Spain. Favourite holiday haunt each summer for many britons. Home to great weather, beautiful cities such as madrid, barcelona, seville, attractive women, and friendly welcoming locals….. right???
Cultured people know to avoid the costa del britannia and the canary islands. Add Badajoz to that list.
Badajoz borders portugal and visited there while on a coach travelling from lisbon. The coach stopped over here for a couple of hours so, hungry, me and my mate set off for a walk around the town centre to see what we could find. Absolutely noone apart from the two of us was walking around. That would have been fair enough if like everywhere else we had been the temperature was 40 C. But Badajoz was colder than that and not just in terms of temperature!! Most of the shops were boarded up, and just like in that film 28 days later cars were parked up, you could occasionally hear children crying and adults arguing for no apparent reason from the flats above. BUT WITH NO VISIBLE SIGNS OF LIFE AT STREET LEVEL!!!
Apart from loads – and i mean loads of winos who constantly hassled people for money. far worse than any UK city. No burberry on view but a lot of them wore scruffy tracksuit bottoms and those “replica impression” football tops you can buy on the continent without the nike, reebok, adidas logos. we’d been off the coach for about 10 mins and some tramp came up to me and asked me to buy him a bottle of whisky. A policeman just walked past and just turned a blind eye to it. This happened right outside El Corte Ingles (Spain’s premier department store) in the plaza mayor. Didn’t think too much of it and so we carried on walking through the city centre. AND….guess what?? noticed 2 branches of Mc Donalds with loads of these zombies in – Maccy d’s was obviously their meeting point where they pooled the proceeds of their days work and headed off to the supermarket for their cider fix/ the nearest CEPSA petrol station to drink diesel direct from the pumps or whatever it was they drank to get into the state they were in.
After about half an hour we gave up and decided to head back for the coach so we asked a woman for directions back to the coach station. She was suspicious of us and asked us what we were doing in her town. without giving us directions she just walked off!! not long after this and half-expecting him to be a kissogram we saw a “guardia civil” local police officer and he helped us out fair enough.
While following the copper’s directions we then saw our first signs of Badajoz life – 3 spanish toerags who had just finished scrawling 666 on a wall next to a branch of Caja Madrid – i kid you not – and further down the street, the same or some other gutter dwellers had written “Fuera Moros” (this is a racist insult in spanish – it literally means “Moroccans Out” – not that there were any to be seen there anyway???) and then topping that in broad daylight as we turned the corner was a bloke kicking the absolute f**k out of a Telefonica phone box.
Unlike the UK there were no modded novas or fiestas to be seen or heard – but far, far worse was that some bloke was driving around the town centre in an old Lada with a huge bore exhaust!!! can that really be topped…….????
Also true is that in the same region as Badajoz is a town called Merida. Language buffs may know that Merida is actually an anagram of the spanish word for ‘s**t’ – Mierda.
On the coach back to Zafra where we stayed, after miles of wilderness there was a drive through Mc Donalds – built absolutely in the middle of nowhere…..why??
In a list of shitholes in Europe, Badajoz must truly be a Champions League contender….it ranks among the very worst places ive been to anyway.