PARADISE AND HELL


I’m boring. It’s official. I could also say I’m old but it’s not just an age thing. I was never that way. Not even at 19. Which “way” do I mean, you ask?

Fun.
Easy going.
Just up for a laugh.

Of course I CAN be all those things on occasion but I’m not quintessentially so.

And now that i’m light years from adolescence and have no desire to be like everyone else I’m kind of cool with it.

I’m in Mykonos, having run away from rainy London where this year summer has decided not to show up.
The island is beautiful, a bit too crowded for my taste, but I found myself some lovely spots to hide and write. When I finish I take a bus to the beach and have a swim. Not a bad life.

But I must admit when I first arrived I panicked for about four hours.
The owner of the hotel where I’m staying, possibly assuming I’m younger than my age (or just more fun), immediately pointed to what he described as the best beach on the island: Paradise. The name was appealing so I jumped on a bus and went.
That Mykonos Paradise was in fact my personal idea of hell should have been clear from the moment I got on the bus and found myself surrounded by Australian youngsters and Japanese trendy types (You know the ones I mean: spiky hair, funky hats, twenty something years olds who pretend to be rebels before graduating and beginning to work for Toyota wearing a suit).
On entering the beach I’m welcomed by a supermodel couple – a blonde with big boobs and a tiny skirt and a mixed race guy with dreadlocks and a spectacular six pack.
“are you coming to Paradise party tonight?” they ask me in an American accent handing me a pink leaflet. I take it and smile politely, shyly looking for a free sunbed and umbrella.
On the beach, I stand out like an eye sore, or so I feel. I’m not necessarily the oldest one – there are quite a few muddle aged gay men dancing around holding a cocktail and pretending to be young, but I’m clearly the only one who doesn’t think this us the coolest place on earth.
Huge loudspeakers bang out techno music, so I can’t hear the waves breaking on the shore. Groups of men and women stand in the sea holding beers and giggling. Everyone looks like they are having an amazing time… I sigh and ask myself: ok, where is the grown ups area? What do they do with adults in Mykonos, cordon them off to a reserve like native Americans?

I know I sound like my granny. But as I said before, I was always like this, I would have hated Paradise at any age.

I’ve never really drunk. I mean, I do, one beer, or one glass of wine, but I can’t stomach more than that. I’ve never seen the point of getting drunk. Where is the fun?

I never even tried smoking…

I love dancing but I find techno and hip hop so boring and tuneless I’d rather have a punch in the eye than a night in a club.

I left Paradise determined never to return, and resigned to accept my boring status forever.

The following day I found a lovely quiet beach only populated by a couple of families and gay honeymooners and I feel at home. Silence. Space. Waves breaking on the shore….
Sorry kids but THIS is Paradise…

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