Day Six in Sunny Beach and there is a slight feeling of gloom abroad. We’ve been mulling this over and can think of at least two reasons why (Hint: neither of them is homesickness. Sorry, kids).
First up is bed issues. I’m sure that when I booked this holiday I asked for a double bed (there is after all a sort of anniversary theme to this whole event). However, on arrival (at 5am local time after a night flight on Sardine Airlines which doubled in length after the pilot remembered he’d left the gas on and turned back over Frankfurt about a third of the way there) we were greeted by the sight of two single beds, albeit pushed together.
Now, my Best Beloved and I have always “spooned” in bed, at least when we first fall asleep. Doing that in twin beds pushed together is a dangerous practice — one or other or both of you ends up on the floor after falling through the join. Not to mention the draught.
Anyway, it’s difficult enough to sleep in a strange bed without having to forego the way you sleep. And that’s not even counting the other things that grown-ups are apt to do in a double bed when there are no kids around.
So, knackered as we were, jetlagged and ears ringing from the sound of nervous laughter and self-righteous indignation from our fellow passengers whingeing that Captain [No Name Given] had had the cheek to turn back just because the instruments had failed and the rules said he had to (Quote: “We were almost there. Why didn’t he keep on going?), we presented ourselves at reception and asked to be moved to a room with more “intimate” sleeping arrangements. The night porter begged forgiveness and asked us to return after breakfast so we could speak to the hotel manager.
So thus it was two hours later that morning, and indeed every morning since, we’ve asked very politely whether we might have a room with a double bed. And they, again very politely, have told us that there are no double-bedded rooms unoccupied but that when other guests check out there may one be one available. The best guess was that one might come free on Sunday (today) so we dutifully appeared at reception after breakfast to enquire. A porter took us on a tour of recently-vacated rooms — all of which were just as nice as ours — but all of which had twin beds.
[As I’m writing this by the side of the pool, Dolores O’Riordan has just begun Zombieing again (see yesterday’s post for full details).]
Anyway we’ve been given another appointment to try our luck — High Noon — by which time the hotel staff may have had a chance to work out what furniture they actually have, but it does make me wonder if this enforced separation of couples on holiday is not one of the causes of high divorce rates. If you can’t get intimate on vacation, when are you supposed to?
There is a lot of intimacy on show here in Bulgaria, and a real grown up attitude to sex, nakedness and family. Topless babes aplenty (not necessarily the sort you’d expect to appear in Nuts or FHM or Playboy). Bikinis worn by women of ALL ages and dimensions. Naked toddlers running around the beach and not scared of strangers. It’s all a lot less paranoid than back home.
And anyone worried about body image should come for a reality check here. I’ve seen blokes with bellies down to their knees and moobs that resemble roof tilers’ nailbags. More than enough to make me feel better about my own weight issues.
But there are the contractions too. I bought a copy of Bulgarian Playboy as a souvenir (well, I certainly didn’t buy for the articles). Although there is plenty of naked flesh on display, there is almost not a single pube to be seen, and the only one that clearly hadn’t been airbrushed away into a statue-like blur seems to have been either left in by mistake or as a sort of “Where’s Kitty?” contest.
And so on to the Second reason that were feeling a bit gloomy: it’s the sixth day!
For us, holidays over the past two decades have been snatched events, always taken at the last moment, usually at the end of a very long drive to Northumberland or Scotland or Devon, always with the alternative reasoning of catching up with old mates or family or even a bit of freelance work. But also almost always of seven days or less duration.
So the reason we think we’re feeling slightly glum is that, somewhere in our subconscious it feels like we’re going home tomorrow.
But we’re not. In fact the very reason for booking 11 nights away was that it takes this long to reach that “wound down” point.
From here on this is real relaxation — especially as they’ve given us that double bed!
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