Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Hunger Games in Switzerland #10

I must kill 24 people in a Swiss reality TV show, or they will cut off my supply of pizza, beer, and wine. My name is Andrew Girardin. This is my story.

Previously on The Hunger Games - #1 "It begins" - #2 "Milk" - #3 "Elevators" - #4 "A Guest" - #5 "On Air" - #6 "Funeral" - #7 "Bazooka" - #8 "Cheesecake" - #9 "Sugar"

Friday, March 15, 2013

How to Fix Grotty Gomera

In the second part of my How to Fix series, I whinge about La Gomera. It's the second smallest Canary Island and I spent a week there.

I won't go back until they sort out these problems:

1. Trees
In 2012, forest fires decimated 10% of the trees on the island. It's still lush and hiking through the rainforest is wondrous. 

The parts of the island that have black, burned trees as far as the eye can see are fascinating in a sad way.

But then you come across trees like this:

Half tree half pineapple

This is clearly a genetically modified pineapple that they've bred to replace the burned trees. This is how they use your taxes, people of Gomera! Rise up! Demand proper trees!

2. Vampiric Fog
Half the island gets all the sun, and it's clear and hot every day. The other half is humid and covered in the kind of fog you normally get when approaching a scary castle.
My traveling companion insisted on visiting the misty half of the island every single day to take in the views she'd read about in a book full of lies.

This is one of the signs they have at the 'viewing points':
The Promised Land

Notice that in the picture you can see things like trees and hills and shapes and colours.

Here's the actual view you get:


3. Cutlery and Crockery
La Gomera has a couple of things to sort out in this category. 

First, if you are given a spoon that looks like a baddie from Battlestar Galactica, you can't concentrate on your food.
What the frak?
On another occassion, I was presented with this pot of tea. I wondered why they'd stuck a tissue on the handle. I took it off and received second degree burns. Mystery solved.

Ceramic teapots and less menacing cutlery, please, restaurants of Gomera!

4. Better Tourist Attractions
This photo shows Benchijigua, the first building constructed by the Spanish settlers. The ferry that takes you to Gomera from Tenerife is named after it. Sounds like a big deal. Right?

Getting there involved the most terrifying journey of my entire life, millimetres from a 300 metre vertical drop in a car being driven by a woman who brakes suddenly to avoid butterflies.

The reward was an abandoned building surrounded by abandoned buildings. Apparently once a year there is a thing that happens there. It wasn't the day I went.

Build a rollercoaster or something! Christ.

5. Attracting Gay Customers
If you read my piece on Barcelona, you'll remember that shops there offer 'homos' for as cheap as 3 euros.
In La Gomera, they are gay-friendly, which is good. But perhaps a little exuberant in their marketing?

Let's make La Gomera more family friendly, people.

Attention Gomeran authorities: You've got five things to fix before I'll consider going back. Get to work!