For me part of ‘Going native in Tenerife’ means making the effort to enjoy the same sort of events and activities as my Tinerfeño hosts. These are the sort of things which can make the difference between simply scratching the surface of visiting or living on Tenerife and really trying to get to the heart of what makes Tinerfeños tick.
Here’s a purely subjective fun quiz to take if you want to check how ‘native’ you’ve gone:
Visited the Mount Teide crater: (1 point) – any visitor to Tenerife, who hasn’t been to the Mount Teide crater, hasn’t really been to Tenerife. Add a bonus point if you’ve been when there’s snow in the crater. This is a real Tinerfeño thing to do.
Have eaten one of the islander’s favourite dishes: Conejo (rabbit), Viejo (parrot fish), or Puchero (Canarian stew) (1 point for each) – if you’ve tried gofio amasado add a bonus point and if you’ve eaten in a Guachinche award yourself an extra bonus point.
Dressed up for Carnaval: (1 point) – This is a must; the biggest bash of the year and the only way to submit to its hedonistic charms is to get into fancy dress. Add a bonus point if you’re a man who has dressed as a woman (only during Carnaval though).
Been at a Romería: (1 point) – there are so many of these throughout the year that you have to go out of your way to avoid them. Free food and wine dished out by gorgeous girls and handsome hunks in traditional costume. If you’ve bought and used one of those little glasses that Romería-goers wear around their neck add a bonus point. Award another bonus point if you or your kids actually own a traditional costume.
Picnicked in the woods: (1 point) Every Sunday, fiestas, birthday parties etc Tinerfeños head for the hills laden down with food. Zona Recreativas become jam packed with picnickers. If you’ve ever actually used the barbecues at a zona recreativa give yourself a bonus point.
Cheered when the Virgen del Carmen is placed onto a fishing boat during the fishermen’s fiesta: (1 point) In summer every town, village and hamlet with a fishing community celebrates this one.
Bathed in the sea on Midsummer’s Eve: (2 points) This may be a bit specialist, but it dates back to Guanche times and thousands of Tinerfeños from abuelas (grandma's) to niños (kids) take to the ‘magical’ waters at midnight.
Parked on a Pedestrian Crossing: (2 points) Almost the ultimate in ‘Going Native’ (immediately subtract 1 point for breaking the law). Striped lines represent ‘exclusive’ parking spaces for some Tinerfeños. Award a bonus point if you never use the inside lane of a roundabout on Tenerife.
Travelled on local buses: (1 point) It would be unfair to exclude non-drivers, so here’s an easy hit. Add a bonus point if you have a ‘bono’ card. If you don’t know what a bono card is, subtract a point.
Undertaken the annual pilgrimage to Candelaria in August: (3 points) The ultimate in going native. If you’ve done this all I can say is…WOW.
Cheer on CD Tenerife: (1 point) As CD Tenerife stand on the brink of glory, it’s only fair to include a point for anyone who’s supported them at the Heliodoro Rodriguez Lopez Stadium. ‘Adelante Tenerife’
So How Did You Do?
15-20 points: You’re more Tinerfeño than most Tinerfeños. In fact you’re probably a Guanche.
10-15 points: You’ve really gone native.
5-10 points: Okay, good start. You’ve dipped a toe in the water, now it’s time to dive in.
3-5 points: Could try harder, but the good news is that you’ve got a lot of great things left to experience.
Under 3 points: Admit it, you’ve never left your hotel or apartment complex have you?