Ibiza History Culture

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Sober Life
by Sinclair Newton



Sober Life

I remember a sunset at Café del Mar, of course, but who wouldn't?

I once walked up to the bar, fresh off a plane, whereupon one of the owners said to me: "Hello, Sinclair. Your usual?"

He then poured me a large brandy and made me a very good espresso.

"I'm afraid I'll have to charge you double," he said, "because you still owe me for the same combination you had before you went home last year."

That's how I like to remember Ibiza, as though it's a village.

There was the time I left my Filofax on the bus from San Antonio to San José.

I spent frantic hours going round all the bus depots and trying to find where my life's contacts had gone. In those days, the Filofax was as important to a Westerner as a pig might be to an Ibicenco (see Kirk's fabulous essay on the site again this week. I am terribly envious of his series about the importance of pigs and I would have given my right trotter to be the author).

The next day I got the bus back into San Antonio and the driver handed the Filofax over. It was logical really. He drove the same bus backwards and forwards to Ibiza every day and he knew it was mine and inevitably I would get the bus again, so he had taken it home with him for safe-keeping.

This musing is because tomorrow I am returning to Ibiza ten years after.

Now that was a rock band, but let's not go down that twisty road.

I am on what I think, somewhat romantically, is the last plane out of Manchester this year. I think that because it's a one-way ticket, costing £29, or about $50, or an unknown number of Euros (unknown because I have no idea how much they are worth. OK, let's work it out: if they are about 60p each that's about forty-two of them or something and I haven't even started on Pesetas yet).

It's that cheap because there's no return stub and there's the rub: it'll probably be an arm and a leg to get back.

That reminds me that there's a newsagent in San Antonio who owes me a fiver. I was with the lap dancer who bought a magazine while I bought some tobacco. For some reason we both paid simultaneously. I paid him and she paid her.

When we got outside, we realised we had both paid for each other's purchases, but a fino sherry was waiting in a little tapas bar nearby and we shrugged it off.

A decade later, I don't think I am so nonchalant about the odd fiver and if he's still alive I'll be calling to get my fiver back.

What else should I do on this sentimental journey?

Mostly my recollections are about bars and drink and I don't know if I could cope with a gallon of Hierbas anymore.

I think I'm too early for the olives coming off the trees and the almond blossom can't be due for months.

The clubs are shut I suppose, though there may be a few places I remember where they won't tell me how much older I look or that I owe them for a ten-year-old bar bill... But it doesn't matter, because it means the entire Ibiza History Culture team will meet for the first time. It is historic and no doubt you'll be reading all about it next week. Live from Ibiza. I can't wait.

Sinclair Newton