It finally happened!

You might remember that we have written quite a few times about the crowds. Finally it has happened. Barcelona has moved to restrict tourism numbers as the strain on the city finally comes to a breaking point. Though we fail to see how the proposed ban on building new hotels would help. And we doubt that they can effectively check and police the AirBnB rental market with 110 inspectors. And it seems if this article is true, more cities are finally jumping in.

One thing’s for sure, if you want to be one of the 32 million visitors to the city of 1.6 million, you will have to pay a higher surcharge if you only do a day trip. How they levy that we don’t know (someone tell us?) especially if you come on your own. Do they ask you as you get off the train, bus or ship? Ok off the cruise ship for sure.

The most interesting thing though is the tax rate on vacation property. Many years back when we live in Holland, we had quite some Dutch friends who bought apartments in Spain for vacation use or as a second home. How will they be affected? Oh dear. This is the pitfall of investing in real estate in a jurisdiction outside your own country. Never know when the laws change… and btw the barbers realtors will never tell you it’s ever a bad time to speculate invest.

When your city gets visited by the equivalent of 20x the local population, infrastructure will surely begin to creak and moan as we mentioned here. Can you as a local imagine having to crowd with the tourists on the trains, shops etc. It is a fantastic compliment to have many folks from around the world clamour to visit your home city. But it is a whole different proposition to have them clog up your streets! Locals in the city support this move. Businesses object (of course?).

How soon before a BTA (Barcelona travel approval)  or TVA (Trevi visit approval) is required?

Social Media? Nah…moving on!

A couple of months back, we read this article in the local newspaper. It suggests that the era of social media is coming to an end. And from the ashes of its demise, messenger apps would take its place. You know, the Whatsapp, Wechat etc of this world. Those using FB would know of its messenger app too.

The premise for the demise of social media is fatigue.

But we extend this beyond social media to blogosphere too. We not sure about you. But we can only post once every two days because we have limited content available. And as in the corporate world when there’s nothing to say, don’t say anything. So can but only post content because it makes sense to.

Even that requires planning (yeah we schedule posts ahead). Because there is so much to do in our daily lives – like going to work, doing the chores, fixing things around home etc… and for those with kids… need we say more?

Some nuggets from the article we find familiar. Have you not thought there is a lot of clutter on social media? Even in WP, it is challenging to sift through the many thousands of posts that appears every second. The search function is rather rudimentary (ie not Google level) and turns up such a disparate result when you are too generic in your search term. And don’t even get started on instagram and FB. If there is a de-cluttering tool, we are all for it!

Actually, the article pointed out that such predictions were already made years back. This example suggests that while people might still be on social media, it is social circles that’s become more important. That means rather than mass sharing, it is back to sharing with a group. Exclusivity. Yes this will probably be a gradual thing. But it may happen faster than we all predict and a trend in motion stays in motion?

We’ve become a lot more active on messenger apps these days. How about you? Oh no! Will you shut down your social media accounts and abandon all your online followers?

Invading travellers who try to be local

In one of our last posts, we featured some numbers in relations to the movement of people on this planet for leisure purpose. By now we are wary of calling it travel or touring. As you know there IS a difference in the minds of some! Fine.

Mel recalled a semestral course he did on social pyschology many years ago. “Verstehen” as a concept introduced to him as a young student (yeah we were young once too!) meant to put yourself in another person’s shoes so to speak – to understand deeper, ie from the perspective of that person.

So applying this concept, it is interesting to theorize how the local folks who live in some of the world’s most sought after leisure destinations feel about the ‘non locals’ that appear in their midst – sometimes attempting to be like a local (Read Chiseche’s post here on ‘the settler’).

You know, in every country the local language has its own colloqualism, slang, whatever. In our little red dot, the locally mangled form of English (fondly called ‘Singlish’) can be dumbfounding, weird or downright hilarious to those native speakers of her majesty’s tongue. Such examples include the use of the word “lah” in daily speech.

Defined as a slang rightly or not, it is used lavishly in many (not all lah) sentences uttered by the local Singaporean. However, lest you think that it is simply attaching it at the end of any sentence, think again. Listen very carefully (ok read), for we shall only say (write) this once : the use of “lah” is a linguistic evolutionary development of the highest order in our opinion.

Like the F word which is most versatile, “lah” can be used to emit a range of emotions and meanings through emphasis, perhaps these are examples (not perfect):

  • Don’t be like that lah (frustration)
  • Ok lah (it’s alright)
  • Cannot lah!! (possibly upset)
  • No lah (disbelieve)

If ever you are in Singapore and plan to stay longer as a “traveler” who thinks you have become a local, do refrain from using lah too often. It’s just too strange! LOL.

We are sure you have local expressions that that are versatile like the ‘lah’. Care to share them?