If you are at home in summer it’s too damn hot. If on holiday it’s not hot enough


Do exactly the same events draw different reactions whether at home or on holiday?

It is a given if you live in a country with a hot climate, that summer is a bit of a chore. No one who lives here in Malta would dream of going sunbathing in August, let alone spend all night in an unair-conditioned night club. Yet as soon as we break the island’s shackles and go abroad everything changes. We all lay out like coffee beans slowly going from red to brown under a scorching sun in Marbella or visit a sauna with music that is some Greek nightclub in Mikanos. There we bop the night away as we slowly melt like the Wicked Witch of the West, to scramble back to hotels as dawn is breaking only to be woken an hour later by bin lorries. 

Despite paying through the nose we actually put up with a lot more on holiday than we do at home. That explains paying silly money for a plate of pasta at a beach side bistro or a kings ransom for a bottle of champagne in a nightclub; neither of which we would ever pay at home.

...and another thing

If I am home on a hot day I forgive nothing. The merest imbalance will set me off on a tirade that I would take with a shrug on holiday. The Aircon making a noise, a blip in the internet service, the late delivery of a parcel, even a power cut would all be local charm somewhere else. Here it’s cause to leave the country accompanied by a fusillade of swearing that would have shocked Al Pacino/Tony Montana in Scarface.

On holiday I am very zen. I once discovered a snake coiled in my bedroom after room service had cleaned it and left a door open onto the veranda looking onto the outback. I gave it a shrug. I hired a Jeep in Mexico where not one of the instruments worked. I reckoned 200 miles a tankful. I even apologised to the night concierge after being up all night with food poisoning from the hotel restaurant in case I had woken anyone up!

...and another thing

I reckon so desperate is the pent up demand for overseas holiday travel that no one will complain about slipshod service, overpriced local product and services or dodgy electrics. Which is a disaster if you live in a holiday destination, because after the stampede has left and my island home returns to normality a lot of these bad habits remain.

The ridiculous charges and indifferent service are a hangover from holiday season. So remember, if you feel ripped off, underserved or overcharged on holiday, please raise a stink. Not for you, but for us poor sods who have to live with this for the other 10 months of the year!

Happy summer breaks.

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