Monday, October 15, 2012

Spanish Fly - Sunday

‘I’m not sure we belong here.’ I tell my wife as we search in vain for a couple of non-towelled sun beds. You have to invade the pool early to get a space before these surprisingly sprightly ex-Nazi youths, stake a claim.

‘You are just being foreign-phobic again.’ Hisses my wife, ‘Bet you couldn’t take that attitude at work.’ She continues, as I spot the only free beds are next to the shaded shower where I refuse to soak myself before jumping in the pool. Needless to say the portly Bavarians all follow orders.

She’s right. I don’t discriminate where property is concerned. Not only is it illegal but it’s counter-productive. Without offshore money there’d certainly be a lot of London agents looking to renegotiate their rents, and lazy journalists might need to leave the Central Line for their next glossy interior story.

‘I mean who thought people still wore Speedos outside of the Olympic diving pool?’ I say, as the man I’ve nicknamed Dead Elvis strides by. This scrawny octogenarian sports an improbable silver-coloured quiff and leopard print trunks. His leathery skin is tanned to ebony brown and has more lines than a cyclone affected weather map. I wouldn’t let him within five miles of a school.

‘And here come the Munich festival crew.’ I grumble, as a group of retired German bankers - who else can afford to stop work while they can still herd shopping trolleys round an Asda car park – arrive at the pool bar and order their first beers of the morning. In the cheaper, locals’ bars behind the beach, unemployed Spanish men are also drinking alcohol with a spooky symmetry.

The overweight German men are already in their skimpy, unappetisingly saggy swimsuits, and their perma-tanned wives sport garish prints on their blouses that match their varicose-veined legs. The males wear more gold reserves around their necks and wrists than the Greek economy can muster. I start to yearn for some kids to disrupt the smug air of entitlement and maybe wet this bunch on the outside with the sort of bombs that didn’t remodel Coventry.

‘Don’t check you work emails.’ Scolds my wife as we get out of the midday sun ahead of the mad dogs. I’ve just had a shameful rant that the overworked maid, on a minimum wage sweating in a nylon uniform, hasn’t cleaned our room yet. The naivety of my punk rock anarchist days never seemed further away.

‘I need to know what they are up to.’ I tell my wife switching on my netbook and failing to find a strong enough Wi-Fi signal again. We’ve changed room once already and the receptionist insists on greeting me with a curt, Guten Morgen before breakfast every day. I can’t make another fuss.

‘The office will survive without you.’ Continues my wife so reasonably I want to bark a couple of angry Halts Mauls at her. The paradox is, I ached to escape the office and now I feel like starting a tunnel to get back there. Maybe it’s Stockholm syndrome, my geography is all over the place, so who knows?

‘What did that achieve?’ Asks my wife as we go back to the hotel terrace for a pricey coffee, as there is no kettle in the room. We’ll be taking the tea bags back home again then.

‘Not a lot.’ I acknowledge. The asinine work emails I’ve just scanned made me testier than ever and now my shorts are feeling so tight I reckon I’ll need to concede to the next waist size up when we next travel. All this food and alcohol is starting to take its toll, my liver is grumbling as much as I do and I’ve a feeling I’ll still be finding sand in places I didn’t know I had, in February.

‘No we don’t want any fake sunglasses.’ I snap at the African lad flogging knock-off designer shades with authentic looks and all the UV protection you’d get popping you pants on your head. Then the smokers sit next to us, something I now find as offensive as someone squatting down and taking a dump alongside you.

Auf Wiedersehen. 


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