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‘Progress’ in Ibiza

‘Progress’ in Ibiza tends to happen differently than in most other places.
Have you ever wandered round your favourite supermarket in the UK and noticed how a lot of the fruit and vegetables are the same size, shape and colour? No, I don’t mean that an apple is long and bent! I mean that if you pick up two bananas, or red peppers, or pretty much anything else down that aisle, they’re usually identical to each other.

Why is this? Is it the work of nature or man?

A little of both, really. Yes, it’s those super-meddlers the European Commission, ensuring that no shopper has an outside chance of being freaked out by a Granny Smith that isn’t as perfectly shaped and coloured as its neighbour.
Happily, the rules were recently relaxed, as before then something like 20% of a harvest was being thrown away just because it didn’t look right!

Here on this little island, we haven’t yet succumbed to that sort of madness. If you’ve ever visited us, you’ll know that things move at a more sedate pace here, and ‘progress’ takes a lot longer to happen….and sometimes it doesn’t happen at all! A quick look around any supermarket or fruit and vegetable shop, for example, will reveal all sorts of weird and wonderful shapes that would have an EC rule-maker reaching for his tape measure and colour chart. I don’t know about you, but I prefer my foodstuff to look as though it’s been grown in a field rather than a laboratory, and I’m pretty sure it tastes better when it’s a bit wonky as well.

Of course, one of the reasons many people come to Ibiza for their holidays, or to live, is that we remain relatively untouched by the madness of some of the dafter health and safety and EC regulations. Hopefully, it’ll stay that way, as attempts at ‘progress’ in Ibiza aren’t always successful.
A case in point is the roundabout, so called because many drivers over here understand how to use them…in a roundabout way. i.e Not very well! Just ten years or so ago, there was only one roundabout on the island, close to Pacha. Now there are dozens, but unfortunately the local government never took the time to explain to anyone who’d never used the Pacha roundabout how to use them. The effects of this can be seen almost daily, especially after a rain shower, with tyre tracks clearly visible going over, through and on top of roundabouts all over the island. There’s a good reason why most roundabouts have very low, or no kerbs at all and have gravel in the middle!

On the plus side, progress has been made improving the main road that runs between Ibiza town and San Antonio. Until 2008, this road was the most dangerous in Europe ,with fatalities common all year round, as it was mostly single carriageway and large sections of it were unlit. Overtaking at night usually involved clenching one’s bum cheeks, hoping that any driver coming the other way bothered to switch on their lights, and pressing the accelerator down so hard your thigh ached. Now, thankfully, the same journey is safe and stress-free….as long as you can remember where the two speed cameras are located!

So what is your point, I hear you say?

Well, as I mentioned, things here aren’t always just like they are at home. While there are many, many pluses about the lifestyle here, you need to be aware of the very few minuses to avoid possible pain and suffering, both physical and financial.

If you hire a car or motorbike, be very careful, especially on the approach to roundabouts and traffic lights. Other drivers may change lanes as quickly as they change the rules of the road to suit themselves. At less busy junctions, red lights can often be treated as advisory! Also, be aware of potholes.

If you’re walking around, especially at night, watch where you’re going at all times. Workmen don’t always cordon off holes in the pavement.

If you’re drinking alcohol, remember that a measure of spirit will be much larger than the gnat’s spit-sized measure you’d get at home. This one could probably be classed as both a plus AND a minus, especially during the next morning’s hangover!

Whatever you choose to do when you’re here in Ibiza, do what the locals do and take things a little slower, look a little more carefully, and watch out for each other.
That way, you’ll leave us in one piece and you’ll be sure to return!

If you’d like to hire a vehicle to see our beautiful island, please visit our car hire page.

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