Saturday, June 19, 2004

Colonel on the Continent

Just back from a week overseas. I put in a week with the folks in the sleepy Spanish resort of Torremolinos.

If you don't know my folks, pops is a frightfully brainy chap, also a military man, General Knowledge. The mater was in the Intelligence services, Hidden Knowledge. Then there is my younger brother, a bit of a layabout and a waster to be honest, Common Knowledge.

Anyhow, we small happy band were cooped up in apartments in a fairly large hotel near the beach. Possibly the designer of this place was under severe mental stress at the time, but the place had a Flintstones theme running throughout it, including a Bronto Burger bar selling fried snacks to the patrons. The patrons seemed to accept this philosophically enough, consisting mainly of loud types from Dublin. It would seem that your Dubliner enjoys nothing better than sunbathing in the blazing midday heat while their unruly offspring runs amok by the pool, shouting and bawling like a snot-nosed banshee.

Clearly a new location for drink-based activities would have to be found.

This was not as easy as it sounds. Torremolinos is primarily visited by the Irish tourist and has targeted its nightlife with this in mind. Among the nitespots and hotspots in the vicinity were The Irish Affair, Shillelagh Bill's, Shenanigans, Molloys, Shamrocks, The Harp Bar, Top o' the Morning and Lisa's Licking Leprechaun Lesbian Lounge. I may have imagined that last one, the combination of sunshine and sangria is a powerful one.

The behaviour of the Irish drinker abroad is somewhat curious to behold. As we English well know, the correct form is to drink imported bottled beer heavily all day, insult the natives of the town and conclude the evening by either vomiting and urinating in the street while giving tongue regarding the excellence of one's sports team of choice or, if one is lucky, by giving a three minute rattling to a chunky girl from Stockport on the beach. The Irish prefer to drink in a civilized manner in the evenings, maintaining a respectful attitude to their courteous hosts and the night would end with nothing more raucous than a sing-song or some inebriated wedding-style dancing.

A strange bunch. No wonder they never had an empire.

Adios amigos.

(I am a real global citizen, yes?)

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