It was Athini's birthday last week, and my thoughts drifted to the time we all spent together in Ibiza last year.
Athini is Sofia's sister and was our host when we decided to spend a month away in Ibiza. She's been living there for a few years now and made our stay super nice.
Casita Verde was everything that I had not expected from Ibiza.
It turns out that there is more to the island of Eivissa than the clubbing scenes that we're familiar with. Seemingly limited to the “English” part of the island where fat girls walk around semi-naked, the rest of the island is rather tranquil and magical.
Casita Verde itself is an interesting eco-centre situated in a beautiful valley. The people who gathered there were very interesting to talk to and the organic meals they served were delicious!!
And as luck would have it, the DJ was playing music by my old housemate Saritah which endeared myself to the place even more.
After hanging around there for a while, Athini took us to her home. She'd managed to find a villa for us to stay that was only a few minutes drive from her house — we were going to be neighbours for a month!
Normally rented out to groups of a dozen-odd people, Sofia and I had the whole place to ourselves. And thanks to visiting off-season, it cost less than the rent for our tiny flat in the UK!
Over the next month, Sofia and I worked away on our laptops — disconnected from the rest of the world and the internet.
Athini, Leo and little Sky gave us great company which stopped us going insane from cabin fever. And the visits from Ecki and Schnusch (his cute dog) were an absolute delight.
But it wasn't all hunky dory. I managed to fall ill with some chest infection and had to be nursed back to good health by Sofia. Alright, alright, this was actually really nice ;p
But it turned out that the inhabitants of Ibiza were in a really bad shape economically. Being way-too-dependent on tourism, the finances of everyone were cyclical — great in the summer, crap in the winter.
Clubs like Pacha were dead even though they had a lot of space for interesting things to happen. Talented people were sitting at home without jobs or money.
This is quite a sorry state and reflective of the global economy as a whole. Fundamentally, we do not lack the resources or man-power to make things viable. It's simply a question of whether we can co-ordinate them effectively.
And I think Ibiza provides an excellent opportunity for such a venture to be attempted. If the collective resources and talent could be applied effectively, there is nothing stopping the inhabitants of Ibiza from being able to have an extremely high quality of life all year round.
Mamading's article on Local Community Economics for Security in an Unstable World (Spanish version) is an interesting read in this regard.
Who'd be interested in making this happen? Let me know!