Bits and Pieces

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Hola from the Island

There's a little less magic than usual this holiday. When I was a young boy, the first few days of a holiday were filled with the wonder of getting used to the local currency. I've been to the Canaries a few times now, and have always had a soft spot for the humble peseta. Alas, those days are long gone. Today, wherever you travel in Europe and its colonies, you're invariably forced to use the soulless Euro, the bastard offspring of the peseta, franc and lire. Gone are the days you could gaze in wonder at a pocketful of strange and exotic coinage. Gone are the days of paper money adorned in in the images of strange foreign royalty. The Euro is covered with a map of western Europe on one side, dull non-denominational architecture of the other. Carefully designed by Satan's comittee to ensure that nobody is offended, the soul has been sucked out by the EU. Bastards.

Anyway, enough of that. The weather is great here. It's deceptively hot, as the sun is tempered by a strong easterly breeze coming in from the Sahara, a wind that apparently never falters. It makes sunbathing a treaturous activity, since you never quite know when you've had too much sun.

I had a disturbing moment yesterday. I went down to the rocky shore with my brother and younger sister. We stood on a large headland of igneous rock just a foot or two above sea level, watching the waves lap in. I began to think of the Asian tsunami, and was suddenly hit by a wave of fear as I put myself in the shoes of a tourist on the Indonesian coast. I imagined the benign ocean suddenly rearing up in a torrent of white water, and realised that if that were to happen my sister would probably die. Me and my brother were wearing trainers so we could probably run across the rocks to the safety of the higher ground behind the shore, but my sister was wearing these thick soled strappy platform things, useless for running. Even if she shook off the shoes she couldn't run away over the sharp igneous rock, and she's too big to carry at any speed. I got myself lost in that thought as I stared at the waves. Suddenly the sea didn't look as pleasant as it did a few minutes earlier.

Anyway, this is costing me money, and this keyboard is sticky with coffee and sun tan lotion. I'm gonna head back to the beach for a while and top up my burn. Hasta manana, amigos.
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