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The TIC Newsletter -, Spring 2015
April 01, 2015
The Magic of Tenerife - issue #36
Firstly, let me apologise for the fact that there was no newsletter on January 1st (a belated Happy New Year to everyone). I posted on the TIC blog on January 12th explaining things, but, in case you didn't see it, I'll reiterate it now.
For a good while, I'd had a cataract in my right eye which, by late last year, had got so bad as to make reading a computer screen pretty much impossible. So, work on the website had to put temporarily on hold and this included the newsletter. On February 14th (yes, Valentine's Day), I had cataract surgery, so now everything's fine.
So, apologies again and let's crack on...
It's a real shame that the first topic is such a negative one, but it is a fact that this situation exists. I've just received yet another post to a thread on my Q&A page entitled "Ripped off by a Shopkeeper". The thread can be viewed here. The ripping off of tourists by these electrical stores in the south of the island seems to be reaching epidemic proportions, so I feel I need to spread the word to as many people as possible, so they are forewarned.
If you look at the thread, you'll see one post accusing it of being "racist", because many people posting mention the fact that the proprietors of these shops are all of Asian persuasion. The thread is no such thing, because it is a fact that these shops are run exclusively by Indians or Pakistanis. Their remit, it seems, is, firstly, to get people into the shop. Some can even get physical, taking you by the arm and trying to pull you in. Once they've got you in their clutches, you'll be subjected to a very persuasive hard sell, beginning with what seems like a reasonably priced bargain. Then, you'll be very expertly persuaded that it would be better to upgrade to a superior model (for a superior price, of course).
It doesn't stop there. They'll try to get you to upgrade yet again and what began as an item of less than 100 euros has now escalated into four figures. (The item itself is likely to be bogus or counterfeit, by the way.)
If you're thinking that there's no way you could be manipulated this way, these people are very, very good at what they do. Trust me, if you enter one of these shops, whether voluntarily or by enticement by a member of staff, you will end up parting with a large sum of money for a rubbish product.
PLEASE AVOID GOING ANYWHERE NEAR THESE SHOPS, AT ALL COSTS.
Now my eye's okay, you'll be getting updates to various pages, plus entirely new ones. One important update I've had to put off doing is the Food and Drink Prices page, which I've now done. I know a lot of people like to have some idea how far their hard earned cash will stretch on the sunshine island, so it's important to keep this up to date. The prices are now valid for November last year, which was the last time we were on the island. We're hoping to go again sometime in May, so I'll be able to check if there's been any change since then and inform you accordingly.
For UK residents, don't forget that the exchange rate for the euro is the best it's been for many years. If you're thinking of visiting Tenerife in the near future, get your foreign currency now!
Another update I've done is to the Warnings and Advice page, regarding the business I was on about above.
You'll be receiving this newsletter a few days before Easter and this festival is very important for a catholic country like Spain and its islands. So, in Tenerife, we have semana santa, or holy week, beginning in two day's time. Most notable of the celebrations is found in La Laguna. Here, you can witness the eerie "procession of silence", where "penitents" make their way through the streets in costumes resembling those of the Ku Klux Klan (although the latter stole the idea for the costumes). In total silence, save for an ominous drumbeat, the sight can be quite unsettling. This is on Friday the 3rd and commemorates the death of Christ.
There are two other happenings worth mentioning. One is the world famous Easter Passion Play in Adeje. The whole of the Passion of Christ is enacted through the streets of the town, involving up to 300 actors. This is also on Good Friday. The other is the rather unusual Judas Fiesta, involving the betrayer of Jesus. Taking place in Taganana, an effigy of Judas is ceremoniously burned and this is believed to purge the village of any sins committed by its inhabitants. Unfortunately, I can't find an actual date for this, only that it's in "early April".
On May 3rd, we have the important fiesta Dia de La Cruz, or Day of the Cross. This is celebrated throughout the island, but particularly in Santa Cruz. There are processions, national costumes and crosses decorated with flowers, plus much partying. Some towns also put on amazing firework displays. Then, on June 11th, there is the festival of Corpus Cristi. In the town of La Orotava, this features the famous street "carpets" - all the thoroughfares of the town are decorated with flowers and coloured sand, fashioned into images. They are true intricate works of art and are well worth a visit.
Other things to mention that are happening include the Las Galletas half marathon. Taking place on April 12th at 9am, it costs 23 euros to take part. For the race, you'll receive a "goodie bag" that includes a commemorative T shirt. For football fans, the team from Sky's Soccer Saturday will be in Tenerife for a charity gala dinner. Tickets for the event are 50 euros and 70 euros. There will be speeches, plus a feature called "challenge Jeff Stelling". At 7pm, June 12th. Venue: Showtime, Karting Las Americas.
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Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this newsletter and tell me what you think!
This is John signing off. See you in three months!
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