Stuff I learned about Ibiza

And some housekeeping notes.

Hello! As you maybe have noticed, Horrible Lists has been on a way-longer-than-I-meant-it-to-be hiatus. But now it is back! I have decided, like the rest of the entire world, to move from TinyLetter to SubStack, which is a lot easier and prettier to use, no offense to TinyLetter. There may be new subscription options and extra lists in our shared future, but for right now, whilst I flap in the unpredictable winds of Seeking Employment, I’m keeping it simple—every other Monday, you’ll get a list.

This week’s edition is inspired (if I may do a brief and rare plug) by a pre-pandemic reporting trip I took for a story, originally my graduate school thesis, that went up on VICE last week. It’s about snakes that have been accidentally funneled into Ibiza inside of these very expensive uprooted old olive trees—in other words, it’s about money, and change, and all the destructive human contexts around what we refer to as “invasive species.” You can read it here!!

Okay, back to stuff I learned about Ibiza:

  1. The tap water is filled with salt

  2. According to the website, James Blunt’s villa in Santa Gertrudis—where he is now reportedly permanently holed up—features an outdoor bar with a neon sign reading “Blunty’s Nightclub. Where Everybody’s Beautiful.”

  3. Rent is so expensive in Ibiza that part of an old hospital was converted into affordable housing for doctors

  4. In an ancient tomb in the old city, there are skeletons just lying on the ground and in open stone caskets in a sort of oddly casual way. You can walk inside to look at them close-up but I wouldn’t really recommend it

  5. At first, the old ornamental olive trees for sale in Ibiza are pruned back so heavily that they look like frozen dead things with arms outstretched like “AUGHHGH!” [see below] so they don’t topple over in their containers

  6. “Free parking” in Ibiza Town might mean a dark underground cave with an absolutely vertical entrance that is filled with other, far tinier cars and big concrete columns for your large, stupid car to hit as the Spanish woman you are renting from shouts, “It’s easy! No problem!”

  7. In the middle of the island, there is an energetic British man living on an enormous empty eco-compound who will say things like “I’m a visionary” and “we don’t have any racism in Ibiza”

  8. In what is now known as Austria’s “Ibiza scandal” or “Ibiza-gate,” in 2017, the Austrian vice-chancellor and head of the Nazi-founded far-right Freedom party went to a luxury villa in Ibiza for a meal of, according to the BBC, alcohol and sea bass carpaccio and “lots of red bull.” There, he and a colleague were seen in a video discussing a shady deal with a “hot” woman who was pretending to be the niece of a Russian oligarch, leading to the collapse of the Austrian governing coalition

  9. When Walter Benjamin lived in Ibiza in the years leading up to World War II, according to a biography by Howard Eiland and Michael Jennings, locals referred to him behind his back as “el miserable” and his secretary became a Nazi

  10. Speaking of even more Nazis: in the film More, shot on Ibiza in 1969 and featuring a soundtrack by Pink Floyd, an American hippie steals heroin from an ex-Nazi named—pause—“Dr. Wolf” and gets her lover Stefan addicted, unfortunately for Stefan. Or something? This is from Wikipedia

  11. If Paris Hilton were an island, she would be Ibiza

Love, Ellie

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