When I was a child growing up on Majorca my parents would often complain that local restaurants opened too late; in some cases, food wasn't served until 9pm, so it was a real problem if you had young children. At the time, people would explain to my parents that this was all part of the Spanish lifestyle, but times have changed. These days you will find that some restaurants stop serving food before 10pm and some bars call last orders at 9.30pm. I know it sounds amazing but that is the case. Majorca is changing.

The other night I was sitting at a popular bar near the Teatro Principal in Palma. At 10pm the theatre doors opened but the hundreds of theatre-goers were told that they couldn't get a drink or a bite to eat because the bar was now closing. Now, I know that Majorca has had a very good tourist season but you have to be one very wealthy bar owner to turn away hundreds of would-be clients. I sincerely hope that the owner of the bar in question doesn't start complaining soon that his takings are down on last year.

It is not only the bars and restaurants closing early which is giving Palma an unusually quiet feel at the moment. The lack of Christmas decorations and the town hall's decision to delay the switching-on of the festive lights is giving Palma a rather dull and wintry feel at the moment. We are fighting for more winter tourists but we are busy trying to give Palma the feel of a ghost town. Not a positive move.


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