Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Part 3 - Don't mention the War!

I was one of just a handful of Brits in the Flacalco hotel. More to the point, we were the only non-Germans in the Flacalco hotel! Apart from the staff of course, and even they kept speaking to me in German!

My fellow countrymen will recall the greatest comedy sketch of all time - an episode of Faulty Towers in which the hapless hotel manager Basil Faulty was host to a German guest. Despite his best efforts to put history behind him, he ended up frog-marching around the bar using a finger as a moustache and one arm raised in a Nazi salute!

Fortunately we were above such things, but we did become increasingly irritated by our fellow hotel guests. Even today there is an enormous social chasm between our countries which became more apparent as the week wore on.

The basic problem was their inability to look as if they were enjoying themselves! Now I’m not suggesting that the outrageous behaviour of the British in certain parts of the island is preferable. On the contrary, as ambassadors for our country, they leave much to be desired. But at least when we holiday together we get on together. Friendships are made in an instant, and we all become one happy family!

Here, silence ruled. Even when the restaurant was full, the silence was deafening. You could have heard a pin drop. Occasionally you were aware of hushed whispers, but there was no interaction between the fellow guests whatsoever. No laughter. No fun.

Except the morning when a mischievous Yorkshireman popped his head through the breakfast room door and yelled ‘Morning campers’ at the top of his voice then disappeared from view! Unfortunately I had a mouth full of corn flakes at the time!

It was clear was that although they needed to be together - thousands of them in this small resort - they still needed to be in their own separate units.

When I chose Calla Ratjada for my holiday I did so to get away from my own people. I find it much more fulfilling to make the acquaintance of people from other backgrounds and cultures where ever I go. Here the only contact I had with my fellow holiday makers was when they barged into me if I failed to give way!

I must confess to being a bit naughty! At breakfast it was necessary to make your own toast. One guest seemed a little rattled because he had to wait to use the toaster until my piece of bread was suitably browned. So when I’d removed my slice, I surreptitiously turned the control to maximum. I then returned to my table from where I thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle of him flapping his arms to clear the cloud of smoke billowing from the machine!

Well, I was going to enjoy myself even if they weren’t!