Strangely, despite Marbella being so quiet, crime seems to be on the up (although bearing in mind that this used to be called the ‘Costa del Crime’, it is nowhere near what it used to be!) – in the last couple of weeks, a hotel and a luxury shopping centre have both been burned down (as yet, the cause is not completely clear, but of course people are speculating…..), there was a shooting outside our lawyer’s offices (two guys on a motorbike, whizzing past and bang, dead on the spot (thankfully it wasn’t actually our lawyer, although sometimes I think it is only a matter of time…!)) and a few other ‘standard bits and pieces’.
Last night, too, we went for a quick dinner with our friends (of the paella fame) to our regular Spanish hangout, which is also popular with both the local and national police, and in the middle of our dinner a group of rather glamorous officers from the table next to ours suddenly jumped up, grabbed their stuff and started running for the door with radios cackling (not, though, before one of them stopped to collect the food that was left, boxed it all up and took it with him!) – that turned out to be a call to a road traffic accident where a car had smashed through a window of a jewellers and another car had made off with all the gear. I tell you, it felt like we were living through an episode of Miami Vice!
All of this is hardly surprising really, since people here are really starting to feel the pain. We have several friends that have lost their jobs and are already struggling, and we hear that the pawnbroker in Marbella is doing a roaring trade (literally.. .my tennis partner (former.. pre my knee!) told me that one of her friends had had to take her car in to pawn…!). It is all very sad, and we can’t help thinking that this will soon be Costa del Crisis, if the tourists don’t start coming again soon.
So today we sat on our beach, socially distancing by about 100 metres since there were only a handful of sunbathers there despite it being a lovely morning, and feeling as if we are in the safest place in the world. I pondered how tough it must be for all the less obvious tourist businesses around us – the guy selling the beds and parasols, who every so often got up to disinfect some of them (presumably as something to do, as there was no sign of any customers), the Africans who were trying to sell their fake designer bags
and scarves with absolutely no chance of a sale, the beach bar with no customers, and even the guy who has been manning the ice-cream kiosk for as long as we have been coming here (and who told us on the first night that we were allowed out after lockdown that he was so happy to be free of his wife, he would be happy to now sit in the kiosk all day and night if he had to, even if there were no sales!!!)… I wonder if he still feels like that! It just seems all wrong, in a town with hardly any infections…
I feel a bit guilty, therefore, to mention one of the other things that I have been thinking about recently, and that is the possibility of buying a Swarovski mask (bearing in mind that last time I mentioned a ‘Covid’ idea for a new business in my blog someone else nicked it) and sure enough, wandering through the posh department store in Puerto Banus, I spotted all sorts of Swarovski crystal variations for sale. Since they cost Euro 30 each and Jan nearly fainted at the idea of my buying one, I didn’t, partly as I have also now heard about a Chanel version that has just come on the market. I had thought to investigate that until I read this morning about a full-on Louis Vuitton face-shield (being advertised on Twitter… seems a bit of a strange place…) on sale for the princely sum of Euro 1,000. Now that, I am afraid, seems a bit off, and in the present circumstances I think it would be very wrong to wear such a thing (if one could even afford it). So I am sticking to my usual for now.
Still on the subject of shopping, I actually got a bit depressed about it all when I was doing a quick reconnaisance with Jan the other day. The thing is that I do find a bit of pleasure in buying clothes, handbags, shoes and so on (yes, I am a woman, we all feel like that), but really, with so little work to do (and what I have being done from home), and so few events or similar taking place (if I could even be bothered to go), what is the point of buying something to ‘dress up in’? It’s difficult to make a case to be honest. So.. on reflection, it may yet have to be a branded mask since that is about the only thing that is going to get any real wear just now!
So what else – I could go on (and on, and on) about the UK but I won’t. I am sad for our lovely Spain. And I feel a bit aggrieved about the CR and the way the media is whipping it all up (Ok, the numbers are going up…. but they are still very low, relatively speaking), with the result that the Czechs (here I go again… apologies if I offend anyone) who do, sometimes, err on the side of hypochondria, are going a bit crazy about testing (it’s funny … most people I know down here are scared of doing the test (not because of the result, but because of the nasty test itself!), whilst the Czechs can’t seem to get enough. We heard today from one of Jan’s colleagues about a mutual friend going to the airport at 4.00 am to try to get a test (as other testing places are so busy) only to find thousands of others had had the same idea. What is that all about?
So we will be heading back shortly, hoping to get a test if there isn’t a queue a mile long of all those that haven’t had one for a week or so, and then we will see what happens. It’s going to be a funny few months I expect….