Damn Bob and Jean. And damn their holiday home. A “Spanish villa” tucked away from the main drag and just five minutes from the beach they’d said. You’ll love it they’d said. I was broke so it was kind of them to offer it free of charge but I’ve been here two days and love has yet to present itself. The so-called villa has a terracotta roof, a patchy, cracked terrace and yellowing whitewashed brickwork. The local paintings, some sombreros and a chunky, studded coffee table complete the look. No AC of course and the heat is a killer. I had to fork out for a fan on the day I arrived.
As for the beach well, yes it’s a five minute walk but they failed to mention running the gauntlet of hundreds of towels, umbrellas, balls, kids and loud music in order to find a one-metre square patch to plonk yourself down. The only part of the day I like is when the nightclubs and bars take over from the all-important sun-tan. Dog-walkers, runners and local couples come out to take advantage of the lull on the beach. I enjoy watching them and the sand is cool and damp between my toes and reminds me that I am in fact on holiday.
Bob and Jean also forgot to mention the local entertainment: two Guinness-selling nightclub slash pubs, just five minutes away from the villa, which belt out music until all hours and literally shake the walls of the bedroom. Past midnight is when it really kicks off. Some of these boys and girls, well, the mouths on them; the swearing and the loud arguments echo around the little terrace every night. Broken bottles and puddles of vomit are scattered along the streets when I head out to get my breakfast. I shudder with embarrassment as the locals sweep up the debris.
I’ve walked to everywhere that’s worth seeing already: a baroque church, a large piazza which was quite pretty and the local Civil War Museum. I’ve read all the books I bought with me, so I have nothing to accompany my fresh bread and cold meats breakfast, except the News of the World. As for other meals, pushing your way through crowds of people and waiting for a free table for half an hour is energy-sapping. The Paella, Frittata and Tapas are a thing of dreams when pubs, home-from-home menus and fast-food are the main fare in the local streets. Real Spanish restaurants are a well-kept secret in this neighbourhood it seems. So I eat on my own mostly, tall glasses of local red wine ease the long evenings.
The airline is firm in its assessment of my situation, no refunds and no changing dates. Five more days stretch into the distance with the smell of kebabs, stale beer and no-holds barred teenagers stalking the villa. Damn Bob and Jean.
[One of the activities in my OU workbook]
Categories: Just Stories