Saturday, 4 August 2007

Holiday fibs

Holidays are now such a status symbol that people invariably lie about how things went, making out they were dream-perfect even if they were actually the holiday from hell.

Those typical conversations about what it was like are not all they seem. Sometimes you need a special phrase book to decode the rose-tinted accounts. For example:

"So how was the flight?"

"Brilliant. We only paid a fiver each and then we got an upgrade." (Diabolical. We had to pay £50 for excess baggage, we took off four hours late and my suitcase was stolen)

"So what was the hotel like?"

"Brilliant. Massive room overlooking the Bay of Whatsit. Cordon bleu food. Complimentary room service." (Appalling. They were still building it. The room was hamster-size. We had food poisoning for three days)

"Good weather?"

"Brilliant. Sunshine all the way. Almost too hot for comfort. And the week before it was torrential rain. Luck of the devil." (Horrendous. Permanent downpour. Whole area was flooded. We had to hire a boat. My new camera fell overboard)

Jenny and I are actually quite frank about our holidays. If they're disappointing, it's not our fault, after all, it's down to other people's cock-ups. And we don't see holidays as status symbols, just as a bit of fun and novelty. We happily admit to being let down by Verona, underwhelmed by Connemara and unimpressed by Amsterdam.

Other people are amazed by our honesty, as if it's a breach of etiquette or a mental aberration. But who are they fooling with their glittering fibs? They forget we've all been on the same boat, or should I say unhygienic cruise ship. Why not come clean?


  1. The bad holiday stories are usually the most entertaining, anyway. People feel better instantly when you tell them how miserable you were. We won't have any holidays together again until the dog dies, unfortunately.

  2. Hey don't say that, you'll make Jack feel guilty.

  3. It's like our food poisoning episode on the plane and then the miserable episode of missing our flight in Paris thanks to firstly our Flight Centre idiot who didn't pay attention to how long we had from landing to taking off again, and secondly to the slack-arse attitude of the French when asked a question like: So what's the hold up? Oooh Air France, never again. Ehm, oh did you ask about our trip from Sydney to Dublin? It was brilliant, the French upgraded our seats to First Class we had champaigne all the way, and then at the airport they dedicated a car for us from one terminal to another and we made it in 5 minutes after arrival.... It was perfect! Yes, yes it was.

  4. I know, Nick, but I really wanted to go to Philly for a few days with Mr. M.

  5. Gaye - The national airlines all seem to be going downhill. British Airways has just been named the worst performing European airline in terms of flight delays and lost baggage. Its services have been seriously disrupted every summer for several years by security problems, strikes etc. Air Canada now has a poor reputation on its internal flights, with no food provided. But then, with us passengers demanding cheaper and cheaper flights, perhaps we have to share some of the blame.

  6. Well seeing as my holidays are long over I might make up some - if only to fool myself :-)

  7. Yes I hear you're just back from a fantastic holiday hunting polar bears in the Arctic. I'm madly jealous!

  8. i used to large it up but finally got sense and now all my big stories go on the blog, not sure if that is an improvement?

  9. You mean you were just looking for a bigger audience for your porkies? And wondering how many they would swallow? You wicked girl.

  10. Does anyone remember the famous George Carlin routine about "stuff"?
    One of the riffs was on the stuff we bring on holidays.
    Panic only sets in when on your holidays, you go on a further shorter holiday and have to minimize your already minimized holiday 'stuff'.
    Well this happened to me in Costa Rica where we all had to go on a safari in a jeep for 4 days, ('we all' is deserving of a separate story).
    Packed, hot, humid and forbidden to venture into the comfortable and spacious front area.
    Eight of us jammed into the back like ill kempt rats with tiny bags.
    And that was just the beginning of the nightmare.
    I will never, ever go to Monte Zuma again. Even by myself. Even by boat. Even if paid to do so.

  11. Sounds dreadful. Not so much an adventure trip, more a fight for survival. I’ve sometimes thought about a safari but after your experience definitely not. Do tell the full story on your blog!

  12. Yes yes, I would love to hear the miserable safari experience you had to "endure" or rather should I say "survive". I have to say though, imho, if it is a comfortable safari anywhere in Africa it is a bit hypocritical, ok, maybe not if they are charging you thousands of dollars. I fantasize an African adventure where they actually drop you off there like they drop aid-food-packages and let you pack a small bag of bare essentials like tampons, a book, a foldable spear and some water, with a promise to pick you (or your body) up from the same spot in 2 weeks' time. :)

  13. Eeeek! Count me out of that! But you're right, it would be a more realistic experience than being wafted around in a deluxe tourist vehicle by downtrodden locals. Of course it's probably been tried already on some reality TV show.