Saturday, 6 February 2016

They’re all foreigners abroad | Book Excerpt

Travel / Humour
by Stuart Wright

Ear plugs (During August)
If you go abroad during the month of August then ear plugs are absolute ‘must’ accessories. Foreign industry just about closes during the month of August and many, if not most foreigners, head for the local coast for their annual month’s holiday. They shout, they shout a lot. You can be on the beach, in a restaurant, on a pleasure boat, or anywhere you care to name on a foreign coast and you will experience a complete and utter ear bashing. Foreigners are completely incapable of having a nice quiet conversation, they just shout. You will probably think that they’re arguing but it’s just normal behavior to them.
Take some ear plugs because they do your head in!

Ear plugs on the plane
Some people suffer from severe headaches during take off and landing on aircraft and we have to sympathize with these poor unfortunate people. In order to overcome the problem, some altitude sufferers use these spongy ear plug thingies which are usually bright yellow. Have you seen them? You can be sat there on the plane minding your own business and having a quick gander at the other travellers when all of a sudden your eyes lock onto the person sat opposite to you. What’s wrong with their head? Is their brain melting? These bright yellow spongy bungy thingies have started to work their way out of this persons ears and they look as though they have some radio active gunk coming out of their head.
‘Oh, it’s just some of those spongy bungy thingies; thank God for that!’

A Elastics gone!
Is it the salt water, the sun, or is it foreign washing powder? Most men these days wear swimming shorts but if you are a ‘Speedo trunks man’ or a lady, then the chances are that the elastic in your trunks, swim suit or bikini bottoms will go all baggy during your annual holiday. It can be embarrassing when you come out of the sea or swimming pool and then suddenly realize that you have developed low slung swim suit bottoms. The gusset is about two kilos heavier because you have three pints of sea water in it. You can sometimes watch people coming out of the sea or the swimming pool walking like a hermit crab and looking all self conscious – ‘Oops – elastics gone!’ 
It’s not only the embarrassment either, because you know damn well that you will now get sand up your bottom and your wobbly bits!

English pubs
Now Come on, let’s talk this one through. What exactly is an ‘English pub?’
You hear people on holiday saying things like ‘there’s an English pub down the road’, or you can actually be walking down a road in your resort and you will see a sign saying ‘English pub’. What’s one of those please? It is usually a bar just the same as all of the other bars but it has an English flag hanging outside and is owned by an English person. That’s it – big deal! What about an Irish pub? Whenever I have been into an Irish pub whether it be in France, Spain, Italy, England or Ireland for that matter, they are just pubs with bare floor boards and Guinness memorabilia hanging all over the place. Oh yes, and the owner is sometimes Irish. The same goes for a Scottish pub. That usually has a flag of St. Andrew hanging outside, sells McEwans lager, has three hundred different brands of whisky on the shelf and usually one of those ginger ‘See you Jimmy’ wigs hanging on the wall. Really original that is! What about a Welsh pub then; what’s one of those? I’ve never seen a Welsh theme pub. I think the Welsh must be the only people in the UK sensible enough to realize that a pub is a pub is a pub – isn’t it? I don’t think it will take very long for this strange territorial theme for pubs to go one step further. If it does, then it will almost certainly be based on bygone romantic visions of local culture.
There could, for instance, be a Yorkshire pub which might have, let’s say, two tons of nutty slack piled outside the door and all the staff wearing miners helmets.
What about a Cumbrian pub, with a highly radio active interior called the Sellafield Arms?
A Birmingham pub with two Austin Allegro’s and a Triumph Herald rag top on the roof - ‘rusty of course!’
I’m enjoying this - - - -
How about a Lincolnshire theme pub with no bar, no tables, no chairs, no anything – just completely flat?
A Cornish pub where you get a free pasty with every pint and all the staff have a piece of straw hanging out of their mouths?
A Gretna Green theme pub would be good. You could take your girlfriend there and go through a mock marriage whilst having a few beers. You could get dressed up in a top hat and tails with your girlfriend in a full wedding gown with veil and go through a pretend wedding service. It would be very convenient because you are in a pub and after the mock wedding service you could just go to the bar and get completely legless. No need for any pretend wedding cars or anything. On top of all that, to make things even better, when you have an argument afterwards you can just walk away because it wasn’t a proper wedding at all. No expensive divorce costs, splitting the house in half, arguing over the bank account – nothing!
Let’s have a Kent theme pub. That could have a tractor for the bar, fresh vegetables piled in one corner and illegal immigrants climbing out of a tunnel in the other corner.
Someone could open a Bradford theme pub. I was born in Bradford – best not!way.

The Euro has got a lot to answer for when it comes to us not being able to pretend to be millionaires any more. It’s just not the same going out for a meal in the likes of Italy or Spain. I have fond memories of going out for an evening meal, probably washed down with a nice bottle of wine and the bill being something like ten zillion Pesetas or Lira. On would go my ‘I’m a millionaire head’ and I would just recline back and count out the ginormous denomination notes as if they were nothing (actually, they were next to nothing). ‘Oh, that’s quite reasonable old chap’ I would say. At that point in time you could then make a big issue out of leaving a tip which appeared sufficient to buy a brand new family car. ‘Oh keep the change dear man’ and then swagger out as if you owned the world.
Meanwhile – the waiter would be scowling after you as that huge tip was only actually worth about ten pence – ‘Oy, you tight English tosser!’

Excursions from the holiday rep
What a rip off they are, they’re like licenced bandits. I reckon that tour operators must make more money out of organized excursions than they do from selling you a holiday in the first place. The reason they bash your ear on the first day of your holiday is because they know that by your second or third day, you will have seen the same trip for half the price at a local travel agents shop.
Say no - you don’t have to go on their trips!

Exercises (pre holiday)
Why is it that many people go into a frantic pre holiday exercise burst only two weeks prior to departure? They have known that they are fat all year and what are they going to do about it in two weeks anyway – nothing! They may feel as though they are at least making an effort and getting rid of a bit of guilt, but it’s fairly futile really. If you feel a little embarrassed when you look at yourself naked in the mirror then the chances are that you are what in medical terms is called - a fatty.
It takes all year to get rid of all that blubber and two weeks just ain’t good enough!trips!