01 Feb HOLIDAYMAKERS
The planes come right over our garden those directly above are going to Larnaka, whereas those in front and over the sea are for Paphos. Each plane is carrying over two hundred passengers, assuming at least half of them are tourists, that’s one hundred people in hotel accommodation, eating out in restaurants, and going on excursions. In total they must be spending at least five hundred euros each in a week that’s Fifty thousand euros per plane load per week. Averaging eighty planes per day at both airports that brings in a potential four million euros in tourist income per day every day. The tourist season lasts for about five months, say thirty days per month that’s one hundred and fifty days per year. Giving Cyprus a total income of six hundred million euros per year these figures are very conservative estimates.
When they arrive at their hotel the first thing most tourists do is shower then change into their holiday clothes. Who hasn’t seen men who spend their working days in a suit with a collar and tie, walking about in a vest top and knee length shorts, sandals with white ankle socks. Looking very ill at ease, this is all topped off with a pair of sunglasses on the top of their head.
The ladies are the same with sunglasses, big assed shorts, and a flimsy top struggling to contain a hefty bosom all topped off with a large floppy hat.
They walk down the middle of the road, very often pushing a small child in a pushchair. In the supermarkets they gather in groups staring in amazement because they can see Heinz baked beans or OXO’s just like at home.
A hire car is the next thing they get and guess what? They have forgotten how to drive, dawdling along in the wrong lane, stopping with no warning to take in the view. It’s a good job they have red plated vehicles at least we are on the lookout. Honestly it makes my blood boil!
We decided to take a break in Crete to get away from the intrusion of our home ground by these sun seeking interlopers.
Chania airport early in the morning, suitcase and hand luggage. Pick up the car, no problem, OK it’s left hand drive and they drive on the right, I’ve driven all over the continent in my job haven’t I.
This is different it’s like trying to sign your name with your left hand, while looking in a mirror. The roads are very narrow and there are buses coming towards us, so I move over. My wife moves as far over in her seat towards me as she can.
“Watch out!” she yells as we brush through a hedge and the door mirror slaps back against the car. We eventually find our accommodation and park the car. My wife looks very relieved.
We’ve checked in, showered and I’ve changed into a rather fetching Hawaiian shirt and shorts and my flip flops, my wife has her latest off the shoulder sun top and some rather tight shorts.
“Does my bum look big in this?” she asks.
“Course not” I lie “Anyway nobody knows us here”
She puts on her floppy sun hat.
We stroll down to the local kiosk and assess the goods on offer, “Oh good they’ve got Lurpack butter just like at home”
It’s quite dark in the shop and I take off my sunglasses, where can I put them, ah! On top of my head!
Strolling back to the hotel, a car comes roaring up behind us and we have to jump to one side. “Moron” I shout and we resume our trek up the middle of the road!
618 words Michael White 2020