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Why do all the Hippies retire to Spain ?

By Mr Grumpy - Fri 30th Jul 2010

Ok, if you have read at least one or two of my previous blogs you will be well aware that I am a terminal victim in the advanced stages of stereotype-itis and that I love to generalise. I can't help it, and to be honest I'm not even going to attempt to apologise for it.

The latest bug-bear that I have is one that has been building up for a while now , and I would appreciate this opportunity to blow off a bit of steam.

I was reading one of the countless 'free expat magazines' that seem to clutter up most of the bars up and down the Costas (no matter how far inland you venture, you are never far away from them). To me they always seem to be stuffed full of cheap advertising and pretty thin on content – and even then the content is still advertising – just thinly disguised as 'editorial opinion', or whatever they choose to call it.

After reading my umpteenth clone of one of these magazines, something struck me – the sheer volume of companies and individuals offering “Alternative treatments”.

Now I'm a reasonably level headed 30-something Yorkshireman – I consider myself very broadminded ( My partner is even a Vegetarian, I sometimes drink rose wine etc...) and tolerant of most opinions and lifestyle choices (as long as they are the same as my own).My idea of an Alternative lifestyle is probably something along the lines of wearing sandals instead of trainers. I'm sure that you already have an idea of me fixed in your mind.

But just a small range of these such treatments listed in this 'General lifestyle expat magazine' Included the following : Hopi ear candling, Sound therapy, Hot stone therapy, Pilates, Seaweed wrapping, Food Intolerance testing, Crystal therapy, Colour Counselling, Light therapy, Dog-listening, Reiki, Shamballa, Magnet therapy, Men's style coaching, hypnotism … I could go on, but I have no idea what most of the stuff on this list entails anyway, so I am in grave danger of repeating myself.

Now, I am more than happy to be contradicted here, but had anybody even heard of these 'therapies' (ahem!) 15 years ago ? Women in general seemed to be content with a trip to the hairdressers back then, maybe getting their nails done every once in a while. These days it seems that there is a quack around every corner masquerading as a knowledgeable hippy who is bringing ancient practices to the masses, ready to make a quick Euro out of those with more money than sense.

(And to be honest with you, now that Spain is in the grip of perhaps the worst recession in recent memory, with unemployment being almost 20% and cash being thin on ground, I always forego putting food on the table at the end of the week in preference of having my bird's-eye chilli colonic irrigation).

I don't want to seem as though I am disrespecting the few professionals out there who have studied long and hard (and earned their stripes through thorough research), but it seems that more and more of these practitioners are crawling out of the woodwork. I suspect that many of them were School teachers or Lawyers in a previous life in the UK, and have taken early retirement to come to Spain, and after taking a weekend course, have reinvented themselves as a wannabe hippy. They're the ones who peddle the same cr**p about how 'ancient Aztecs discovered the benefits of light therapy 3'000 years ago'. Yeah ? - Well they didn't invent penicillin did they ? And they all had an average lifespan of about 30 years because they were too busy sacrificing each other and weaving baskets - progress and evolution happens – learn from it !

...And why highjack somebody else's culture ? If it worked for the (ancient) Mexicans, then let them have it for themselves, its probably a sacred and revered tradition that is important to their culture - it might not work for an overweight pasty-white Accounts Assistant from Burnley.

I give Full credit and respect to those who actually do live, believe and practise the ''Alternative” lifestyle - just not the wanabees who are inventing some weird new treatment or therapy and passing it off as 'ancient' just to earn column inches in a magazine in an attempt to sell it to the masses as the next big thing.

Now, where did I put my Tofu-burger and Quinoia porridge ? I think I put it next to my tie-died bean bag inside my Wigwam...

Comment on this Blog

Really funny, as I´ve come to expect O Grumpy One. Generally, I think you´re right and that some folk just slap on a bit of mumbo jumbo (that´s probably a racist term) and some aloe vera and call it ... what was it, dog-listening? As for the Aztecs, I should know about them (been to BIG museum in Mexico) but I never heard of this light therapy. Is it not just "getting a wee bit sun"? And by the way vis a vis penicillin, a Scot with questionable hygiene invented it.
Mo - Fri, 2nd Dec 2011
After reading this months issue of A.N.Other Freebie mag, the latest offering seems to be 'Planetary Channeling' (By somebody who also specialises in Light & Empowerment balancing) and 'Colour Counselling utilising the power of Crystals' (by somebody who ironically goes by the name of 'Gray'). I kid you not, I almost choked on my beer and needed a couple more pints before I could regain the power of speech.
Mr Grumpy - Sat, 14th Aug 2010
Have a read of the attached and send us your comments ... Do we fit your description of the typical expat mag? the ED
Lisa - Sat, 31st Jul 2010
Absolutely Penny ! - The only reason that I haven't yet picked on the 'reinvented' Builders, Estate Agents etc... is because somehow, picking on self-confessed pacifists means that I am less likely to get a black eye.... And the Hippies probobaly don't have internet access in their commune of Tee-pee's.
Mr Grumpy - Fri, 30th Jul 2010
Oh No! I agree with Mr Grumpy! I may be one of the first in our village to espouse the merits of soya milk, and I admit I did take my kids to a toddlers group based in a sound dome where they carry out tonal chanting...but when it comes to retired welders opening up their underbuild to offer chakra re-alignment, I'm with you. But I'm equally against people re-inventing themselves as estate agents or swimming pool tilers when they've only practised on a neighbours pool or sold a mates house. If many years training is required, study and get the proper qualification. Don't expect me to be convinced by you dangling dream catchers in your naya and mumbling a Sioux Indian mantra.
Penny Lapenna - Fri, 30th Jul 2010