Spain has been on my bucket list of places to visit for the longest time, and after cancelling two previously planned trips to Barcelona, I must admit that Spain, though not forgotten, found its way low on my bucket list.

But in 2020, when a dear friend of mine, who often visits Tenerife, suggested that my wife and I should merge with her trip to Tenerife in February, I thought that it was not a bad idea; after all, Tenerife is technically Spain, being the largest of the Canary Islands and I’d always wanted to visit Spain.

So, suddenly Spain was next in line of my bucket list places to visit, and almost immediately I booked our flights and accommodation. We had quite a bit of wiggle room too, the comfort of three weeks before departure allowed us to create an itinerary of things to do, what to take with us and which souvenirs to buy.

Apart from the obvious souvenirs such as t-shirts, keychains and a pen, because I always buy a pen whenever I visit a new country, on our list of souvenirs this time were two fedora-styled straw hats, to cover my bald head and block the sun from our faces.

And just like that, hats were added to get from Tenerife.

But little did my wife and I know that the quest to find these two hats would propel into a negative experience.

We eventually arrived in Tenerife and it was as exciting to us as it would be for anyone who escaped the cold in Switzerland for some tropical warmth.

It was Summer in Springtime as our arrival day in Tenerife was on the last day of February.

The skies were lit with the sun, its rays radiantly sparked down on us as I showed my appreciation by taking a shirtless stroll outside of our rented apartment and by the pool, soaking up every second of heat.

But it was on Day 2 in Tenerife when all three of us decided to visit Los Cristianos, for the day, a more touristy side of the island; after all, when we had researched Tenerife via YouTube, it was there where we saw stalls selling the hats.

So, our plan was to rent a sun lounger for our friend, who wanted to sunbathe, then my wife and I would go sightseeing around the city, before meeting up with our friend again for lunch; souvenirs would be purchased wherever and whenever we happened to come across them.

We arrived into the city of Los Cristianos by the local bus and immediately, equipped with my Canon 80D, I began snapping away, capturing images of the city, my wife and our friend.

Within twelve minutes of our walk from the bus stop, we were in the buzzing section of tourists, bars, restaurants and of course, souvenir shops.

It was clear that my wife’s eyes caught the hats that we wanted, as she took lead and strutted headed into the direction of a storefront signposted “Souvenirs Portobello”, meanwhile I continued to capture her moments on camera. My snaps were from the moment my wife began to verge towards the shop, to her picking up the hat, looking on the tag and putting it on, then all of a sudden this happened…

Watch the video which led up to the actual moment.

It was an unforeseen incident, sparked from ridiculousness, fumed by a contrast of mental disorder, possibly racism, obviously illiteracy and clearly a lack of customer service.

Still, it was a minute measure against my time on the island, and although distasteful, it did not weigh on my overall view, and I would recommend others to visit Tenerife, whether or not it is on one’s bucket list.

© Ian T. Sebàs 2020

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