This pizza shop’s trick left me stunned.. can you figure it out?

So after finishing a shift I wandered into Playa De La Arena to locate a takeaway called Pizza Taxi with my colleague. I didn’t order anything but she did however, I couldn’t help but notice this highly interesting yet confusing Harry Potter-style trick.

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Maybe I had crossed over into the wizarding world and found where Hagrid likes to go to after one too many butter beers?

Take a look and tell me if you can figure out what the magic behind this is? I know I am not the brightest but still!

Pizza Taxi is the best place to get a late night treat from if you’re ever too drunk in Playa De La Arena, Los Gigantes or even Santiago, of Tenerife. I once enjoyed a nice pepperoni pizza with thick garlic sauce. The cheese is gooey, fat and filthy, in a beautiful way. It is the kind of pizza you will only find in New York!

Click here to check out the video!

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A trip to El Teide… but what if it went off?

For most people, a trip to the heighest point in Spain, which conveniently happens to be a feckin’ volcano, is a fantastic experience. But when you are someone who once got his tie stuck in a paper cutting machine and was nearly shredded to death, or who managed to get hospitalised by a Jack Russell called Titch, you do not simply go on these trips without injury.

To top it off, when you are there at night, you know there is definitely a possibility of certain death. So I planned my will, had my last meal and drank a bottle of red wine the night before, to ensure I was prepared for my last trip.

We set off on the afternoon and a Belgian bloke was our tour guide. Without a doubt he had banter and during the trip he told us about the 411 registered volcanos on the island of Tenerife, including 40 within the National Park. So yes now at this point I realised that I didn’t have to worry about one volcano… but 411. Great.

The first part of our journey took us through the National Park, where we stopped at a small cafe to enjoy my favourite, a Barracido. Additionally, I had a lovely cheese and ham sarnie alongside some fresh orange juice. We were told at this point that the National Park is at risk of catching fire due to the dry woodland in the hot weather. Those who smoked, including myself, obviously had to be very careful. If you were to dump a lit or even a fully burned out cigarette bud, you would be heavily fined. Alternatively, if you caused a fire then you would be facing prison. If you ever go to the National Park, make sure to dispose of your cigarette buds appropriately.

The National Park is pretty amazing and I learned some interesting facts about the island. First of all, I have heard people say the water isn’t fresh here. It is actually salt water that is turned into fresh but it contains a lot of minerals and sometimes chlorine. It isn’t dangerous but it just tastes like shit so you are better off getting bottled water as it tastes better. You are able to wash fruit, salads and even shower in it too. Disclaimer: I will not be liable for any deformity to your genitals. Wash them at your own risk. I also learned that the pine trees within have adapted to the land and although there is a risk, due to the violent volcanic environment they live in, the trees have somewhat adapted to fight against any fire or lava.

What really captured me the most is that the National Park is cherished here and you are not even allowed to remove a tiny pebble. Everything within the park must be maintained and kept in the park. In Tenerife itself, it is forbidden to mine, cut trees or do anything else to the natural resources of the land. Everything is imported from the mainland Spain. However, Tenerife does make use of things like the dead pines, which they use as hay as they do not grow any there. They have even used some of the lava rocks to help build and maintain road works.

I mean all the above seems expensive and probably does cost quite a bit. Nevertheless, you have to admire the Spanish for respecting the island and maintaining it in glory. Were as we Brits are still chucking empty McDonald bags out of the car window.

We eventually came into what I would call the Canary Canyon. Why? It is pretty much like the Grand Canyon. Desert, rocks, view points and all that jazz. It becomes a bit more breezy but still just as hot. There is also an opportunity to see the native bees, which are black with white stripes! The bees welcomed me and seemed alright.


Wasn’t too long until a wasp attacked me in a picture taking moment. At this second I feared for my life and did what felt natural.. run around like a pussy screaming.

As we continued our journey, we passed a group of guys driving a giant robot into a van. Apparently, this was a prototype robot being tested in preparation to go to Mars. Due to the harsh, desert like terrain it is suitable to test them apparently. Eventually, we reached a point just beneath the observatory. Inside of the observatory, I heard there is a lot of interesting space-related investigations going down. It was also protected by the military and if you drove past a certain point, you would be shot at. Yep. I had discovered Area 52.

At this point, we had Carva poured into a champagne glass. I noticed couples coming together to huddle under a blanket. As a single guy, I huddled under my own blanket and latched on to a lovely couple to take refuge. Whilst no thought of a threesome crossed my mind, I looked down to my right and saw a blanket of clouds just like you would see outside of a plane. Just to be clear, we weren’t sat on top of El Teide but a view point to witness the sun slowly creep down. If you want to be on top of El Teide then you need a government permit.

Watching the sun go down below El Teide is truly a wonderful thing. You cannot help but take a breath of fresh air for a moment and sit back and think, the world is so much bigger than we know. I stopped taking photographs because I knew I had to embrace the moment.

At the end of the event, it became pitch black and the stars appeared, clear as day. We witnessed shooting stars and we also saw the consulations as well as planets like Jupiter. The tour guide described this moment as something special. In fact he went on to say that the greatest gift you can give to your child is to tell them about the consulations. Sadly, if I ever have a child, I won’t have this pleasure as I was too busy looking out for the little green men.

During this trip, we were told if El Teide were to erupt – it would be like a 90 year old man on viagra. Uncontrollably, it would go everywhere and it would send the island below sea water and a tsunami would be caused, devouring the East Coast of the United States of America.

Luckily, there is nothing to suggest it will go off any time soon and if it did, I assuming we would be sent into the dark ages. Nevertheless, until it does, this is not an experience to be missed.

Middlesbrough and everyone else, I have a lesson for you to learn. An amazing one at that.

It is the little things you realise you appreciate when you are living away.

Credits to the Telegraph (don’t sue me)

For the first time ever since I arrived, I am experiencing a tad touch of home sick. Oh don’t get me wrong, I love Tenerife and the people here are great. I am in no rush to get back to Britain, or Middlesbrough. I will pick crystal blue waters over Costa Del Redcar at this time.

Today I spent time with my cousin and his girlfriend, who are here on holiday. Last night we got drunk, raided a takeaway and I ate a plant on stand in the hallway of their hotel. In true British style, I got smashed and cured my incurable (apparently) hangover with a trip to Siam Park, the best water park around. So now I am on a come down, my shoulders are more red than the General Election results and I am dying (I think). So now I have a hint of sadness and appreciation for the little things. Is this inspiration or the hangover still hanging on?

As you can imagine in Tenerife, it is quite hot and my pits are more sweaty during the day than Theresa May waiting on a telephone call from the DUP. I would usually hate rain but I would dance in it if it was pouring down right now.

Credits to Josephine Fowler (whoever you are)

You see this picture above? Its quite familiar and its something you often see in Middlesbrough and other places in Britain. You hate it because its so “grim” and “grey”. “Its too wet” (didn’t realise you could get dry rain?). Yes, we moan about this all the time. However, when you are living in a hot country, this view is something you miss now and then.

A cold wet night with a good down pour as you’re walking down Waterloo Road, looking like a drowned rat, holding two carrier bags when the sudden thought of fish and chips or a parmo strike your mind. Come on, is it just me who loves those moments?

You see these are the things we don’t think about or embrace. We spend more time examining the cons of what we see or have than the pros, so at some point later on we suddenly realise how those miserable grim and grey nights in Middlesbrough, or anywhere else, were an excuse to get cosy on the couch with a bag of chips, marinated in salt and vinegar then toppled with scraps, to watch Eastenders or even an episode of Corrie.

We never think about the fortune we all share to be able to order a parmo to our home or make a trip to our favourite place for one. Whether you like plain, hotshot, pork or chicken. For the non-Teessiders, a parmo is a Teesside only speciality that is basically a heart attack on a plate but also a lovely way to die. Anyway, back on subject – we order, we eat, we regret, we plan a diet, then we fart and sleep. We don’t think about how this plate of cholesterol chaos is only made in our lovely little area and that you are not likely to find it anywhere else in the world.

Think about that for a second. Think about me munching on squid. Do you understand my point?

In Teesside, people moan a lot about the local area. In fact everyone pretty much moans about their town, city, estate, street or whatever else is in their sight. In Middlesbrough we moan about the town centre and the strange exotic smells we occasionally come across or intoxicated idiots on street corners at 9.00am. What we don’t talk about is how easily accessible the town centre is or how small it is so we know where everything is. We don’t talk about the view of the fountains or the bottle of notes in Centre Square.

We moan about some of the council estates and how terribly neglected they are, or the occasional chav we will come across being an idiot. But we don’t talk about the unity of the people and how everyone knows each other and is practically one big family. We don’t talk about the passion and beauty of that community spirit.

We moan about Boro Taxis, Blueline and the other firms with their non-conversational taxi drivers, waiting times or occasional uselessness of identifying a door number. But we never highlight how easy it is to order, how cheap the rates are or how drivers don’t expect mandatory tips.

Finally, we moan about the grim boring views of the industrial area, the smog lifting into the clouds and the big grey blocks in the horizon. What we don’t talk about is the legacy of that industrial area and the spectacular picture of it in the evening when we drive into our town.

These are all things that I miss. That and my mum, family, friends and Flares. I never appreciated my home enough, until I was no longer there. And even if you are pro-Boro, you probably still moan about the things listed above. Wherever you live, you will moan about.

Vice versa, I will miss the above view and many more when I finally return home. What did I learn? To embrace, love and appreciate this experience and these moments whilst I have them, as well as be grateful for the things I do have at home. I hope this post has taught you a very important lesson. Moan all you want but home is where the heart is. Home is beautiful no matter what it may appear to look like.

I feel happy again now after expressing this. I hope it brought a smile. Have a parmo on me. See you in winter!

Masca and the secret to wine.

So apparently, there is a skill to drinking wine. Yes, its a skill. So its not as easy as it looks. One does not simply pick up the glass and sip it (or down it). One must master the art of drinking wine.

Yeah, you see this is why its easier to stick to the beer and whiskey. The only credential I need for that is the date of birth on my passport.

Nevertheless, to now have a qualification in drinking wine is possibly the best achievement since my E grade (E for Effort) in Maths! 😉

Visiting Masca and wine tasting was an excellent experience. It is a great opportunity to gain insight into Tenerife and how the island has became what it is today. Masca itself is known as the Hidden Village and well, the fact we found it means its not very well hidden, clearly.

In all seriousness, the village is beautiful and its located in the Macizo de Teno mountains which is a Northwestern point of the island.

It is known as the Hidden Village due to how far down it is within the valley. It is very difficult to see it until you get close.

Masca was once a paradise for pirates who would wander in from the coast. It is now home to a population of 90 people.

The tour guide at the time couldn’t really tell me just how old the village was as no one really knew. It was extremely small and the people appeared very quiet and reserved. However, they depend a lot on tourism so they do appreciate your presence, even if they may not appear to.

Its not that I couldn’t take any photos during my visit. But sometimes pictures capture what everyone else sees and not what you see. I could not help but embrace the peace, quiet and calming atmosphere that the village offered. The above was a quick snap before I entered.

I walked into a cafe with the tour guide and he suggested a local favourite, Barracido, which is a coffee with a touch of liquor. Sneaky buggers.

Its a lovely little drink which just comes in a small glass, literally a shot glass, with condensed sweet milk. Stir it a bit and wollah! But don’t put sugar in it because it really is sweet enough. If you’re too much of a bore and don’t drink, you can try a Cortado, which is almost the same thing. The best thing is the fact these little delights are a sheer €2.00. I sat outside looking over a steep view, trying to find out if there were any nearby wasps. By the time that was concluded, it was time to move on.

Following Masca, we ventured off to a town called Garachico. This is a beautiful town off the West coast but tragically, in 1706 a volcanic eruption caused a landslide which covered and destroyed a lot of it. Upon entering the area you will notice rocks that have formed from where the lava poured down and covered. We pulled up and got a bite to eat in the restaurant.

Decided to eat fish and muscles. I like fish but sometimes the smell reminds me a bit too much of the Bongo dance floor. Great times. I also tried octopuss and trust me, its really not that bad. Just think of turkey twizzlers and you’re good.

Following this, we walked through the town of Garachico, where I took some lovely snaps;

The last picture is the remains of the lava, now formed into rock. Pretty amazing. Well, probably not at the time.. but now, yeah.

Moving on, we finally headed to meet a bloke called Fernando, who was an award winning wine producer. I mean this guy literally competed in a world competition and won Bronze. A feckin’ wine world championship?! Amazing.

Well as we stepped off the bus to meet Fernando, who lived in a nice little Spanish house, I looked over to see the famous El Teide in the distance. Such an outstanding view, I had to take a picture;

Imagine seeing that every morning? Not only does this man have a beautiful house but he will definitely know if Teide erupts. Anyway, his humble home wasn’t some commercialised factory – it was just a house and a lovely one too. Covered with banana trees, grapes and other natural delights, Fernando was living out a family legacy.

Is this like heaven for middle aged divorcees? Well anyhow, we entered with Fernando and he sat us down on a table. He was very welcoming, funny and interesting. He didn’t look at wine like we often do – a stress relief, our Friday night favourite or simply.. a drink. No, he looked at it like a gift of the natural fruits of the Earth. Something that couldn’t be abused or misused but a treat to appreciate and enjoy.

I won’t totally reveal what Fernando taught us in the time we had with him. However, what we tasted was fresh and well produced wine. Probably the best wine that I ever tasted and the best you will ever taste. We had white, red… OH IT IS IN FACT CALLED “VINO TINTO”! 😉

We also had rose and honey. Yes honey. Trust me, I looked around for any bees before I took a sip.

At the end of the afternoon, I purchased a bottle for self abuse. I also bought a bottle for some relatives. The thing is, these kind of gifts are authentic. It is freshly produced local wine and the finest at that. However, you don’t simply drink wine. One must learn to properly embrace the taste of vino, to fully enjoy the fulfilling flavours it carries. Can you do that with Tesco’s own? Probably not. However, I will leave what I learned as a mystery. What I will say, is that now I enjoy wine more often and drink it more often. (Actually, is that good?)

If you ever find yourself in Tenerife and want to truly master the skill of wine tasting, explore the island and visit Masca – then check with your travel agents or rep and get yourself booked on. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Stefan, Fernando and myself above.

What did I learn? That there is so much more to be appreciated about wine…

…and that its probably acceptable to be an alcoholic in Spain.

Why am I doing this? Welcome to the quarter life crisis.

Two months ago I was sat in my room, youtubing Mexican pronounciations for my draft excursion presentation that I was expected to present at my assessment for a holiday rep job. The only thing which went through my frustrated mind was that if I didn’t get this job, least I would have a job. A job which was rather dull, mentally exhausting and made me feel like I had reached the end of my prime.

Prior to my decision to up sticks and leave, I worked as a Client Relations Case Officer in a nine till five office job. I had joined the company at 20 years old in their call centre and eventually ended up dealing with formal complaints. The money was okay and the perks were great. However, I just couldn’t agree with the moral conflict of my role and the fact that every situation was as depressing as the other.

Anxiety can be one of the most draining, mind numbing and emotionally bending conditions around, but at this point I won’t go into that any further. What I will say is for the last year I feel my job had exacerbated it to the point that I became sick and you know if you need to take time off work for something like that, then there is definitely something up with the job.

So I know when times get tough you can’t exactly just quit your job and move abroad. But I did anyway. Officially I walked out of that office on the 19th May 2017! Just less than a month ago.

Yes! Just like that. But do you know why I did it? Because I am 23 years old and not 43 years old. Up until this quarter life crisis started, I felt like I was in a midlife crisis (good song) and this was it. For so many years I have wanted to do something like this, just go and work away or explore the world, but anxiety and a lack of self-confidence held me back.

How did I overcome this barrier? A bottle of whiskey, a twenty deck and the truth of British weather.

It may have also taken the fact that if I really want to do something like this then the time is now. Unlike most of my friends, I don’t have any kids (fuck that), a wife (fuck that x2) or a mortgage (is that even a possibility now anyway?)

I have nothing to hold me back. The worst that can happen is I end up being sacked, sent back with a nice tan to live with my mum, go on the dole, don’t end up going out anymore due to lack of funds, get laughed at for failing, prove that I am an idiot and eventually die of starvation. So, when you put it into context, it really isn’t that risky is it?

On the 26th May 2017, I found out I was going to Tenerife. A volcanic island. But don’t worry because it hasn’t gone off for over a hundred years. (Touch wood)

You don’t think it will do you?

Now, I work as a rep and I live on the front of Santiago Beach, with a Portugese fella who had never ate a jaffa cake. Here are some of the highlights already:

This is the sunset from my balcony view. Interesting fact for you – Tenerife is in the same timezone as Britain. However, at 6.00am it seems to be pitch black here and it gets dark around 9.30pm. Anyway, the above picture is what I get to see most nights. That and drunken Brits.

This is Santiago beach. Well the rocks on the side anyway. A lot of beaches have black sand and lava rocks that have formed following the eruptions. It gets more hot on the sand than your unusual golden grains so wear flip flops!

This is me, chilling on the West coast, admiring the views and coming to terms of no parmos for 6 months.

This is me, enjoying some red wine, trying to look like a hipster.

This is me after I missed a patch on my back when spreading the sun lotion. I refused to allow anyone to do it for me, as I am an independent male. I call them the wings of fire.

This is me after watching Showtime. A fantastic show full of classics, characters and comedy.

This is some random lizard that was enjoying a can of Monster. I am not sure if this was healthy but who was I to judge?

Anyway, just to give you an insight into some of my fears;

  • Wasps.
  • Wasps.
  • More wasps.

So, yeah, bit of a problem on my hands. Literally. But fortunately I haven’t seen many at this point.

Over the last two weeks I have been on quite a few excursions. So I will write about them as I go along. And any other things that come in the mean time.

I tend to get into unlucky and unusual situations. For example, I was attacked by a goose on the way to work once and I also slipped on a nappy outside Sainsburys before.

Mhm, a recipe for disaster.

But the point of this journey, is to gain some real life experience, see the world, meet new people and knock down some barriers. Living alone, away from home, without parmos and being responsible. Do you think I can do it? I bloody hope so because I had a leaving party before I came out here so it would be pretty embarrassing if I was home in a month.

Either way, I am not sure where this blog will go but we will see anyway!

Wish me luck. ☺