Living and Working (or trying to) on Tenerife amongst the Canarios

Posted: October 5, 2009 in Life, Photos, Spain, Tenerife, Travel

I’m starting to think that the term ‘Canarios’ should be changed to ‘Contrarios’.

As part of the preparation for the launch for a new online magazine about Tenerife we’d come up with the idea for a feature which we thought brought a fresh angle to a particular aspect of living on Tenerife.

It involved stopping people in the street, asking them a couple of questions and taking their photograph – easy. The Canarios love having their photos taken… so I’ve always believed.

The reason for this assumption is based on the fact that at every fiesta we go to, at the exact point I’m lining up what is a sure fire award winning photograph a Canario, or group of Canarios, will jump in front of the camera shouting – “Saca mi foto, saca mi foto,” before telling me their life story.

However, when we tried to interview people in Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz for the magazine feature , the usually limelight loving Canarios suddenly started behaving like coy virgins and the camera was treated as though it was an object of evil sent to steal their souls.

So why the complete change?

My theory is that it was down to the absence of ‘combinados’. At fiestas they’ve usually had a combinado (spirit and mixer drink) or three and have more bravado and fewer inhibitions.

On the other hand it could be attributed to something a Canario friend told me about and which the more savvy Canarios recognise as a typical Tinerfeño characteristic.

She told me this Canarian saying which explains many, many things:

“Si tu quieres, yo no quiero.” (If you want, I don’t want)


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