If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I have a problem with San Pedro Alcantara.
Before you all rush to form a mob and force me away with burning torches shouting, “kill the monster!” I hasten to add that I have nothing against the good people themselves. When I was living in Marbella in the 80s, the town gave me one of the funniest nightclub moments of the decade – and there were several, trust me.
Heading home after yet another late night/early morning in Marbella´s Puerto Deportivo, a group of us decided that we needed a nightcap in San P. The only place that was open was the Ruj nightclub, next to the old bus station.
We must have all been fairly plastered because the Ruj was the sort of place that a bunch of big haired and big shoulder padded (it was the 80s) guiris was not welcome. Luckily we had Brenty, our half Australian mate with us, who was considerably larger than the crowd of diminutive Andalucians that turned to look at us as we walked in.
“Play it cool, drink your drinks and don’t do anything to draw attention to your self” were Brenty’s instructions.
All was going well and we were starting to think that we might get away with this, when Madonna’s ‘La Isla Bonita’ came on the sound system. Suddenly the dance floor was full, and a hundred Andaluz voices belted out the first line in unison
“Lasz nigh eye dreem of San Pedrooooo”.
It was all too much for us. I’m sure that Brenty actually spat his drink out, he was laughing that hard, but all was lost in a blur of hair gel, diamante broaches and felt boots as we got the hell out of Dodge, followed by the mulleted Spanish hurling insults.
But whatever damage they wanted to visit upon us that evening, is nothing compared to the damage that the current OSP party has done to the town.
The ‘visionaries’ that run the place have gone on a remodeling that has seen large swathes of the town pedestrianised – but with no cheap parking around the shops have seen a drop of in trade, the historic palm trees and sculptures that stood at the entrance to the main street uprooted and moved else where, and a ‘modernisation’ of the Church Square, with wavy sunshades that offer no protection and ugly LED lights that shine blue at night. They’ve even added a fountain with flashing lights that look like they have come from a “club alternativa”. Traditional Andalucian, the style that tourists love to see, it is not.
The last time I saw this amount of ugly urban architecture was in UK town centres when I was editing a property publication, and at least they had the excuse that the Luftwaffe had flattened them. Looking at the damage the powers that be have wrought on the town, I have to conclude that OSP really does stand for Obliterate San Pedro!