The Sound of Silence



A READER’S letter hit the right chord with me; he condemned party poopers who complain about noise radiating from entertainment venues. If such whiners want to bond with nature and remove themselves from the mainstay of Spanish tourism why don’t they sling their hooks and head for the hills? Why did they buy where they are in the first place?

With scores of other diners, many of them tourists, I watched aghast as Guardia Civil officers made their way across a commercial terrace. They were there to have a word with a bar owner upon whose patio a duo were performing.


They had received a complaint about the music’s volume; they must cease playing. We are hardly talking garage music; just two talented pianists with cruise liner experience. The complaint had been made by a rival whose customers had been attracted to their competitor’s entertainment.

Another Own Goal

As the pianists packed up the disappointment etched on diners faces said it all; another own goal. Today that same terrace is notable for its quietness broken only by sandal-footed shuffling Oriental hawkers of illicit CDs. Of twenty-eight businesses less than half are hanging on in there.

A short distance away two pianists and a drummer started off by hitting the right note but they were hardly in harmony with residents 150 metres distant. They too called the Guardia Civil. Yet again a struggling bar owner rolled his despairing eyes to the sky as did the performing trio. They are now looking for work elsewhere; anywhere but the Costas. (ABC)

Strolling over I approached the deputation responsible for the ban; they couldn’t keep the smirks from their smug faces. They sure knew their rights but was there’s an own goal too?

The Penny Drops

The complainers listened politely as I reminded them that the business community in the small commercial centre opposite was struggling to survive: The loss of any one of those businesses impacted on the others and hastened their exit.

I asked them what their properties would be worth when facing a litter-strewn rat-infested abandoned mall resplendent with graffiti and populated by a score or so feral kids? I conjured up an image of breeze blocked roller shuttered decay. It was a treat to see their expressions change.

These are not isolated incidents; they are widespread and we all know of similar acts of mean-minded short-sightedness.

In the same issue of the Euro Weekly News we read a report expressing concern about the decline in Benidorm’s hospitality industry. Under threat, from inclusive hotel deals are the city’s many bars. They have suffered from the same negative mindset. An integral part of their rivals’ inclusive deals is in-house entertainment.

Is anyone listening? Not if the whiners get their way. All we will hear will be the lapping of waves along deserted beaches. For those of us who want entertainment there are always rival destinations along North Africa’s coasts and the eastern Mediterranean.

By Mike Walsh


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