surinenglish

Trapped

More than two million Catalonians feel trapped in Spain and thousands of British tourists have been stranded on the Costa del Sol. If we add the Catalonians who want independence to those who defend a referendum, the figure triples. If we add the thousands of British tourists left without a flight on the Costa to those in the rest of the world, we get to a hundred thousand.

The Police and Guardia Civil suppressed the voting last week with unnecessary and clumsy violence, and the images helped illustrate the pro-independence story. There was a lot at stake and the government played to win, and lost. The public outcry on Tuesday was huge and many Catalonian friends were surprised that people didn't support the strike here, shocked by the violence of the riot police, which they thought unprecedented. The violence could have, should have, been avoided, but there was nothing unprecedented about it. Remember the protests at the shipyards in Cadiz, the Andalusian province with the highest rate of unemployment, or the police action during the 15-M 'indignados' protests, also in Barcelona, but this time it was the Mossos d'Escuadra in riot gear.

The British airline Monarch announced on Monday that it was ceasing all operations. Now British tourists will be taken home by their government, and Malaga will have lost six flights a day. Thousands of Britons wait in the sun to be repatriated while many Catalonians don't understand the attitude of those outside or, to be honest, those outside don't understand the attitude of the Catalonians. It's as if people were annoyed that a Catalonian speaks Catalan. They should have taught us it at school, then things would be different. It also annoys us that someone is in favour of a referendum and even more so if someone is in favour of independence, when both sentiments are as respectful as any others. It annoys us so much that we start tangling the net with insults in various languages and unimaginable spelling mistakes.

I'm sorry about what happened on Sunday and about the unemployment in Cadiz and that the five books I bought yesterday are more expensive than in Barcelona because, while they're still the same price, the average wage here is much lower. I pay my taxes and they include me in a group that's stealing from them, they say, and then they come up against others who also talk nonsense and include me in their group and I would go on strike by myself just to defend my individuality. We are privileged, and the Catalonians even more so. I am open to change. Legally. But I'll go on strike for the Kurds, while the Brits enjoy their holidays.