Imagine the scene, dear visitor. There you are, sunning yourself on a warm, sandy beach. You lie relaxed, your eyes closed, enjoying the feeling of the sun bathing your skin (something you only experience on your annual vacation if you are British). You’ve been looking forward to this all year. A feeling of calm and well-being slowly creeps over you – to be shattered by a voice intoning Agua, Fanta, cerveza … Yup, it’s Barcelona’s unofficial mobile bars again … and again …
Having your beach siesta disturbed by ambulant refreshment sellers is a familiar scene when you live in Barcelona. Indeed, you might think them a boon if you’ve forgotten to bring your own drinks and are feeling parched (it’s important to stay hydrated in the Mediterranean sun). For my own part, I find it irritating to have my relaxing snooze interrupted at regular intervals by someone trying to sell me overpriced cans of beer. Do I look like someone who drinks beer? Well, do I?
It’s not just beer, water and fizzy drinks though. Sometimes it seems that there are more vendors on the beach than sunbathers. If it’s not the drinks sellers invading your peace, it’s someone offering you slices of coconuts, samosas or a massage. Of course, this isn’t limited to Barcelona. Wherever there are tourists, there you will find resourceful locals trying to make a buck. You can’t blame them really. But oh my, this constant ambushing is irritating. You just can’t enjoy a quiet sunbathing session without interruption. Unless you go to one of the few quiet beaches that can be found along the coast. And I’m certainly not sharing where they are.
So what next for the roving seller? I can’t help but feel that they’re missing a trick. Or several. There are endless possibilities for an enterprising businessman in search of a captive market. Children for adoption … Columbian, African, Chinese … Just the thing if you’re contemplating an addition to your family. Or for the stag parties, why not offer a selection of women for a quick fumble behind the beach bar? Blonde, redhead, brunette … 34DD, 36C, 32A … petite, BBW, mature … Something for every taste. Sure, these might not be strictly legal endeavours. But it’s fair to assume that the Fanta sellers aren’t exactly operating within the law either. Mobile brothels – coming to a beach near you, Summer 2014.