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Giles Coren: ‘Bollocks to Ibiza, I’m never leaving London again’

Posted at 10:00 am, June 9, 2015 in Fun London

Fun and laughter on your summer holiday? Not for Giles Coren 

Constantly looking forward to the weekend is one of the key signs that your life is crap. If the way you spend most of your time on earth can be tolerated only by looking forward to when it is over, then you might as well be dead.

It’s such a negative way to approach life. Like all those bovine breakfast shows where they tell you on Tuesday morning that it’s only 87 hours till Saturdaaaaayyy! When what? You’ll get a bit of sleep for once, have a drink, maybe watch ‘BGT’? My advice is to stop wishing your life away and sort out the rest of week, pal. Because it’s only 2,318 weekends until you’re deeeeeeead!

Worse still is spending half the year looking forward to your summer holiday, which is now widely regarded as the only fortnight on the calendar worth living. Because the chances are that with all that weight of expectation, it is going to be a disappointment. I know, because I had mine last week. And it was shit. And only by accepting that yours is going to be shit, too, can you prepare for the massive anticlimax that awaits you.

I booked it back in December: four non-refundable flights and a house in Ibiza we’d stayed in before, which was perfectly fine and definitely not a building site. You don’t want surprises on holiday. Not after a certain age. Just something you can safely look forward to through the winter.

Then a couple of months ago the woman who owns the house got a better offer from some Russians and unbooked us. Just like that. Said she’d find us somewhere else. It would be lovely. We’d have to trust her. Either that, or chuck a grand’s worth of air tickets down the khazi.

The new place looked okay in photos. But things do. Even I look okay in photos. At the airport we picked up a cheap car made cheaper by accepting a €1,000 excess on the insurance. ‘That includes damage to the underneath,’ said the guy. Fine, I said. Who ever damages the underneath?

The turn-off to the house was down a rocky track. Very rocky.

‘Krrranngggg-rackkkk!’ went the underneath of the car.

‘What’s that?’ said my daughter.

‘That’s 1,000 euros,’ I said.

We left the beached car and walked for 300 yards until we came to a falling down old ‘finca’ with no internal stairs and access to bedrooms only via unwalled flat roofs, an infestation of cats, a lot of (related) dead lizards, no towels, stinky bed linen and an empty, eight-foot deep jacuzzi with ‘dead babies’ written all over it.

‘Woss dat?’ said my son.

‘That’s 2,000 euros,’ I said.

After one night, no sleep, 300 mosquito stings, two cat bites and 17 toddler near-death experiences, we kissed our money goodbye and booked into a hotel. In Ibiza. On opening weekend.  We put the children to bed.

‘THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! Nnntzza! Nnntzza! Nnntzza!’ went the club downstairs.

‘What’s that?’ said the kids, waking at once.

‘That’s 400 euros a night,’ I said.

The music did stop, though. At ten o’clock the next morning. Which is when we moved again, and not for the last time before I finally took us all home three days early, declaring: ‘Bollocks to Ibiza, I’m never leaving London again!’

So you go on holiday if you want to.

Quit the greatest city on earth for a land of much worse restaurants and far slacker building safety regulations, where you can’t speak the language and haven’t got any mates and the transport is crap and the cats are rabid and the sun gives you cancer and the locals hate you and the roads aren’t finished and you can’t take a shit without paying 3 percent commission at the cashpoint first.

I’m not saying don’t go on holiday. You wouldn’t listen to me anyway. I’m just saying don’t piss your life away looking forward to it.

Dónde está la playa? Tweet him @gilescoren.

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