surinenglish

Red column

The Junta de Andalucía has said it's thinking about charging admission to its monuments. It does charge already, but only foreigners. Foreign foreigners, that is, from outside the European Union. The foreign foreigners only make up 10 per cent of the total number of visitors and, for the monuments controlled by the regional government in the province of Malaga where the measure is already applied, they pay 1.5 euros to get in, which isn't much. So now we, as Spanish as we are for some things, would be treated like foreigners and asked to pay 1.5 euros. This is a sum that we would still bother to bend down to pick up if we dropped the coins, but it's not a huge sacrifice.

Not everything has to be free and some of the most visited monuments already do charge admission. The most visited monument in Spain is the Alhambra (Granada). The most visited attraction in London is the Tate Modern, where last Sunday a teenager threw a six-year-old French boy, whom he apparently didn't know from Adam, from a tenth-floor window. In Madrid last Friday one man pushed another onto the metro tracks when the train was approaching the station; they didn't know each other either. If they had known each other it wouldn't change anything, unless it was a revenge attack among hitmen, which wouldn't be a bad thing as the rest of us who are not hired killers would be freed from the possibility of being the one to be pushed onto the metro line. They want to find motives and I hope they don't find one because the world would be lost if someone found a reason for throwing a child from the tenth floor. At the end of July a man from Murcia killed his 11-year-old son when he had to take him back to his mother, and then hanged himself. The world is already a bit lost, but as we're here we might as well stay. Last week in Germany a man pushed a woman and her eight-year-old son onto the tracks when a train was passing. The woman escaped and probably now wishes she hadn't, just like the mother of the 11-year-old. A Spanish man threw his wife off the Eiffel Tower in 1963 in the only similar incident on record. The woman was called Dolores and the man was arrested in 2011 in Torremolinos for killing, at 79 years of age, a man on a bench.

This world is a safe place, although nothing is really safe in this world. We are lucky enough to live in the nice part, full of beautiful places and monuments which we will pay to get into, but just a little. We can't go around in fear, although one of these days there'll be an accident with an electric scooter and it could happen to us. But a bit of fear isn't a bad thing. This world, the good one, is full of safe places, but also of people determined to spoil it. The Copenhagen metro is safe and no one can push anyone, although a Danish inventor chopped up a woman in a submarine. I wanted to talk about monuments, and everything has become covered in blood - sorry.