I said a while back that I’d tell you about my holiday. Gallstones have delayed me but here we go…
I need to make an admission and explain it before I tell you much about this years holiday . The admission? I went on holiday with my parents. Just me and them…And now I need to tell you a story explain:
A few years ago I decided that never mind being single and never mind that all my friends were all coupled up. No…I had a decent job and had bought a house and lived alone quite happily so now I would do the ultimate Independent Single Woman thing. I would go on holiday on my own. How hard could it be after all?
I arranged to rent a friends apartment in Spain (possibly the only part, it turned out, where nobody speaks a word of English) and booked my flight with dreams of lying in the sun on the beach, al fresco dinners where passers by would be impressed by my independent-ness and generally having a lovely sense of freedom for a full 10 days. Obviously things didn’t go quite to plan…
After the flight (I don’t like flying), I had to negotiate the Spanish underground (I hate the underground) and over ground (only marginally better). None of my instructions were quite right but I was pleasantly surprised at how far miming could get you and was incredibly proud when, three hours later I had got as far as the taxi.
The taxi driver didn’t seem to know the address so he just dropped me off in the town. It was sweltering and very dark (well, it was midnight) and I had no idea where to go. But independent women do not cry in the street in a foreign county whilst carting a suitcase which had only just avoided an excess weight charge.
I eventually found the building. Obviously the apartment was on the top floor and of course, I couldn’t get the keys to open the door however much I pleaded with them. Then I remembered Alberto. Alberto was the neighbour on the third floor who was apparently very old, very grumpy, very Spanish and spoke no English. He would however help out in an emergency. Well, sleeping in a stairwell that was almost at boiling point in the middle of the night for 10 days would result in some sort of emergency so, despite the time I wandered down to make his acquaintance.
‘Ci?’ Demanded a slightly intimidating Alberto.
‘Ci…’ (a torrent of Spanish fell out of his mouth)
‘I’m really sorry, I don’t speak Spanish. I have flown in today…” (Miming an aeroplanes wings) “…and I am staying upstairs…” (pointing up) “…and the keys…” (waving them around) “…wont work.” (moving my hands in what I hoped was a generic, multi-lingual ‘not working’ gesture). “Help?”
Alberto trundled up the stairs with me opened the door (first try, of course) and we both stood rather still as we noticed giant cockroaches scuttling down the hallway. Alberto rushed off…and thankfully rushed back… with a huge can of cockroach spray. He then gave me (mimed) lessons in spraying and killing cockroaches while shouting ‘Safari’ and grinning like a maniac. I suspect that it may have been the most fun he’d had in a while. After a while Albert left and I continued the massacre…I couldn’t do anything, especially sleep, until I knew the buggers had all gone. Finally I thought I’d got them, scooped their carcasses up (over 20 by this stage) and dropped them over the balcony. I then looked over the balcony to discover that there was a street café just below, and yes, people were eating….
And that was the first few hours of my Single Independent Woman holiday. And it didn’t improve. Lying in the sun on the beach? It rained almost everyday. Al fresco dinners where passers by would be impressed by my independent-ness? Somehow I ended up having cheese, ham or cheese and ham in one form or another every night, and it turns out that it’s actually really hard to read a book in a nonchalant manner while eating. A sense of freedom? I just wanted a chat with someone!
As you can see, my Independent Single Woman holiday wasn’t terribly successful so rather than risk that chaos again, I thought I’d risk a holiday with the parents this year. I’ll give you a few highlights of that in the next post…
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