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November 8, 2012updated 29 Jan 2016 12:25pm

Wallies Everywhere in Ibiza Nueva

By Alessandro Tome

When an excess of cash meets a lack of scruples and an absence of taste… well, it’s enough to make wallies of the best of us. If you doubt it, just look around, says Alessandro Tomé

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When an excess of cash meets a lack of scruples and an absence of taste… well, it’s enough to make wallies of the best of us. If you doubt it, just look around, says Alessandro Tomé

An Aventador, two 458s and a Rolls. A couple of 50m-plus Feadships, the ubiquitous Perini Navi and the prerequisite wannabe Wally sailing boat, all within a few metres. The real megayachts are a little removed from this rowdy bunch and they can’t fit here anyway.

You would be forgiven for thinking this was the set for another remake of Miami Vice, or the arrival point for the Caracas to Medellin Coca Rally. If you’re not old enough to remember Miami Vice or know that Medellin was the capital of the drug cartels, you might instead be misled in picturing the petrodollar glory days, all sheikhed and stirred. But there isn’t a keffieh in sight, the Rolls isn’t gold and no dismembered body is floating in the harbour (that I can see).

Read more: William Cash visits Ibiza

Ah, well of course, it must be St-Trop. The playground of the playboys and loaf-arounders, my-Wally-is-longer-than-yours-style. By the way, we know Italians are good at marketing, but who came up with the idea that it sounded good to be in a Wally, with a Wally, anywhere near a Wally?

As a brief reminder, Wally is also a character from the Dilbert comic strip, inspired by a real person who was so jaded that he spent all his time and effort gaming the system. He described himself in one strip as the outcome of thousands of generations of selective breeding, designed to produce no biometric impression: no pulse, no fingerprints, no DNA. In the end, the concept of a completely shameless employee with no sense of loyalty became Wally. I guess that sums it all up rather well and is certainly in keeping with our times. Be a Wally at work and get rewarded with a Wally.

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But you would be wrong. St-Trop is now dépassé. Even though there is already a take on the French tradition of comparing one’s manhood to the size of one’s bottle of champagne and then adding sparklers on it to make sure the girls see it, this is not St-Trop. This is Ibiza Nueva. New Ibiza. Filled with all the St-Trop exports now, including the gangs that rob the expensive rented villas in rich ghettos like Porroig. Thankfully, on Ibiza you can escape and enjoy the calmer, more real side of this beautiful island. But in the meantime, it is good for the local economy, and good endless fun watching it all.

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Probably the best show in town — show as in human behaviour — can be observed in Ibiza Nueva’s restaurants.

Originally they were exclusive names in socio-gastronomic circles, but they have whored themselves to gross commercialism and turned into ever more vulgar food ‘chains’. Thankfully the only thing not vulgarised is the quality of the food, which is consistently reliable across establishments. The same can also be said of the decor, and the Ibiza outlets are no exception. We should not even mention the prices as they bear no relation to anything remotely normal. They are for Wally-owners.

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The most fun was the highly entertaining show in the dining rooms. We all know that having beautiful women in any public place is desirable and likely to attract more customers. But in Ibiza Nueva it is taken to either an art-form or the abyss of vulgarity and debasement and obviousness, depending on who you ask. Half a plane-load of scantily but designer-clad stunning girls arrive around 11pm and are scattered around the room to expectant tables.

A friend who invited me there called them Models with Benefits, and I think that will stick. He pointed out how introductions are made and harmless chatter is attempted and a game of musical chairs ensues as less successful matchings are mixed up for the best possible chances of happy outcomes — or is it happy endings? Who really benefits other than the restaurant owner is open to conjecture.

But as we sat giggling and curious at this display, I also felt discomfort at the whole scene. The cars and Wallys outside, the opulence of the decor, the €45 plates, the designer clothes, Louboutins galore — all that puts up a finger at the ‘crisis’, the ‘recession’. It seems so removed that it may not be happening at all. But then I looked at those girls and realised it was all pretty, yes, but pantomime, too. All the reasons for and consequences of the crisis in one room and what it does to the fabric of society. Because in our society we all became a bit of a Wally, but some of us really big ones. And the bigger the Wally they were, the more kudos, more reverence, more power, more glory they got.

Wallys and Models with Benefits are there because we put them there, because we said to both that if you can get it easily why try harder, or straighter, or longer, or even honestly. Just take it, because it is there for the taking and it doesn’t matter whose it is in the first place. Brave New Mutually Beneficial Wally World.


I need to eat humble pie. Not regularly, as my nutritionist is against pies of any kind. Not as a culinary delicacy either, as I have been unable to unearth any historical reference to the baking or eating of a humble pie. But I think as an intellectual delicacy there is a lot to be said for it.

As with most delicacies, it must be consumed in small quantities, quietly, appreciatively, in small bites and well chewed in order to be able to enjoy its full goodness. Savour every morsel for its multi-layered effects, its surprisingly complex and long-lasting aromas. It is surreptitiously weaving its chemical reactions in undetected and oft ignored recesses of your mind, perhaps even of your soul. I feel world consumption needs to dramatically increase for all our wellbeing.

Read more: Five most expensive pieces of Olympic tat

My humble pie consumption is not as it should be, and I am working on adding more to my balanced diet. But I certainly had a binge recently and here is a small slice. Earlier in the year, I wrote a piece on the subject of the London Olympics, which I thought would be a huge nightmare on many levels. Was I so wrong. Being in London and experiencing the little that I did of these Games was probably one of the best things I ended up doing in spite of myself. As my kids would say, wrong on an epic scale.

As a consequence of being an epic idiot about it beforehand, I didn’t manage to go to any of the events that I wanted to. And I suddenly did want to. I don’t really know what happened, but having very reluctantly agreed to be dragged along by Angel Wife and the kids to a volleyball game, my grumpy old face slowly turned into an ear-to-ear beam of incredulous joy.

Read more: Touring the Olympic Park with Anita Zabludowicz

The child in me just blossomed and all I could think was why had I been such an epic ass about it all, when and how could I go again, and could we please, please stay here for the whole two weeks. I have never felt more communion of human spirit with none of its — my — untrusting, sceptical face. It was filled with what I love most about humans: variety, originality, respect, fun, joyous abandon without ulterior motives. A real sincerity in its innocence.

There wasn’t a single bad vibe in or around the arena. Utopia for a few hours. And the last thing I felt like doing was leaving this beautiful bubble of what could have been for the striking contrast of the reality of what we have made of our world. Thank goodness for more humble pie, please.

Illustration by Jeremy Leasor

Read more by Alessandro Tomé

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