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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Another peep in the void

Another denizen of Guirilandia speaks his mind in today’s, La Vanguardia.

Man, this letter to the editor almost has a decadent, Circus Maximus feel to it. Check out the choice of words: tunnel of terror … alcoholized Englishmen … subsaharan prostitutes … zombie tourists … reads like the premise to George A. Romero’s next movie.

[my translation follows]

A las 7 de la mañana


Como vecino de la calle Ferran tengo asumido el ruido, la suciedad, los ingleses alcoholizados y sus cánticos nocturnos, la falta de descanso… Pero a mí me preocupa el miedo que sufre mi mujer cada mañana al ir a trabajar. El corto camino entre Ferran/Avinyó y la Rambla, a la altura del mercado de la Boqueria, donde tenemos el parking, es para ella un exclusivo túnel del terror: indigentes medio desnudos orinando y defecando en la calle, prostitutas subsaharianas practicando felaciones a zoombies turistas, jóvenes magrebíes tira bolsos en la Rambla y turistas supraborrachos. Y todo esto a las siete menos cuarto de la mañana.

Estos últimos días, y gracias al eco informativo, el Ayuntamiento está poniendo en la calle a toda la Guardia Urbana disponible. Nuestra desconfianza es máxima, sabemos por experiencia que estas acciones son limitadas en el tiempo y simplemente obedecen al miedo político a perder su preciado poder. Sin embargo, necesitamos más seguridad real, efectiva y para siempre. Durante el día para los comerciantes y sus tiendas, y durante la noche, para los ciudadanos que vivimos en los barrios más conflictivos. No pedimos nada más a nuestros gobernantes (Estado, Generalitat y Ayuntamiento de Barcelona), que cumplan su obligación frente al ciudadano.

At 7 in the morning

As a neighbor of Ferran street I take as a given the noise, the filthiness, the alcoholized Englishmen and their nocturnal [football] hymns, the lack of rest… But what worries me is the fear that my wife suffers every morning when she goes to work. The short walk between Ferran/Avinyó and the Ramblas, up to the Boqueria market where we have a parking space, for her it’s an exclusive tunnel of terror [italics in original]; half naked bums urinating and defecating in the street, subsaharan prostitutes fellating zombie tourists, young Moroccan bag snatchers on the Ramblas and supraborracho [totally wasted?] tourists. And all this at six forty-five in the morning.

In the last few days, thanks to the echo of the news, the city council has all the Guardia Urbana [local police force] available. Our skepticism is at a maximum, we know from experience that these actions are limited to a certain time, and simply due to politicians in fear of losing their precious power. Nevertheless, we need real security, effective and lasting. In the daytime for the merchants and their shops, and at night, for the citizens that live in the most marginal neighborhoods. We ask nothing more of our governors (State, Government of Catalonia, and the city council of Barcelona), than that they fulfill their obligation to the citizen.

I got news for you, disturbed citizen.
Barcelona thrives on guiris like these. I don’t think Joan Clos Van Damme can do much to stanch the flow of turismo borracho because the € keeps the economy afloat and him in power. It’s a simple equation.

I think he ought to build an Easyhotel on the Forum site and send all the weekend warriors there. That way they can roll around in their drunken piss fests, chant football hymns and fight all they want. Throw in a couple donkeys and some guy doing palmadas to give them that authentic Spanish feel. After two days ship them out, wipe the place up, and ship the next bunch in. Either that, or start cracking down on employers that pay 900 euros a month for trilingual administrative assistants working 10 hour workdays. Then we can all go abroad and show them how to really party.