as I should be; especially as clearly there are a lot less words in the Canarian dictionary. I’ve learnt over the years that the words for ‘planning’, ‘organisation’, ‘punctuality’ ‘patterns’ ‘advice’ and ‘marketing’ don’t seem to exist.
Yesterday, not for the first time, I experienced a prime example of this. For the last two years we’ve gone to the International Kite Festival at Playa de la Tejita in Granadilla.
I checked out Granadilla Council’s website to confirm the dates, but lo and behold there was no mention of it. Next step was to ‘Google’ it. Sure it came up, but the most up to date references were either articles we’d written ourselves, or Secret Tenerife’s.

No mention of it on the internet doesn’t necessarily mean anything; Tenerife is some years behind the UK and USA when it comes to IT and the majority of businesses still don’t have a web presence. Even some of the councils don’t have a website; so lack of reference on the web to specific events doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to happen.

The easiest thing for it was to phone Granadilla Council. At least they had a website with a telephone number for the fiesta department.

“Hi, I’m looking for information about the Festival de Cometas.”
“The what?”
The girl on the phone reacted as though she had no idea what I was talking about – maybe it was my Spanish pronunciation.
“The Festival de Cometas at Playa de la Tejita?” I tried again.
“Cometas?” There was a question mark the size of a skyscraper in her tone.
“Yeah, comaaaytas…” I tried a different pronunciation.
“Comaaaytas?” Another question mark.
I didn’t know how else to say this.
“Yeah, cometas…kites…festival…every year…on the beach at Playa de la Tejita.”
“Hold on, I’ll ask somebody else,” the phone went silent for a few moments.
Ah, the Festival de Cometas,” she came back on the phone. The way she said it didn’t sound any different to me. “You want the sports department. I’ll give you the number.”
The sports department? Of course it was. How stupid of me to assume that something with festival in the title would be the fiesta department. She read out the number.
“But they say not to phone them until next week; they don’t know yet if there will be a festival this year.”

And there’s the rub. That is a variation on a reply I’ve heard over and over again during the last few years.
Q: When is the festival supposed to take place?
A: The 9th of September.

Q: What date did I phone them?
A: The 25th August.

Q: What date would “next week” be?
A: The 1st of September.

One week before the festival was due. No time for posters to be put up, or publicity to be issued to anything other than the local Spanish daily papers.

Will Csper grace the Granadilla skies this year?

Will Casper grace the Granadilla skies this year?

Last year there were hardly any spectators at the fiesta…it doesn’t take a brain of Einstein’s magnitude to figure out why.


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