Skip to main content

WOMAD 2009 Caceres, Spain

The music has died down and faded away, the stage has been packed up, the tourists have gone home and the artists are playing somewhere else. WOMAD 2009 has come and gone, but something hasn't left...and it's here to stay for awhile...a LONG while.

On Saturday night alone as people danced to the likes of Eliades Ochoa; it's estimated (and probably conservatively) that 21 800kgs of rubbish was collected, the lion's share of it plastic. That figure doesn't even include Thursday and Friday.

As the town hall pats itself on the back for effectively stopping the usual glass shard menagerie that endangered every footstep in previous editions of the festival, they and the festival organizers seem to have turned a very blind eye to the enormous mountain of plastic that was created as result. Plastic that wasn't even attempted to be recycled, but dumped in with the rest of the rubbish, bound to sit in the dump for the next eon.

Not one recycle bin was to be seen in the Main Square, not one attempt to encourage people to at least reuse their huge plastic cups...

I think without realizing the irony in their statement, the local paper said it best when they said that we've gone from 'botellon', to 'plasticon'.

If you are reading this in 2010 and planning on hitting the festival...plan ahead and enjoy the tunes without adding to the mess. Bring a cup and insist that they use it! The excuse of 'just doing as the locals do' is just that, an excuse.


Popular posts from this blog

The 10 Best Places to Swim...?

I read a post the other day listing the 10 best places to swim around the world. Reading through them I realized that I hadn't been to even one of them!

Poor me, but then I thought, wait...I've swum in some lovely places.

Let's narrow them down to 3 in no particular order.

Ginnie Springs, High Springs, Northern Florida

If northern Florida wasn't interesting enough in its own time travel way, these springs are perfect. It's a surreal place to swim among the Spanish moss while the alligators patrol out in the warmer river that the springs flow into (the big toothy grins don't like the cooler water).

Bir Ali, Yemen

Yemen never makes it onto the glossy Caribbean style travel brochures, but the emerald green of the Arabian Sea is a mighty match for hurricane alley. Just outside the town of Bir Ali you can camp on a deserted white sandy beach that seems to extend all the way down to Aden. Behind you the sands of the beach meet and mingle with those of the desert on the vol…

Thou Shalt All Think the Same

Writing in the local paper. Local Issues with a global take. I never translate literally and the editor trims at will to make it fit. Here's my version, then theirs.

One of the first things that drew me to Spain back in the nineties was a feeling that people generally minded their own business. Sure, they might comment, criticize or even ridicule those who wore socks with sandals, ate in the street or simply did things differently, but at least they let them do it. While the hyper-entrenched norms of society exerted an enormous pressure on people to fit in, non-conformists were mostly looked down upon, but not necessarily punished. If someone wanted to transform a lovely nineteenth century house in their village into a three story apartment monstrosity, well, if the law somehow let them do it, it was their choice to do so. The homogeneity of streets and entire Spanish villages have suffered enormously due to this, but if that’s the look the owner wants, well? Taste is after all a …

Nothing to do with it

Writing in the local paper. Local Issues with a global take. I never translate literally and the editor trims at will to make it fit. Here's my version, then theirs.

Just as the bartender put down our caƱas, my companion somewhat skeptically asked, “But how is it possible that you, a Canadian, are complaining about the cold here in Spain?” And he was right on two fronts, I am Canadian and indeed I had been complaining about the cold, but I persevered, “After having lived abroad so long, I’m not sure how much ‘Canadian’ is left in me but even that last little bit is sick and tired of winter, especially as it is technically now spring!” A temporary truce was called when our tapas was served and as I enjoyed my morcilla (blood sausage), I got ready for the next volley. “Really, down here we can’t complain. Look at how they getting punsished just north of here in the mountains and beyond.” And once again, he was right, the images on TV were terrible reminders of my frozen childhood bac…