Shopping on a rainy day

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March 27, 2017

During my 13 years living on the Costa Blanca, one of the many things I’ve learned is that it rains here, quite a lot although this winter has been exceptionally bad. As a rule, it rains between October and March, there are often flash floods during the hottest months of July & August, and I’ve had many a birthday ruined at the beginning of May, which leaves April, June and September…June being possibly the driest and best of the bunch. Sometimes. Basically it does rain at least one day during every month here.
So, what to do when it’s too wet and/or cold/windy to go to the beach, laze around a pool or loll on your patio or balcony?? Especially when your TV satellite system has been knocked out (allegedly) by the wind, your local radio station’s transmitter is down (again) and even worse, you get a long lasting power cut which renders your home freezing. Or you have visitors with a boredom rating of 10 out of 10…
The answer is of course – some retail therapy, yes go shopping! It may sound a bit flippant, but there is nothing like walking around some decent shops, maybe including a mid-morning coffee, lunch or even thanks to the late hours here, an evening meal when the weather is bad, especially during the “proper” winter here.
Why then in the name of the open heavens, were the last two shopping centres built on this coast, designed to be open to the elements with no roofs to speak of? I am referring to the Centro Commercial Habaneras and La Zenia Boulevard, both good places to spend time during a spell of bad weather, but not if it is cold, windy and wet. Because you end up getting cold, blown to bits and very wet. Mind you, your car stays nice and dry in their underground carparks!
As far as Commercial Habaneras is concerned, now a virtual ghost area with customers preferring La Zenia Boulevard, you would think that they would have spent money by now on putting up some sort of protection against the elements, especially as all of the seating areas are in the central part, so you and more importantly your other half can’t have a rest while you pop into yet another shoe shop. Even the roof top cafeterias suffer despite a couple with awnings as they are cold and draughty, not exactly comfortable places to sit in. These centres must lose hundreds and thousands of euros a day when the weather is bad, the staff get bored and some laid-off when there is no point in opening.
I have read recently of the opening in Madrid, of the newest and possibly largest shopping centre in Spain, Sambil. It has a roof, and so does Elche’s L’Aljub, Los Dolses and Murcia’s Condomina, as well as Alicante’s Plazas.
They may be further to travel to depending where you live but at least once there, you can shop, rest, relax, eat and have a much better shopping experience than you would at Habaneras and La Zenia.
I just happened to be “in the area” on that day of the deluge, March 13th, and walking around Habaneras was nothing short of a nightmare. One wonders if it and La Zenia were actually designed by men with the thought in mind that women wouldn’t want to go shopping during bad weather When it is beautiful and sunny, the last place I want to be is trawling my hot and sweaty self in and out of shops!! Just saying.

A Edgley

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