‘I’ve been to…err….Egypt.’

‘Wow, great, did you see the pyramids?

‘No.’

The Valley of the Kings?’

‘Errr, no.’

‘Luxor?

‘Yes….errr….the Hotel Luxor….that was where we stayed. Is that where you mean?’

‘No, the city, and the temples there.

‘No then.’

‘Did you get out and barter with the locals at the markets or get dragged into the ubiquitous carpet shop?’

‘No, we pretty much stayed on the complex.’

‘Right, but you class that as having been to Egypt? Aw, bless.’

And so it goes for many a country, Spain, Greece, Mexico….people have ‘been’ there…. Physically I suppose it counts but in every other way, no, just, no. They have bacon and eggs for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch (not sure about this bread though Marjorie!) and then, wait a minute, there’s some paella for evening meal or a pork chop cooked in some sauce so, wait for it, they’ve tried the food.

And as for meeting the indigenous population, well of course they did. Remember Pedro the waiter, he was nice wasn’t he? Of course they don’t realise that Pedro was born in Doncaster and has to try to hide his Yorkshire accent while he’s working. He’s about as indigenous as the man in the moon would be walking into a bar in Barmouth.

I appreciate that some people just go on holiday to relax, sit by the pool all day then drink themselves stupid at night drinking watered down local spirits while swaying to insipid ‘party’ music. They just want to get away from it all, but don’t pretend you’ve been to a country until you’ve at least met a local who wasn’t being paid to ‘serve’ you.

How can you go to Egypt and not go out amongst the locals and barter like your life depended on it for something you didn’t really want in the first place? How can you go to Thailand and not find a street food stall selling those delicious steamed buns? How can you go to Morocco and not get lost wandering through the meandering wonders of a medina taking in the wonderful sounds and smells…..and bartering for something like your life depended on it for something you didn’t really want in the first place?

Why not get a train to Rhyl and spend your days in the Sun Centre swimming and then sitting on a sun lounger nodding off reading Janet and John on your Kindle? At least you could say you’d been abroad…to Wales. You could get a cheap B&B which would serve you a hot ENGLISH breakfast and an evening meal with none of that foreign muck….oh and a sandwich from Tesco for lunch. If you want a tan why not nip to Sandra’s Sunbed emporium just off the promenade? You wouldn’t have to bother getting a passport and putting up with all those bloody foreigners and it would probably save you some money too.

I despair. I really do.

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About the author

Fresh from failing to be an actor, a singer and retaining a full head of hair Glyn is now attempting to be a photographer and a novelist. He has taken more pictures today than he has written words of his novel in the last six months. Some of them he regards as okay..

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