IN this space I have often moaned about outdated shop opening hours and I often warned that unless they were prepared to change many small shops would go out of business. Unfortunately, I was right and the face of Palma's high street has changed dramatically and I would say, that it is for the worse. Gone are the Majorcan-owned shops to be replaced by multi-national clothes stores with English sounding names. As I walked along the Calle San Miguel last week I thought to myself, I could be anywhere; there is little difference between the San Miguel and a high street in Britain or Germany. This fantastic Palma street has lost all its character. Even your typical Majorcan bar has gone to be replaced by American-style delis. Perhaps, it is progress but surely the millions of tourists who come to these islands every year want something different when they go shopping. The one good thing is that with all these new shops it's probably cheaper to clothes shop in Palma than ever before. Yes, there are some incredible bargains. But what a change. Palma will never be the same again.
And on a more positive note my congratulations to Ricky Lash on winning the Ramon Llull prize; Ricky's dedication is a real example. Writing a column everyday for 45 years is a real milestone.
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