Thursday 13 September 2012

The hotel seems quite nice. It seems that judging hotels based on internet reviews is a bit like judging Olympic diving *: you take away the top and the bottom and take away the average of what is left. The people claiming it was the best hotel ever are clearly mad (or have low standards) similarly anyone complaining about the hotel is too fussy. It’s nice and clean, small enough not to have some personality and there doesn’t seem to be anyone too annoying here – though undoubtedly I will find some annoyance with some people as time goes by (eg. I fucking hate the way that twat fold his towel).

Our main problems are: Firstly, They need our passport for 24 hours – why is not explained. Most places I have stayed need them for like two minutes, or photocopy them. The process here seems to involve putting them in a pigeon hole behind the desk, a desk that is not always personned. Though I briefly think of us sat in a British Embassy trying to sort out a temporary passport, the rational part of my brain tells me the passports will be OK. The rational part of my brain winning an internal debate is odd like the power/population ratios of the world’s economies, it means the 1% of my brain is controlling 99% of my actions.

The second is not really a problem, more a debate. Should we get a safety deposit box? I am conflicted with the concept of safety deposit boxes. They are basically a tax on paranoia – pay €20 for some piece of mind: you won’t be robbed. Or the hotel admitting that they are either lax with their security or have staff liable to kleptomania. As such they don’t ever really do the heavy sell on them as it’s an admission that there is something dodge about the place. But they are not charities and they know people are paranoid and so why not make money out of it.

It is certainly the principal. If I feel a bit safer knowing stuff would be in a box in my room then it is worth it. The truth is I feel a lot safer with my valuables (p-port, iPad, phone and Kindle) in my bag under my sun lounger. Verdict: No security deposit box. I make a mental note that this is £10 saved for the next time I am defending buying some piece of technology that I don’t need for about £500.

I spend the day sunbathing by the pool dissuading myself from going for a dip in the pool – despite it being about a billion degrees. Part of this is the only woman bathing topless being by the steps into the pool. And the reason isn’t a fear of the muscles of my penis contracting at arousal – it’s a fear that I will be sick, the woman is old (40+) and quite thin, the breasts are small and saggy – like balloons several days after a party. The next reason not to do it is a lad doing aggressive laps. Then the reason was that he’d stopped and I didn’t want to look like I was just waiting for him to finish. So, then I was waiting for him to go back in so I could ensure it wasn’t because of his swimming intimidating me (though it was).

The main overriding reason is my inability to swim – or more accurately (because I can swim) how petrified I am of drowning/my head going under the water and panicking and inhaling water until I suffocate (which is just a longer, more descriptive way of saying drowning). Eventually the swimming lad get back in and I wait long enough to not look like I am just doing it to look like I have waited for him to do so – before going in myself.

I know what to do as you walk in as I have been watching people do it all day. You make uncomfortable faces and make it clear this discomfort it caused by how cold the water is. I choose the method of looking at my girlfriend and saying the words “it’s cold.”  I can’t say anything more as it is cold, it’s not just a conspiracy and it is about a minute before I can breathe out as my body gets used to the water temperature. I have been warned that the floor is slippy. Oh really? A tiled floor being slippy when it’s got water on it? It is slippier than a normal pool, though: I HAVE TO BE MORE TRUSTING WHEN PEOPLE WARN ME OF SOMETHING, I blame The Boy Who Cried Wolf, that story really affected me growing up.

Swimming is out of the question at this stage, I just walk until it gets up to my neck.

I am glad I downloaded Skagboys as I was really enjoying it. I was quite troubled by a reference to Pauline Quirke as when it is made the narrative is pre-Birds of A Feather. But later on I looked her career up and she was in quite a few things before that. Still seems like an odd reference for a 20-year-old Scottish fledgling heroin addict to make. I decide to let it go and give Irvine Welsh the benefit of the doubt on this one. Like most of his other books there is quite a bit of dark stuff in there, balancing out lots of the very funny stuff. Some of this doesn’t feel justified, though. Especially the chapter (not really a plot spoiler coming up but you might not want to read the rest of this paragraph if you don’t want the image of a dead baby being put in a garbage chute) where a non-central character finds the dead foetus of his recently aborted child in a bin at the bottom of his building’s garbage chute.

As we didn’t do any trips last year on our lazing holiday my girlfriend and I resolved to do so this year. So today we booked on a boat trip to see the Acropolis. I don’t like boats but surely seeing something back in the day will be interesting. [I am being good at acting like I don’t know how this turns out aren’t I? I went on the trip three days ago and am writing all this from memory/notes, I know whether or not it will be any good. I bet I just ruined the illusion for you all a bit then.]

*and maybe some other sports, do they do it in gymnastics? Maybe.

Here’s another picture from the side of the pool. As interesting as yesterday’s.

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