Have You Ever Thought of Living in the South of Tenerife?

Posted: June 27, 2011 in Life, Spain, Tenerife, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

The question always takes us by surprise even though we’ve been asked it on a number of occasions during the years we’ve lived on Tenerife – not ever by Canarios I hasten to add.

“Have You ever thought of living in the South of Tenerife?”

Funnily enough instead of just giving a straight answer, we normally justify why we chose to live in the north of Tenerife. We describe how we hired a car and travelled around Tenerife staying in various towns and resorts (and discarding them as places we’d want to live) before arriving in Puerto de la Cruz and deciding on the spot – más o menos – that this was the place for us.

Why we feel we have to come out with this tale every time I really don’t know. And I don’t know why we just don’t give the single word answer that really wants to escape my mouth and that is a simple, succinct no.

Maybe it’s because I’ve always thought that answer might come across as sounding rude, especially as the people who ask the question invariably live or holiday in the south of Tenerife.
But recently I started to look at it from a different angle. Why do people ask the question in the first place? As far as I can remember we’ve never asked anyone who lives in the south of Tenerife if they’d ever considered living in the north, so why do people keep asking us?

The north and the south of Tenerife, and I know this is a generalisation, are different. I’m not referring to the weather, although that is undeniably a factor, but historically they have always been different, in the looks department they are different and in personality they are different.

We all have various likes, dislikes and preferences and I prefer the north of Tenerife to the south. And if anyone thinks that might be an insult – don’t be silly; of course I do, that’s why I choose to live here.
I’ve always assumed that most people who live in the south do so because it ticks all the right boxes for them; just as I live here because it ticks all the right boxes for me. Therefore it wouldn’t cross my mind to ask the question. But when people hear we live in the north, the reaction is often similar to the reaction I use to get when I told people I didn’t eat meat (past tense BTW).

“Have You ever thought of living in the South of Tenerife?”

To me it feels as though there’s a bit missing from the end of that question. If you follow it to its logical conclusion there is an inference in a question like that. Which is why in future the answer will be a much simpler and significantly shorter one.

  1. I wouldn’t ask that question but I might well ask you why you chose the north but wouldn’t be in the least bothered if you asked me the same. I am always interested to know why people chose a specific town or area. I often ask people who live in the Los Gigantes area the same question especially if they are younger.

    • dragojac says:

      I agree with you Nikki, it’s totally natural to be curious and when that’s the case I’m more than happy to answer…in fact I’d rattle on so much that you’d be sorry you asked. But like I said in the reply to Sonja, I don’t believe that curiosity is always the reason for the question and when it’s not it can sometimes feel borderline insulting.

      • Realistically I am not sure what the south has that is so special. For most of us there is work, which is important. The weather is great but I think it is just where people first come so where they settle.
        As I comented on the tenerife forum I would like to live nearer to Santa Cruz but still haven’t worked how I can do it without the endless commute.

  2. Sonja Kennington says:

    Don´t get me wrong Jack, even though we have never met, you are one of my favourite Tenerife writers (just after the inimitable Colin Kirby who i believe you are probably friends with), but I think you´re beginning to get a bit of a chip on your shoulder about the whole north-south issue!

    I´ve been living in Santa Cruz for over five years now and I think it´s pretty normal for a British person to ask why I chose not to live in the South, because that´s where the vast majority of British people on the island choose to live. It doesn´t mean they are dissing the rest of the island, it just means they´re curious. I would worry more if people stopped asking.

    Anyway just ignore me, it´s my birthday tomorrow and I´m celebrating prematurely. : )

    • dragojac says:

      First of all Happy Birthday Sonja.
      You’ve probably spotted it, but some of the blogs on this site are deliberately meant to be provocative:) It’s my boiler room in writing terms and the place where I come to blow off some steam.

      It’s a good point that some people are curious and when that’s the case it seems an absolutely natural thing to ask ‘why’. The times when it does irk me is when I believe there’s an arrogance attached; a sort of ‘this is the centre of Tenerife’s universe so why aren’t you living here?’ which is a bit different from ‘why do you live there’. Especially as it’s completely innaccurate anyway as the centre of Tenerife’s universe is where you live 🙂

      As for a chip on my shoulder my wife agrees with you. I, on the other hand, clearly am going to deny that. My argument is that there continues to be a lot of misrepresentation regarding both the north and south of Tenerife mainly due to the fact that the majority of English language websites and press have focussed on one small area of the island for decades. That focus has painted a very skewed picture. I’m committed to painting a different one. It isn’t really about north and south, it’s actually about something else altogether.

      Have a great day.

      Oh, and thanks for the comments.

  3. Richard says:

    So this post is a justification of the fact that you don’t have to justify living somewhere LOL

    “Chip on your Shoulder” = ‘A perceived grievance’ / ‘to seem angry all the time’ / ‘describing people who nurse a grudge that readily provokes disputation’ … or perhaps ‘feeling the need to justify the fact that something doesn’t need justifying’ ? 🙂

    (nb for the interesting 18th century maritime origins of this phrase see http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/chip-on-your-shoulder.html)

    • dragojac says:

      LOL – love the origin of the phrase. I admit to feeling belligerent over the last few weeks. It was only after I drank deeply from the antidote and the scales fell from my eyes that I was able to see the cause – over exposure to bling and bull…which of course will be the subject of another blog 🙂

  4. Nikki says:

    I just want to point out that some places in the south are like the North for example Charco del Pino, Granadilla which can be cold and have very few expats living there, and these villages are a world away from life in Playa las americas or Los Cristanios.

    So I don’t see that why the North and South divide is such a issue in some people opinions.

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