A blog about Tenerife, Linedancing, Food, Shopping etc.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

The internet isn't working

I am sorry to tell you our internet is not working right now. It has been down for a couple of days and that's why I haven't been writing any new posts.
Clas decided to buy a new computer while we are waiting for the service. He will get it tomorrow when they are going to change the operative system in it from spanish to english.
It's very clowdy here on Tenerife right now and hopefully it don't start raining.
There are already some tables booked for tonight and we think it will be a good night if just the rain stays away. Oh no! Now it starts raining! *sigh*

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Gruas took the car

When we first moved down to Tenerife I was brave driving our car back and forth here on the south. But it wasn't always easy.

One day I planned to visit San Eugenio in Las Americas for shopping. I liked to pass the beach at Troya hotel to be sure I can find the place.
I tried three times to drive there but I ended up all the time back in Los Cristianos. That's because I didn't know you were allowed to take left in the roundabout at hotel Oro blanco. The left lane doesn't really look like a lane there and I think many do the same mistake.
After trying three times and driving over an hour I finally gave up and went back home.

An other day when I was out driving I parked the car outside a Slowboat restaurant above the Vista Sur beach. Later on when I was ready to go home I couldn't find the car anywhere.
I went in to Scandishop that is nearby and told our friend Poul from Denmark that somebody has taken our car. He asked where I parked it and told me it's `The Grua´who have been taken it and told me that the car is now behind a fence on a field between Las Americas and Los Cristianos. And he said it will be quite expensive to get it out.
I asked him if he had time to come with me there and get the car out. I tought this is something I 'm going to take care of myself so that Clas don't have to be angry at me when I've been parking the car in a prohibited space.
But he said I will not get the car out when Clas is written as the owner of it.
So I called Clas and told him with a trembling voice what had happened.
But he just told me to not be sad and he asked me to take a taxi home and get his passport and then come and pick him up at the place where he was and we could continue to the Grua station.
It was no problem to get it out but it cost us 130 euros.

After a while I learned it's much easier to go by taxi when I go shopping. Many times before I had to drive around in the car, for a long time, to find a parking lot. It was much easier and maybe even cheaper to go by taxi. This caused we were almost never using the car and two months ago we gave it away to a couple, from the mainland of Spain, who live here on Tenerife.

Two days ago a friend of us called and asked if we need a car. She has got two and would like us to by one of them. Now we are going to look at the car next weekend and maybe we become car owners again. We have realised it takes a long time to go and rent a car every time you like to go somewhere. And we never go to our secret beach here on the island anymore. We don't make shopping trips to Chafiras eighter and it's a long time since we were up to Teide.
Maybe it wouldn't be wrong to have a car when it all comes about.

Different cultures

Many times when you live in a country with many different cultures you just have to smile at the things you see. Sometimes you maybe turn up your nose.

Like a day when Clas visited a shop in Los Cristianos the lady at the cashier's office were busy cutting her toenails. After a while she stopped and he could pay the items and as soon as he was ready she continued the manicure. I would have got problem to receive change from her when she didn't wash her hands.

An other day when Clas and I visited a jewelry shop the lady at the cashiers office had layed her lunch on the desk and were sitting there eating. It was a soup-plate, bread and something to drink.

Many times the spanish people park their cars where ever. One day somebody had parked his car in the middle of the crossing outside our home.

We have seen people in restaurants licking their fingers up and down, and even the hand, after eating food by hand.

We have seen big fat men sitting in restaurants with no shirt on, in the night, eating a nice dinner.

And our neighbours that are canarians are living in the dark every evening. They very seldom use the lights in the apartment when they probably think it's too expensive. The TV is the only thing that brings them light in the nights. They don't seem to be poor though. No, on the other hand, I think they are very rich!

I wonder what kind of things Clas and I are doing that makes people surprised. I'm sure there needs to be something.
Maybe the neighbours think I am crazy when I sometimes, in the middle of the day, try to learn new linedances on the ballcony?
And I think Clas many times jokes about things so plainly to the point that people almost get hiccups?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Good restaurants in Los Cristianos

I was reading the letters in the editor columns of the english newspapers here on Tenerife, and decided to tell you about some nice restaurants we like to visit here.

Many people have, these last weeks, been complaining in the news papers about the bad food and the service they have got at the hotels, restaurants and in the shops. Some say they probably never will come back to Tenerife.
I agree and think that the service has been terrible in many occasions and hope the tourist sector will do something about it.
A big problem seems to be the sulky expressions some of the local people are showing toward the tourists. If you have got a mad personality or don't like to be open minded to foreigners you shouldn't be employed to work within the tourism.
A big problem is also the fact that the locals are sometimes very tight. Some don't keep their business premises in a good state and the most of the toilettes are terrible. And some of the waiters haven't got any education in customer service and take a superior attitude against the guests. They haven't learned that `a customer is always right. Even when he/she is wrong´!
When I was studing business economics in Finland, some years ago, we learned that a satisfied customer tells on average three other people about his experience. An unsatisfied customer tells eleven people about his unsatisfaction.
The worst thing I've heard was when a waiter here on Tenerife told a guest that `he knows what he has been drinking´. The guest was complaining that there were too many drinks on the bill. In the end the customer had to pay for drinks he hadn't been drinking! He probably never came back! An other waiter in the same restaurant told a guest to drink when he complained he had got an other drink than he ordered. She said;`Drink it!´
In the Los Cristianos- Las Americas area about 80% of the human beeings can speak english which means it would be expected among the employees to be educated in the language. You can't expect a tourist to learn all the languages in the countries he/she visit in a lifetime! To build the tourism of Tenerife on only spanish talking people can't be a good business.
I have myself seen the difference between speaking spanish and english here on the island and that's why I agree with the people that are complaining. Speaking english you are many times not recieved in a good manner. But it needs to be said, there are also exceptional cases.
There are maybe bad restaurants but you can still find good ones if you know where to go.

El Toro, Los Cristianos (Fillet steaks are nice here. Try the cava and oyster mushroom sauce!)
El Gomeron, Los Cristianos (Good and cheap spanish food, simple interior)
La Piedra, Los Cristianos (Fillet steak and mashed potatos and peppersauce, pastas)
La Cava, Los Cristianos (Nr 36 on the menu with the best mashed potatoes in town)
Fuiji Yama, Los Cristianos ( Sushi and japanese food, fish, high quality)
La Flambee, Los Cristianos (Tasty french and international food)
Fortuna Nova, Los Cristianos (3 course lunch for 7.95! Very good!)

If you are in Las Americas I would like to recommend:
Greek Corner, Las Americas ( Mesa Greece, a big meal. You don't need a starter!)
Spice and Sugar, Las Americas ( Italian restaurant with very nice meals)

Our day off

It's Saturday and we are not playing tonight.
I will blog a few words and then I will start rehearsal of some new song for our repertoar.
Clas is playing bass at Scandicshop today and he is out there now rewamping the soundsystem.
The scandinavians have a sing-along afternoon at the shop every Saturday. They sing swedish songs and folk ballads.
Tonight we will have a romantic dinner at restaurant Toro here in Los Cristianos.
After the dinner we are going to Lewinski for a while listening to the couple that stand in for us when we are off. We haven't heard them yet because we have been busy doing other stuff in the weekends.

When we played yesterday we were very crowded. Specially with Norwegians who love to dance and we had some linedancers on the floor too. It was dance and party the whole night and in the end of the evening some local carnaval visitors showed up dressed in funny clothes.
Yes, the carnaval is on this week in Los Cristianos and a lot of people are out celebrating.
We have even got a fair ground at the parking lot beside Valde Center. There are some merry-go-rounds, some market stalls and a big ship, and there are different bands playing on the stage every night and people dance and cheer.
But it seems like it doesn't compete with us because we have had a full terrace every night.
It was a lovely evening yesterday and I really look forward to Sunday night now.

Friday, February 15, 2008

A stubborn Donkey

Every now and then my brain is behaving like a stubborn donkey.
When it has got an information saved on the `hard disc´ it seems like it can't change it.
Many times in the nights I stand like a fool in front of our guests when we ask where they are from. I tell them you are from England and they say they are from Norway or something.
It's maybe expected that I should know where some of the guests are from. Specially when they have been visited us 10-20 times. But the problem is when my brain has wrongly registered somebody in a country it can't get it right anymore, which means I place the people in wrong country night after night until they maybe get really mad at me.
I wonder if this disease has got a name? I don't know.
Maybe I am just senile.
As an example I have a lady that has visited us, together with her husband, at least about 20 times these two last years.
When I get to their table I can't ask them where they are from when I feel I should know it now.
And my brain has registered they are from Sweden somehow, but every time I say it they look surprised and tell me they are from England. I can't understand why I can't remember it. I feel so stupid! And every time I say Sweden I really think `I'm right tonight´.
An other example is a couple that is from Holland or Germany (I still haven't learned where they are from) and I say every night they are from Denmark even when they have corrected me aboute 5 times so far. Now I know they are not from Denmark, but what would I say next night they show up? I think they are from Holland or Germany but I am not sure.
Clas always want me to go out and ask where everybody´s from, but now I would like to pass it on to him. I have put myself on shame so much now that it's enough! *sigh*
Maybe you think we shouldn't ask at all where the guests are from? Yes, we could just forget about it. But many times we see new friendships established among our guests. Specially when they come from the same country. We don't like to deprive the opportunity for our guests to make new friendships and it's quite interesting too, to know where the guests are from.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

Dear Friends,
I wish you a happy Valentines day.
Today we have been out having a Valentines lunch in the town and we visited our fiends John and Ann-Mari from Sweden on the way back home.
We are playing tonight and many guests have already booked tables at the restaurant and we think it's gonna be a lovely night.
We will be dressed in red and Clas is going to decorate the stage with red hearts.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The question of the day

Sometimes when you eat meat here on Tenerife there are small pieces from the bones in the meat. That’s because the butchers cut the meat by using a big axe.

A couple of times these last years I have had to go and see a dentist, because of a broken teeth, when I’ve got it into these small bone chips.

Why can’t the butchers of Tenerife be as careful as the butchers of other countries?
Why do they have to put on a show and cut the meat into pieces by hitting the bones with the big axe so that the splinters fly around?
Don’t they know there are nice electrical saw machines today? *sigh*


I will tell you about a thing that really scares me here on Tenerife.

When we moved down here, three and a half year ago, I was happy to get away from the bears, elks and wolfs that are living in Finland.
I was very afraid of them and didn’t like to go out picking berries or go out strolling in the woods.

Here on Tenerife we haven’t got any dangerous animals. We have got some goats, lizards and small rabbits and that’s all. Here nobody have to be afraid.

One Sunday we decided to have a walk in the mountains.
We drove by car up to a small village called Infonce that is when you take to the left in the last turn of the road at the pine tree limit, when you go up to Teide from Los Cristianos.

We stopped the car and went out walking along a path that is finally taking you to the Barranco Infierno.
When we had been walking for a while I saw some nice mountainpeaks and I asked Clas if we could go closer to them and take some photos.
We left the path and started walking toward them.
After a while we saw a big hole in the ground and stopped to look down into it. The size was about 2X1 meter and we bowed down to see how deep it was. Then we realized there was a `small floor´ about 2-3 meter below, that was leaning down toward a cave. The cave was so deep that we couldn’t see the bottom of it. We continued walking.
After a couple of minutes we stopped again when there was another hole in front of us. This hole was only as big as one person could fall through it. When we bowed down to look into it we saw it was leading into another cave so deep that you couldn’t see the bottom.
Now I became very scared when I understood there are a lot of caves under us, where we were standing, and started thinking about what would happen if the ground gives way under us and we fall down into one of them. Nobody would know where we are and maybe the mobile phone wouldn’t work down inside the ground if we would survive the fall. It was with fear we started walking back to the path. I was very scared.

Now I’m so afraid after realizing these holes that I don’t like to go out for a walk in the nature here any more. It needs to be a well used path if I will go there.
I can’t understand why there aren’t any signs, with warning messages of the holes, in the area. And I wonder if anybody have been down into the holes looking if somebody have been falling down.
It has happened that people have disappeared on Tenerife before. Maybe somebody have fall down to a cave somewhere and died there?
It should be a prohibited area to walk, shouldn’t it? Be careful if you are going out on your own in the mountains here on Tenerife!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Prawn party

A while ago I got a call from Clas who is out on town. He told me he is buying prawns and we are going to have a party when we get home tonight.
I directly put some water into a pan and now I am boiling eggs for the occasion.
Oh, I love prawns! And we haven't had them for a while now.
I'm so happy we are back in good health and now we can start living the normal life again.
It will be prawns, sallad, eggs, avocado, bread, white wine, candles and only the two of us. Jihaa!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Magic Marrakesh

Magic Marrakesh is my favourite shop here on Tenerife. I have bought most of the things we've got i our home here and I like their style very much.
If you like home furnishing don't miss out this shop while you are on Tenerife. They are open the whole day until 10 pm, Monday to Saturday, and the shop is on the border between Las Americas and Los Cristianos.
Today I went there again. I bought an oil lamp made of tin, a silver plate ( in plastic), a cup filled of small silver cubes for decoration, a big ashtray made of tin and a small silver jewel bin.
The oil lamp I am going to give away to a friend from Sweden.

The question of the day

I've been wondering many times how the dog owners here on Tenerife behave themself when their dogs are doing the `big thing´on the street. There is a lot of dog leftovers everywhere on the pavement here in Los Cristianos and you need to be careful not to step into it.
How is it possible for the owners to just walk away leaving the excrement from the dog on the street? Isn't anybody seeing it?
Today when I went to Magic Marrakesh ( a home furnishing shop) I saw a dog sitting in the middle of the pavemant doing the thing. I stopped and looked for the owner but couldn't see him/her anywhere. When I continue walking down the street I saw a man standing talking in the phone, acting like he didn't know anything, holding a lead in his hand. I'm sure he was the owner of the dog.
Now I really wonder if the dogs here on Tenerife have got training to walk away from the owner to do the thing so that the owner don't have to pick it up or feel put on shame?!
Maybe this is the answer to why all the poos are left on the sidewalks?!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Raining cats and dogs

Yesterday we went to Greek Corner in Las Americas for dinner with our friend Eija.
It was a lovely night and in my opinion the night ended too fast.
After the dinner we went to restaurant Acapulco. It was raining cats and dogs. The roof of the restaurant isn't waterproof and water was pooring down from the ceiling everywhere. But the guests were dancing linedance and the owner tried to keep the floor as dry as possible.
We don't play at all at Lewinski if it starts raining. That's because we are out on the terrace.
We could move inside but it doesn't help when many tourists don't like to go out at all when it's raining.
We have tried to be inside some times but we only get a few guests and that's not enough for the restaurant to be able to pay our salary. When it's raining we stay at home but we have had nice weather since April last year and it has only been raining 2-3 nights. This winter is really the warmest one we have had since we moved down here in October 2004. Nice weather every day except some calimas that brought in winds and clouds.
Today it's sunny again and we hope to be crowded with many dancers tonight.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

I am a seaman

It's Saturday and our day off.
Today I don't do much. I have put some clothes into the washer mashine and painted my toenails red. And now I'm bloging, but I really try to take this weekend easy and just rest.
Tonight we are going out for dinner with my work-mate Eija from Sweden. She is here on Tenerife for holiday right now. We have been working togeather on a ship going between Finland and Sweden.
Some of you probably don't know that I have been working for many years on the sea. I think it's about ten years if I count all the years together.
If I wouldn't sing I probably would be working somewhere on a ship when I like that life so much.
You work two weeks onboard and then you are off two weeks and that is an advantage that fits me very well.
Onboard you live in a cabin and you get all food you need from the crews diningroom and the cleaners are cleaning the cabin and providing your bed with new sheets. And when you step onboard you get your uniforms clean and new pressed from the crews wardrobe. You don't really have to think about anything else than the work you are doing onboard. You just work, sleep, eat and style yourself. Once a month we have had been trained to know more about wines, and sometimes even about whiskeys, which is quite interesting.
The staff is like a second family for you and you meet a lot of passengers from different nations. It's very special to work on a ship and I start missing it every time I think about it.
My grandmothers dad was a shipowner in the beginning of last century and owned some boats running at the westcoast of Finland bringing people back and forth to the town. The roads were not so good at that time and the people often choosed to go by boat when they liked to visit the town.
I don't know but maybe I, because of that, have got the seaman blood in me? There is a saying; `one time seaman - always a seaman´, and I believe thats thru. But I know some of the seamen call me a `lake sailor´ when I've only been working on boats between Finland and Sweden. They think you need to sail on the big oceans to be a real seaman.
Now my youngest son Daniel also has comitted himself to become a seaman and has been studing the proffession at the Seaman institute in Finland. His daddy is educated helmsman and Clas' daughter is also working as a cashier on a ship.
You maybe wonder what I've been doing on the ships? The last years I was working at the Tax free market onboard and even in the parfume shop and in the clothes fashion shop.
I went to work on the ships, for the first time, one month after I turned eighteen (you have to be eighteen years old to be allowed to work onboard). Then in the beginning I was working in the kitchen when I'm an educated chef as well.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Back on stage

Now we are back on stage.
We have been playing two nights already. It's wonderful to be back but I wish I'd got more strenght. I am still very weak.
To sing is no problem, but to stand for one hour, at the time, makes me dizzy and weak and I just have to sit down in the breaks. Before I used to take part in the line dancing in the breaks.
But one thing gives me pleasure and that is the fifteen new songs I've got these last weeks.
Three of them are linedance songs, three are new country, and the rest are pure old country.
It's a challenge to learn all the lyrics and the most of the songs are songs that have been requested by our guests.
The photo is from Tina and Bengt Lindell, Finland. Date:01.19.2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

The cards again

Clas is very considerate.
Tonight he has been scanning my two cards + printed out copies + covered them in plastic.
Now I can carry the artificial cards with me when I go out on town and keep the real ones at home.


Normally we get food every night at the restaurant where we work, but now while I've been ill Clas has went out somewhere in town and bought food for us `para jevar´(take away).
Tonight he went to a pizza bar in our neighbourhood.
He had combined a pizza recipe himself and it sounded to be a good tasting pizza. Cheese, tomato, ham, tuna fish, pineapple and garlic. He wrote down all the ingredients in spanish, on a piece of paper, and left the apartment.
After a while he came back with two pizza boxes and we sat down to eat.
Guess if we were surprised when we opened the boxes and had got two pizzas made of cheese, tomato, ham, tinned sprats cured in brine and capers. We thought they maybe somehow had mixed up the boxes with an other customer and Clas went back to the pizza bar to get it right.
No, this was exactly what he ordered! the pizza baker told him. Poor Clas! He went disappointed back home.
I tell you! It was the worst tasting pizza we ever have had on this island. It was terrible!
The tinned sprats in a comination with the capers was too much and our hair almost raised up when we eat it. Now I don't like to have pizza for a loooong time.
But one thing I really wonder; -`Is the pizza baker illiterate?´

Sunday, February 03, 2008

God is good

I need to blog one more post before I go back to the bed.
Wednesday night when we got home from work I started thinking about my bloging.
I felt worried about the `image´ I give the readers and started reading my blog from the first post to get to see how everything `sounds´.
Am I too personal and tell too much?
Am I too radical and bantering? Are the topics boring? etc.
When I got to the posts about my lost bag I became very angry at myself. I thought it was very stupid of me to tell the blog readers that I was praying to God to get it back. Now I've really put God on shame when I haven't got any prayer answer. I felt condemned and angry at myself and decided to not write anything about faith or my believe anymore. I had become far too personal.
He,He! The next day Clas found an envelope addressed to me in the mailbox ! When I opened it I found my driving license and health card inside. God is faithful!!!
Somebody had maybe got a bad conscience and anonymously sent it back to me! And that is exactly what I had been praying should happen!
Now I think I was stupid when I didn't pray to get the whole bag back. I was most worried about the cards, of course, but had I been asking to get everything back I probably had got it. Would God say he don't like me to have the bag? No!
Any how, I'm not going to bother God with the bag now. I'm lucky and thankful I got the cards back. Hallelujah!!


The state of my ill-health has become worse again!
Thursday morning when I got up from the bed I was very weak. I started cleaning the walls in the bathroom but had to stop and lay down in the bed after a while.
In the night I was so weak that I couldn't manage to go to Lewinski and play and I had got high fever again and a terrible headace.
Friday morning I went to see the doctor and he established the fact I've got sinusitis and prescribed antibiotics and complete rest.
Today it's Sunday and I am still very weak. I'm definitly not going to play tonight eighter. I can only manage to walk some steps and then I have to sit down and rest.
Clas is going to play alone tonight again and it will be a lot of linedancing.
My next goal now is to play Tuesday night. It feels like a hopeless situation to lay in the bed when I know it's going be a busy night tonight and many friends of us are going to be there as well.