This weekend Patricia Rodríguez, a girl from Granadilla de Abona in the south of Tenerife, won the Miss Spain 2008 title.
Like Pamela, once I get past the whole ‘women seen solely as articles of ornament and objects of sexual desire’ bit, I can confess to a politically incorrect twinge of pride on behalf of Tenerife.
What struck me most about Patricia, apart from her obvious stunning beauty, was her height; a slightly-above-average-for-anywhere-else but bordering-on-giant-for-Tenerife, 5’10”. Exactly my height in fact, although there the similarity unfortunately ends.
Before I moved to Tenerife I had never considered myself to be abnormally large. I may have gained a few excess inches around the midriff as middle age and I become far more closely acquainted than I would like but that’s nothing that a dozen weeks of fruit, boiled rice, water and intensive exercise won’t shift.
But since moving here, I’ve developed a certain affinity with Gulliver, which is useful for the inhabitants of this real life Lilliput when it comes to getting me to reach for their favourite brand of flour/biscuits/soap powder from the upper shelves in Al Campo supermarket in La Orotava.
The Tinerfeños are not what you’d describe as tall people. Today at the supermarket, an eight year old girl had her arm across her mum’s shoulders as they strolled back to their car and from the back, if it wasn’t for the school uniform, I wouldn’t have known the difference in their ages. And that’s the norm for both sexes here.
Even in flat shoes, I’m a good head and shoulders above the rest of the population and when the high heeled boots come out I’m apt to get the sort of second glances that I just know are of the ‘Dutch or Carnaval Trannie?’ variety.
So why then are the trousers here so ridiculously long? Jack (tall for a Tinerfeño, short for a Brit and average for a Scot) can’t get trousers here for love nor money. Every purchase results in either a trip to the dry cleaners to have a yard or so lopped off, or turn-ups to the knee. I on the other hand, who in the UK could only buy trousers that either had a large hem which I could take down, or, God help me, as a last resort had to buy from the M & S ‘tall’ range, bought a pair of trousers in the sales at Zara in La Villa last week that are actually slightly too long for me.
Someone should tell the manufacturers of clothing destined for the Canary Islands that their target market is ‘below average height’. I know that these things are taken into consideration in the world of clothing manufacture because large bosoms and protruding bottoms are both accommodated in the women’s department and Jack assures me that a lack of dance floor (ie no Ballroom) is evident in the gent’s department.
So congratulations, Patricia Rodríguez for your double achievement; for winning Miss Spain 2008 and for getting an entire island to stock long trousers just so you can shop anywhere you like!
P.S. Yes, I do know where M&S is in Santa Cruz and no, I am not going to give you directions, get a life and some better trousers!