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The New World Order

I have you know that I had a haircut last Friday. That rather gives away my religious inclination; a steadfast observer of Sabbath would not have his hair cut on a day of worship. No, I did not observe anything last Friday other than my eager readiness to fulfil my journalistic duty to you, my readers. In pursuit of my ambition I risked my vanity and had a Chinese hair cut, or rather, had my hair cut at a Chinese Peluquero (hairdresser). As I am an Hombre (male), the charge for services rendered was a mere 6 €, a fraction of what I normally would pay when I go to my regular Barbero in Palma (21 €).

The inundation of Mallorca by Chinese people is noticeable. It started in the Sixties with the first arrival of Chinese restaurants in Palma. Then it was the Chinese takeaways. Then Chinese supermarkets. The first Chinese investors we read about were interested in setting up a factory in Montuïri for the production of lightbulbs. That never took off as far as I know, but still. Then there was an influx of Chinese bazaars selling everything that was produced in China which was a lot. A few years ago, I started to see Chinese waiters in local Mallorcan bars and now we have Chinese shoe shops galore, and Chinese hairdressers cutting hair for 6 € for male customers and 7 € or 8 € for females, depending on the length of hair. There are even Chinese builders. Here in Felanitx, rumours have it that albaniles from China work for as little as 3 € per hour here in Mallorca when José, Paco, Rafael and Toni would not get out of bed for less than 12 € and often 15 €.

And there are tourists from China as well. According to the Instituto de Estudios Turísticos there were more than 100,000 tourists coming to Spain from China last year. I do not know how many of that number came to Mallorca but, the Balearic president has been to China recently trying to woo Chinese honeymooners to come to our island for their boda de miel. I am not sure that any just marrieds have already arrived all the way from China but the trend is there. There is a new world order out there and China is in the forefront.

The photo was taken in Manacor, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 28th, 2011. The time was 12:25:54.

3 replies »

  1. Over the years local politicians have tried to promote tourism from America, China, Japan and South Korea – all to no avail.
    Why?
    Because long haul tourists when they get to SPAIN i.e. mainland, have enough to occupy them for the length of their stay without spending more money on a plane or boat to come to Mallorca.
    If Mallorca had something spectacular to offer i.e. a Gugenheim or a Sagrada Familia then some may make the effort. But it doesn’t and they won’t.
    And persuading long haulers to come direct to Mallorca and miss out the mainland is a complete no-brainer.
    Conclusion: Our politicians should stop wasting money on long haul jollies and concentrate on the markets we can and should get. Russia and all its ` new ` countries, Ukraine, all the -stans, Slovenia, Slovakia, etc. Anywhere that is a short haul flight away.
    Regards….
    John

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