Thursday, April 20, 2006
Our Pueblo - Love it (or Trash it)
The pueblo of Mojácar is a symbol; it’s the reason that many of us came to live here. The playas are very ordinary, the surrounding towns are, generally, rather grim and the services are decidedly second-rate. But, no matter, the pueblo is a metaphor for our freedom of life-style, our courage to leave wherever-we-came-from and our galloping Bohemianism.
It’s a pretty village, with narrow streets and amazing views. Over the years, it has maintained its number of inhabitants – at around 300 – while the buildings have been converted into tee-shirt emporia, humorous ash-tray shops, bars (there are over fifty) or building sites. One such site, in the Plaza Nueva, has got around the two storey limit by ignoring it. Its ground floor alone is two stories high (higher than the Jamon Jamon building to its left) then there are two additional stories. Against the law? Fuck the law. Against good taste and aesthetics? Faggot talk! Against your own town’s interests? Screw you, it’s our town to do as we please.
The ayuntamiento has hired some chap to come along and, I suppose, beautify the pueblo. So far, this means knocking out the old square below the church (la Plaza de Parterre) in favour of some marble folderol with lots of Indalitos (too late, another mayor, Bartolo, flogged off the Indalo to the provincial government in 1987). Another job is to turn the rock garden next to the hideous ice-cream shop (now a late-nite bar) on the left as you reach the Plaza Nueva, into a rubble garden approached by a staircase made from chapa, from pressed pig-iron. Neat!
Mojacar pueblo is no stranger to philistinism. The Plaza Nueva used to have two arches off it, leading into the ‘medina’ or narrow back-streets. Pretty. They were knocked out by a Frenchman in around 1974 who built the horrible three storey nick-nack shop now called Angela’s. The beautiful theatre was knocked down in the mid-eighties to build some tee shirt emporia (the residents of the pueblo buy them by the kilo). The Fuente and the Castillo were both thoroughly trashed in the mid eighties as well. The Arco de Luciana was knocked down in 1997 and the next mayor actually got into office on the promise to rebuild it. Which he didn’t.
With almost no parking as another deterrent, together with the noise from the fifty bars, the ambitious illumination, the piss smelling streets, the graffiti and the lack of shops (another tee-shirt, Señor?), few people live in the village and many of those who live in the surroundings, while being fond of Mojácar pueblo, find justification easily enough for not visiting.