The girl puts her camera to her eye and prepares to take a picture of the Guanche who looks as though he’s sitting cross-legged and motionless in mid air. He spots her and ‘real’ legs suddenly appear. He takes a step towards her, cap in hand.
She giggles and moves off, waving him away with her hand as though he’s a nuisance.
The girl is out of line.
Living statues add colour and interest to some of the resorts on Tenerife. In Puerto de la Cruz there is usually an interesting selection along Calle Quintana and at San Telmo, especially over the weekend.
On any one day you might find Poseidon, Atlas, faeries, Guanches and various characters in unnatural positions.
Throw a coin in their cap and they’ll come alive for a brief moment, something that delights most folks and occasionally scares toddlers.
You put money in their cap and you can take their photo, pose with them or even get a peck on the cheek, as I saw one of the prettier statues do with a group of young lads.
It’s not a difficult transaction to figure out. Yet every single time I walk down Calle Quintana I witness people trying to sneak photos of living statues without dropping a centimo in the statue’s hat/tin.
How do these people think the statue can afford to eat? Do they think that they’re living off the joy at bringing smiles to people’s faces?
I suppose the most pertinent question is – do they stop to think at all?
If anyone likes a statue enough to take a photo, then they should give the person something in return.
It really doesn’t have to be much but it helps ensure the statues continue to bring their touch of smile-inducing theatre to Tenerife’s streets.
On the other hand, anyone who has the same opinion of living statues as the townsfolk in Hot Fuzz might be happy to see them go.
Jack is co-owner, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife travel websites as well as a contributor to lots of other places. Follow Jack on Google+