Post by On 14 May 2014

Preventative measures

The night began with a phone call at 11.45, to come and help Mark* work out where he was staying and get him home.


Gemma and I made our way down to the paseo where a PR was standing guard. Mark had arrived that day, and was definitely coming to the end of his night out. He knew the first part of his hotel name, and so we were able to quickly work out where he was staying, and we began to encourage him to stand up and start walking. The hotel was a 15-20 minute walk, just the other side of San An.

Mark’s walking was muddled, and all the while he was describing to us what he would do to his friend (who had left him), when he saw him.

This was accompanied by hand gestures, punching the air and really loud shouting – we were certainly not going to go unnoticed! As we walked, Gemma and I took it in turns to maneuvere Mark out of the way of fountains, trees, cars, motorbikes, bollards, benches, bins, curbs, other people – pretty much everything became a hazard, and a potential source of harm for Mark as he continued stumbling towards home. We made a decision to avoid the busy West End, as Mark’s planned assault on his friend looked like it could have transferred itself onto any random person who looked at him funny.

About 5 minutes away from his hotel, Mark stopped and began to insist on going back to where we had come from; most people who have been on a team here will probably have experienced walking someone 99% of the way home, only to stop at the last minute and battle with the person’s suddenly changing will, to keep on going the whole way. As Mark insisted that he knew where he was going, I asked ‘You do know you’re in Ibiza, not Plymouth*, don’t you?’…Mark stopped, head in hands, and began to follow us the final 5 minutes to his hotel.

Promising to give his friend a beating, we left Mark in the safety of his hotel room.

45 minutes later the phone goes again, asking for some help and a wheelchair, for a girl who was face down on the floor in the middle of the West End. As we arrived, a group had gathered round her, and a thousand different opinions of what to do began to be offered. With a cranky wheelchair, and the way this girl was lying, I was wondering how we were going to ever get her into the chair. It was going to have to be all hands on deck…until I hear a voice behind me saying ‘Excuse me love, do you want a hand?’

This guy was a machine…calmly handing me his cigarette, rendering me totally redundant, he lent over, picked her up and dropped her into the wheelchair. Meanwhile, trying not to look like a complete slacker standing around watching and having a smoke, I dodged around trying to work out how to be useful without singeing anyone in the process. The hulk straightened up, collected his cigarette and wandered off into the night. Wheel chairing her and her friends quickly out of the West End, we got them into the van, and back to the hotel.

An hour later a call comes from another fairly central place in the West End, to look after a girl who had taken a pill, and was all on her own. When we got there, this young, wide-eyed girl was sitting on her own, under the watchful eye of the bouncer, and was insistent that her night was not over. She was in no medical danger, but being on her own made her vulnerable; a concerned table of girls told us that they had not seen any of her friends. It was time to convince her to go home.

We worked out from her key card that she was staying in one of 7 hotels from a certain chain that exists here in San An; the problem was finding out which one. An even greater problem was trying to persuade this girl not to keep dancing provocatively in front of every guy who walked past her. An image that makes me chuckle even writing about it, is seeing her dance away in the middle of the street, in front of Marlies, who helplessly stood and watched, trying to make it stop – we needed to get her out of the West End quickly. One of the PRs appeared, who knew her from home, and this girl blurted out her hotel name. Clearly a familiar face was what was needed. Five minutes later and she was in the van singing and dancing her way back home.

I guess the night felt preventative – Mark never made it into an actual fight in the West End, never punched any walls or fell over anything on the way home. Our wheelchair friend was taken home quickly before friends got panicked, opinions turned to arguments and she dropped into such a deep sleep she was impossible to lift. And dancing queen was escorted home before someone matched her moves or tried to take advantage, before she met people she didn’t know or put herself in a vulnerable situation.


Abby x


Photo by Marcin Wichary / CC BY / original cropped

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