You know you’ve been spending too much time travelling low budget when you know Gatwick’s route B to departures.
When Gatwick airport is overcrowded like at this time of the year, they start diverting half of its departing passengers through the security desks on the first floor. Occasional travellers need long explanations to understand where to go. I walk to the first floor as soon as I see the queues – no need to explain to me where to go.
Most people, who only travel for holidays once or twice a year, wander through airports like aimless flocks, pushed and directed by bullying personnel. They look at the place as if it’s a wonder, they stop at every shop, they pay ridiculous amounts for bottles of water that cost more than an ounce of gold…
Regular travellers treat airports like their local underground station: we know every corner, every shortcut, every trick; we never bother stopping because there’s nothing to look at; we walk straight and fast to our final destination (the gate) and only buy water from Boots…
I also happen to know route B to departures…
It’s a bit sad in a way. Travelling for most people still equals excitement. For me, it’s mainly a chore. I do it on my own, nobody taking me to the airport and waving goodbye, nobody expectantly waiting for me on the other side, I just want it to be smooth and quick and over as soon as possible.
I’m presently blogging on a plane to Milan, sitting next to a middle aged middle class couple heading to Milan on holiday. The husband proudly extracts his IPad – middle aged middle class men most favourite recent toy – and excitedly shows his wife the Lonely Planet App containing a guide to Milan.
“Look! There’s a food market tomorrow!” She squeaks. “And I want to see this outlets where they sell second hand Prada!”
“The Duomo seems so beautiful,” he says. “But perhaps we should consider taking a train to Como the hotel is near stazione Centrale! By the way, my Ipad can also take pictures! You just point it at something and PIC!”
I’m tempted to tell them that if he points his ipad at anything around stazione Centrale, it will be snatched by a mugger before he has the time to say “pic!” but then i decide to shut up. Why ruining his excitement? For them Milan is an unknown place full of beauty to discover, a land of fashion, glamour and beautiful architecture. For me it’s just home, a… normal place to be in, a place most of my friends hate and criticize and swear they want to leave because it’s too grey, too polluted and too cahotic, even though in the end they all stay there, because most Italians would never leave “home”…
The plane is filled with British tourists. Easter in Britain this year carries the chance of a two week holiday, courtesy of the Royal Wedding. For the first time in history the Brits have been given the chance of experimenting the concept of “BRIDGE” we southern Europeans are so adept at, and dear me do they love it!
What is a bridge? Well, you have let’s say a public holiday on the monday, a public holiday on the thursday so you take 2 days off work and you get 6 days of holiday!
Of course the bridge is usually impossible in the UK because, with the only exception of Christmas, no public holiday is allowed to happen in the middle of the week. But this year prince Wils is getting hitched. On the friday after Easter Monday. So the Brits can take three days off work and get 10 full days holiday! Voila! So much for Protestant dedication to work, they all jumped at the chance as if there was no tomorrow!
But this spring Britain has also been blessed with something more than a Long holiday: some absolutely FANTASTIC warm sunny weather.
Pity they completely don’t know how to cope with it.
There’s a secret rule that warmer countries know very well when it comes to summer, which is: DON’T LOOSE YOUR POSE.
It’s sunny? And so what? Enjoy it, make the most of it but for no reason should you start behaving as if it’s your last day on Earth.
I love the Brits, really, they are like that funny clueless cousin who think he’s cool when in fact everyone laughs at him behind his back. You can’t really have anything but sympathy for the poor sod. So i have the greatest sympathy for the native inhabitants of my country of residence, but dear me do they give such an awful spectacle of themselves in summer!!!
they really deserve the shit weather they get for the rest of the year.
It’s as if God – like a benign parent- from time to time was testing the Brits, allowing some sunshine in the hope they would enjoy it moderately: “I’m going to let you play outside, children, but don’t get dirty!”
But of course the children do get dirty and start rolling the mud so dad drags them back inside and doesn’t let them go out for a week. So the Brits are unable to behave themselves and Gid withdraws the sunshine.
My Milanese sense of fashion is insulted to point of giving me a heart attack every time the temperature in London goes over 18 c.
Don’t get me wrong, I generally LOVE the British style, its quirkiness, the blend of vintage and new, the mix of patterns and fabric, the fun accessories and the heels… Nothing bores me more than the Italian obsession for colour coordination, design sunglasses and suede shoes. for dressing exactly like everyone else and buying exclusively new stuff of the specific brand that is popular at this time of the year… I am all for expressing yourself and feeling free… BUT…
There IS a limit.
Have the Brits ever asked themselves why, if they visit a warmer country, they will NEVER see women wandering the streets in bikini and shorts and men with no tops on?
Well, perhaps it’s time they did start wondering.
We dont go around the city half naked not because we’re prudes but because it looks AWFUL. if I bumped into Brad Pitt walking along Oxford Street topless, in shorts and flip flops, I admittedly wouldn’t find it revolting but EVEN on HIM such look would be unbecoming.
For most men who don’t look like Brad Pitt wearing clothes is much more fetching than going naked. Trust me guys, you’re not going to find a girl by flaunting flabby, hairy, rosey bellies nobody wants to see!! They’re not a good sight! It’s gross!!! It’s totally unattractive, chavvy, ugly, and, more to the point, completely unnecessary.
25C isn’t a tropical temperature! You don’t need to strip naked. You’re not at risk of dying of overheating, and there’s no sea nearby you’re walking into.
So cover it up. Please…
Same for women. Bikinis are for the beach. White bare flabby legs are not a nice feature. Especially with chunky stilettos and boobs exploding out of a skimpy top. And no, fake tan doesn’t make it any better, because no human race is actually ORANGE.
Certain outfits in the rest of Europe are confined to the sex traders entourage… Why are you so keen on looking like slappers?
I feel towards people who undress that way exactly like towards women who wear a burka: it’s a free country so do as you please… But don’t you think it’s a little bit too much?
And then you wonder why Latin men have a reputation for being sexy: they hide the flabby, bits. ALL of them…. 😉