Take a look at the caterpillar of theChinese Bush Brownbutterfly - a native to the rainforests and deciduous forests of Japan - which nature has
amusingly given a face similar to the popular cartoon character 'Hello Kitty'.
Being asked to review an in depth guide to a place you know absolutely nothing about and have never visited, is a great way to broaden
ones cultural and geographical knowledge. With this in mind, and when a copy of
Matthew Hirtes’ Going Local in Gran
Canaria was offeredfor my
opinion, I agreed unreservedly.
Initially a newcomer, but now after eight years of
residency a total native and still loving it, Matthew has researched the island
to include information showing that - there
is life beyond thebucket and spade.
He covers things he himself would have liked to have known upon arrival and all
that he has learnt over the years from his own experiences or via other
expatriates and of course the local Canarians included.
His research has paid off. Matthew eases us into some
background information and covers the island’s Spanish-African heritage, inhabitants
and language. Once your appetite has been wetted, he continues with a
comprehensive guide of the points to consider for those who wish to turn the holiday
destination into a home - where will you live and work? How about healthcare,
finances, schools for the kids, integrating with the other inhabitants? All
this is supported by relevant resources, contact details and websites. Successful
relocation requires an endless list to be worked through and items to be ticked
Those who choose to stay create what they miss: regular social meet ups help
people keep in contact, talk in their native tongue and meet the island’s newcomers;
if you can’t find what you want with regard to employment, you could start your own business. There are
a lot of possibilities on this 590 square mile, mini continent where the micro
climate is described to be “the best climate in the world”.
There is plenty to do on Gran Canaria. For the active
soul there are clubs, cycling, walking on the beach as exercise, swimming,
surfing, football and ballet etc. For trips further afield on the island there
is a good local bus system or alternatively you can hire a car. If you prefer
to kick back, and relax, whilst soaking up the mañanavibe of the
island, then sitting in cafes, watching the old men playing dominos, coffee,
snacks, siestas and spas are the way to go.
For the lover of nightlife, keep an eye on the fiesta
calendar, visit the Carnival and enjoy the exuberant nightlife, but watch out
for the island-wide hangovers as a result of the rum being poured until you tell them to stop!
Going Local in
Gran Canaria is an interesting
introduction and comprehensive guide to the island and who knows, maybe in the
future, when the weather in the northern Netherlands really gets my goat, I may
find myself choosing it as a possible destination.
Faith is an island in the setting sun,
But proof is the bottom line for everyone- Paul Simon
The snowboard design for Signal was sourced and influenced by a doodle I drew of my hand. The top of the board features a stylized thumb and refers to the handmade element of Signal's unique snowboards.