For the last fifteen years or so, I have been sitting every morning in the Plaça de las Palmeras in Felanitx having my Café Solo and Agua sín Gas, reading my papers. Most days, I would read the local Diario de Mallorca (in Castellano), the national El País (in Castellano) and the local Majorca Daily Bulletin (in English). Sometimes I would read the DBalears (in Catalán), and very occasionally, Mallorca Zeitung, a local German weekly. Weather permitting, I would sit outside and try to escape the smoke fumes that all Spanish bars sponsor so profusely, and also, try and soak up the sun’s light and warmth. Of course, in the heat of the Summer I would sit in the shade of a palm tree or a sunshade umbrella provided by the bar.
After all these years, I now will have to consider my options in the pursuit of my happiness. A few days ago (October 1st), I was informed that my bar can no longer afford to put up chairs and tables in the Plaça through the winter months due to an increase in levies that the Ajuntament de Felanitx imposes on the usage of the open space. Since the beginning of this year, the bar has thus decided to only pay the levy for the duration of six months (April to September), instead of the year-round charge. La Crisis, I suppose. Will this change of seating arrangements seriously affect my daily ritual and thus, my state of well-being? I do not know. For the time being, I have resolved to cheating. I still buy my own papers but, now I fetch coffee and water myself. Then, I borrow a chair from the bar’s own terrace and, single-handed, haul it to my usual position in the Plaça. So far, no-one has remanded me for any trespassing. The bar owner is sympathetic to my plight. He probably has long since considered me an eccentric customer. My happiness is as yet still intact, and so is my dignity. If things should change for the worse, I shall keep you posted. Wish me luck.
“True happiness arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one’s self…” (Joseph Addison)
The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 4th, 2010. The time was 11:13:38.