The lost week of my life

Isn’t going on holiday weird? Why does nobody ever admit that! A week (or more) where you live your life in a totally different way, like your brain has been re-wired. That effect is most obvious when you stay in an all-inclusive resort. One becomes an amoeba.

Watch my story… or skip the video and read below!

I’m definitely not knocking all-inclusive joints, I’m just exploring the amusing concept of being driven into a complex, then out the week after, having not seen the outside world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not someone who rebuffs cultural trips off complex, but on Cape Verde it’s somewhat limited around the greying moonscape.

We flew from Birmingham, on a Thomson plane, so our institutionalisation began early, maybe we should have changed into matching uniforms in the airport toilets? It’s at this point you look around and, admit it, you say to yourself “I hope they’re not in my resort”… Come on, we all have that inner bitch!

We had a pre-flight breakfast, as airplane food can be distinctly hit and miss. Our friend Sal ordered a child’s breakfast. Once we were on the plane, the breakfast serving was repeated, and a carton of steaming hot, wet sausages and bacon was uncovered, and left by everyone, but me. I have to eat every few hours you see, I’ve got my body used to it.

Let’s talk about food in all-inclusive resorts anyway, it’s everywhere. Which means you eat it, regardless of being full. And, oddly, you make up the most unique meals on your buffet-filled plate. When on earth would you eat sausages and tuna in the same sitting? And, those big food halls are treacherous, everyone in a hunger-fuelled trance, the sounds of the room punctuated by plate smashing, as those zombies crash in their search for the next best bread roll.

And, a buffet is a buffet. It isn’t that glamorous. Yet people dress up right nice for it. But I suppose half the event of being away on holiday is dressing up nice in the evenings. And, you have the freedom to wear more bracelets than you would in your home town, if you’re a man that is. And linen.

In an all-inclusive resort, you can often book table-serviced restaurants, but to do this you must go through an unusual rig morale. Very often there are special conditions you must follow to book, like waiting at reception at 6.25am, standing on one leg, booking no more than 5 days ahead… Basically, they make it as difficult as possible, so you’ll stay with the cheaper buffet joint! But, you yearn for different foods, I knew the salad bar inside out by day 2.

Another complexity is towels. You have to submit a towel card, then collect a towel, but change it each day, in a 30 minute queue. These things are not conducive to a relaxing holiday. I’d rather sweat into my sunbed, or lay on a bed of tissue. Mind you, people aren’t overly stressed about you saving your place with a towel these days. It was once the only way you could be identified as German when abroad, but now everyone’s at it.

Days are long here, yet quickly filled, even if you have hours to spare it feels like you’re rushing about. I went rogue and booked a coffee wrap and massage in the same day, so I’ve been ever so busy. The coffee wrap was amusing, I had no idea what was happening at any given time, and was slightly perturbed by the elasticated black knickers I was asked to put on.

We know some of the language. Obrigado is thank you. But it’s quite similar to the Japanese Arigato, so I keep getting brain freeze. And because we are English, we are shy of speaking other languages, so we only ever speak them slightly under our breath. Much can be lost in translation anyway. You could order a latte and have a playful kitten delivered.

The evening entertainment is kinda cute. The other night it was a dance show, as everyone mimed to tracks by Gaga and Phil Collins, separately.

There are some plants here too! Lots of palms. I am rubbish at palm identification, but I can see some Trachycarpus at least! I’ve seen an Ipomoea I want to get closer to, aswell, and lots of nice hedging Hibiscus, rosa-sinensis stylee!

… We have a choice of laying by the pool or the beach. Both are equally relaxing, and it feel better orientated now we are on day 3. This resort is literally in the middle of nowhere. I doubt it needs security, and even if you snuck in, I reckon you should be rewarded for actually having found the place.

That’s all for now. I’m going off to eat a double lunch and then fitfully sleep on my sun lounger, with a foolish factor 15 on…

… We somehow end up at the same loungers every day. It’s funny how you fall into habits on holiday. But it’s comforting. I always said I’d never go to the same resort twice, but who knows if I got given a gift voucher.

But, shock horror, we have talked to some other English people. Again, I said I’d never do this. But somehow it happened. And now we can casually ask the time out loud, and easily get an answer from the crowd.

There are many Dutch people too. Which is always the case on any holiday I’ve been on. But the Netherlands is so small, so how can this be??

We did aqua aerobics yesterday. We are determined to immerse ourselves into the holiday fitness culture. This has also involved a beach run each day, dodging soft-shelled crabs as they tease us. They literally poke out their holes, run to the sea, then wait to be carried off by the wave, probably shouting “weeeeee” as they go. We look terribly professional running barefoot and with only our shorts on…

Today, we did “gym on the beach”, which turned out to be a whole load of stretching. Later we did an exercise class with some poles (equipment, not people) and my dysphasia came into its own. I hope I got the right word there…

Penultimate day on the same sun lounger. Browning like a turkey. Blogging. Might avoid the aqua aerobics class today, yesterday was carnage with some drunk Portuguese girls. Personally I think the instructor wanted to sleep with them.

Right now I’m desperately trying to avoid eye contact with my friend Sal, who is bound to want to go for a walk! I feel quite static today, and I’ve moved to factor 8 lotion. And “eat sleep rave repeat” is annihilating my ears, and I like it.

We went back to the thing with the poles today (stickcercise?) and then, it morphed into a step class, so we couldn’t escape and ended up doing a double. We seem to have become the poster boys for the Riu fitness classes.

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