Growing racism in Palma?
Last week I was on holiday in Palma, enjoying a stroll through the shopping district with my wife. We came across a pearl shop and my wife went in to have a look. Not sharing my wife’s interest in pearls I decided to wait outside. There were no seats around and so I perched on the edge of the window sill, to one side so as not to obscure the view of potential customers.
After a while an elderly woman approached me from the street and started complaining to me in Spanish. My Spanish is not good but I think she was saying that my bottom was somehow damaging the ledge. I thought it was a bizarre complaint and considered her a busy body with nothing better to do. When she left I sat back down and forgot all about it.
A few minutes later all hell broke loose. The woman turned out to be the owner of the shop, which I hadn’t realised at the time, and she came running out followed by her husband and then my wife. She pushed me from the ledge, he went to punch me in the face but my wife, who knew they were about to attack me, grabbed him in time and he went flying sideways.
He then grabbed my wife around the throat until I managed to get him off her. It then became more verbal with racist abuse aimed at us in Spanish (my wife is Ecuadorian and speaks fluent Spanish). They were swearing and yelling at us to go back to our own country.
No police turned up and we were in total shock and eventually walked away. We are a middle-aged couple that were peacefully enjoying an afternoon of shopping but we were immediately treated like hardened lager-lout troublemakers.
My wife was actually about to buy an expensive pearl necklace at the time. We considered reporting it to the police but by then any witnesses had dispersed and there didn’t appear to be CCTV cameras recording it. It would have been our word against theirs and I suspect we would have ended up not being believed.
Having had time to reflect and get over the shock of being assaulted for simply sitting in the wrong place, I think there is a growing problem in Majorca with racist tension against tourists.
We have been going to Majorca regularly for the last 12 years and not experienced anything like this before. I’m so glad our two young boys weren’t with us at the time and witnessed the raw hatred and violence directed at us, their parents.
Surely normal people don’t go from zero to punching someone so quickly over something so trivial? It’s surprising that shop owners are prepared to put their xenophobia ahead of their business which relies so heavily on tourism.
Name withheld by request
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