An inquiring mind often unearths an inspiring find, Who? What? Where? When? Why? Yet many questions in life fail to return any satisfactory answer. Since living in Mallorca I have had my fair share of unresolved questions, which continue to buzz around inside my head like an angry wasp trapped in a jam jar. Here are a few favourite examples.

WHO is the individual who decides where to put Mallorca’s zebra crossings? They all seem to be sited in the most dangerous places possible, without any consideration to the road user or the safety of the said pedestrian. Accelerating off a roundabout with someone invariably riding your bumper, the last thing you need is a zebra crossing at your point of exit, which might necessitate a sudden stop!

Another favoured site is on a busy corner or junction as you turn directly off a main road. It’s almost as if someone has said, “So where are the most dangerous places we can site our crossings!” Who is this individual? And HOW on Earth did they ever get the job in the first place!

WHAT is the point of a rear view mirror and indicators on cars here in Mallorca when the majority of drivers don’t ever use them! Many local drivers don’t seem to need a mirror to see behind them. In a parking scenario they know exactly where the car is behind them from the sound of the ‘crunch’ as their bumper connects with yours. And in any manoeuvre that requires reversing, well it’s simple.

If you happen to be ‘back there’ and on foot then you should jump out of the way, because according to the law of ‘Balearic Blindness’ you shouldn’t have been there in the first place! It’s the same with indicators. Why bother to let other drivers know which direction you are about to take. It’s a last minute thing anyway! No need whatsoever to advertise your intended manoeuvre. Just go for it!

WHERE can you buy those deliciously sweet, white onions which the Mallorcans put in their salads? I’ve tried everywhere. I’ve found plenty of white onions in shops and supermarkets. I have even accosted local housewives to help me with my selection. But my acquired onions have never been as sweet, or as mild as those served in nearly every Mallorcan restaurant out there, which transform a simple salad into an absolute delight. Is it just a question of knowing your onions! Or is it one of Mallorca’s best kept secrets?

When we lived in Moscari, a neighbour gave me three onions from his brother’s allotment. They were the size of apples and just as sweet. I made those onions last for days yet have never been able to equal their quality or scrumptiousness. It seems that if you want these perfect, mild mannered beauties, then you just have to grow them yourself. And keep quiet about it!

WHEN is a fire not a fire? Mallorcan law clearly states that between 1 May until 16 October the lighting of bonfires is strictly prohibited. Everyone in Mallorca knows this, yet fires are continually lit during this ‘ban’ period by selfish, inconsiderate pyromaniacs who seem to have no regard whatsoever for either the law or their neighbouring community. Not only does a summer bonfire flag up immediate danger to the island, but fills the air with unpleasant smoke which invades your house and makes summer living at the moment extremely uncomfortable.

The common practice is to light a sneaky bonfire at dusk, then bank it up so it burns slowly throughout the night under cover of darkness. The smoke is undetectable, yet the smell is both evident and invasive, right through to the early hours when you desperately need the windows open to cool down the house.

When we had a finca, we challenged a neighbour who was burning her garden waste during the banned period. “Oh, I NEVER light bonfires in the summer,” she said. “Then what’s that?” we asked, pointing to the smoking pile behind her. “Oh, that isn’t a bonfire,” she said. “That’s just a little nothing!” You can’t win with some people, can you?

WHY do some people keep their dogs chained and locked up in small cages/enclosures? Not only is it terribly cruel, it’s absolutely pointless. All these dogs ever do is bark their silly heads off. If they are supposed to be guard dogs then surely someone should pop out occasionally to see why the dog is barking in the first place. They never do!

A constantly barking dog which is ignored by its owner is no deterrent at all. It’s just a complete nuisance to everyone. What’s the point? It’s wicked, heartless and inhuman, particularly in fincas which are only occupied at weekends and odd fiestas. So set the ball rolling. If you see cruelty of this nature, report it. No dog should spend its life permanently chained, or locked up in isolation. Get real. There is simply no question about this madness!