|Wednesday 19 June, 2013 Edition #4064|
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Hope in Iran
IT is difficult to be anything other than positive over the result of the Iran election, which gave a landslide victory to the most moderate of the candidates. Hassan Rowhani, narrowly got the 50 percent vote necessary to avoid a run-off -- proof that rigging was not the order of the day this time.
So, positive, yes, but cautious also since the way in which Iranian politics works, does not always mirror western, models. But was it really necessary for the Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to strike such a negative note about “not deluding ourselves or getting caught up in wishful thinking” about a result that “won’t change anything”. If Mr Netanyahu, really thinks this election “won’t change anything” then he is indeed deluding himself. How many of his distinctly humanitarian and liberal policies Rowanhi will be able to implement, is impossible to judge and it is, of course, well-known, that the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei ,probably takes the lead on nuclear issues. But, for heaven’s sake, can’t we just welcome the likelihood that oppression has almost been lifted from the Iranian people’s lives and tell the new President that if he wants to talk about resolving differences, however serious, and establishing mutual understanding, the West will be ready . This was the offer President Obama made, four years ago; Rowanhi could be the man to accept it, now.
The beauty of Pollensa
I think tourist resorts across Majorca can learn many lessons from Puerto Pollensa, which I think, is one of the nicest places on the island. I know every year we get complaints about the port from visiting tourists but perhaps they should visit other parts of Majorca, they would be truly shocked! Puerto Pollensa, has managed to find the right balance; it attracts thousands of tourists every year but at the same time you don´t feel crowded, bar and restaurant staff are polite and helpful and the scenic beauty of the area has not been ruined. Many of the resorts in other parts of the island have become far too busy, with far too many bars and restaurants offering the same thing. I don´t think any family with small children in their right mind would go on holiday to the Playa de Palma or Magalluf. Now, I know these resorts are not known as “family destinations” and I congratulate the Calvia council on their efforts to clean-up Magalluf, but they still have to a long way to go. I would say that it is almost impossible to have a quiet, leisurely, walk along the promenade in the Playa de Palma without being shocked, at the behaviour of some German tourists. I think you can safely say the same thing about Magalluf. I know some people will say that this is the beauty of Majorca, it has something for everyone. But I would call on the tourist industry to look at Puerto Pollensa. Some may say it is old fashioned and boring but you will find it is packed with tourists.
I seldom watch the TV program Click about the latest technology which I struggle to understand just like University Challenge where I can barely understand the questions never mind the answers. This morning I chanced on it discussing the latest development in Play Stations which my grandchildren use to play the most sophisticated video games and about the rivalry between Sony and Microsoft over their latest models. What interested me was that the program confirmed something I have suspected for years – price differentiation between the US, Europe and the UK. Although each model had a different price the price of each specific brand appeared the “same” for each market such that in the US the price was $399 it was also 399 in Europe (but in €s) and also 399 in Britain (but in £s). This is typical of many other products. So if you buy here you pay a 37% premium and in the UK 57% extra ,than I do by buying via a friend’s address in the US ,where he will mail the goodies on to me.
Playa de Palma
With reference to Chris Strickland’s letter regarding taxis, it appears there have been many incidences with the Soller and Fornalutx ‘taxistas’. Whilst chatting to my friend about this last week, she told me a story of her parents who were visiting last summer. Both in their 70s, and in the August heat, waited ONE HOUR at the taxi rank in Soller. When finally a taxi turned up, they got into the taxi and asked to be taken to Biniaraix. About a minute later, the driver had a call (the couple don’t speak Spanish so don’t know exactly what it was, but clearly a better and more lucrative offer) and asked them to get out. She dumped them in Soller, not even at the taxi rank, just on the street! One option was going to the back of the queue, at the taxi rank, but they decided it would be quicker walking up to Biniaraix, bearing in mind this was the end of the day and they were exhausted and just wanted to get back. Is this not illegal? Are taxis not obliged to take you where you want? Not just the longer journeys which they will get more money for?
It is disgusting behaviour and not the way to treat anyone, even more so an elderly couple who were obviously hot and tired and needed to get home. Do these drivers not have any compassion? Surely, this should be a prerequisite if you’re working with the public? It’s a pity it has come to this. The only thing they’re interested in is their own pocket. Depressing stuff.
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