In the past I have occasionally been critical of island based hoteliers, who have been all too quick in taking advantage of a crisis in other tourism destinations and have seen fit to immediately hoist-up their charges to an alarming degree to seemingly take advantage of the situation. Indeed, when I occasionally read my MDB online, you don’t have to look very far to read about UK residents who are also Bulletin readers who are deeply cynical of the way that they are charged for their holidays here on the island. Nevertheless, it appears that hoteliers and the like here in Majorca are no better and no worse that hoteliers in the United Kingdom at present. Let me explain. Perhaps unsurprisingly, certain hotels in certain holiday destinations and resorts in the UK are doing exactly the same as their opposite numbers have done in the past here in the Balearics. A number of British newspaper articles have pointed out the fact that rates in certain hotels, in certain places have doubled - and in some cases trebled in the past few weeks. Some would call it ‘Supply and Demand’ others might call it ‘Rip Off Britain’. When you think about it, a hotel room that was… say £100 per night in high season - a sudden jump to £300 per night is quite some rise. However, apparently it ain’t just hotels that are doing it - but, caravan sites, camp sites - indeed any sort of holiday facility. As I said earlier, it all depends on what side of the fence you sit I suppose, as to whether you think it a complete rip-off or just commercial common sense. What do you think?

TEABAGS TO THAILAND!

Earlier in the week a British newspaper was carrying a story regarding what Brits pack when they go on holiday abroad - as if? It seems that 55 per cent would bring along their favourite teabags and other favourites include instant coffee, biscuits, fluffy towels and almost 30 per cent of us bring our own brand of crisps when travelling abroad. I remember a few years ago a well known routine by comedian Peter Kay, where he feigned amazement at just how many ‘foodie' home comforts can be found nowadays in supermarkets whilst travelling abroad - and he was right of course, most of us ‘tourists’ are not particularly adventuress; in fact quite the opposite. Furthermore, like most folk who live on the island but travel back to Blighty on a regular basis, when that sort of thing could happen, we liked to travel light and usually made do with a 10 kilo cabin ‘wheelie’ each. However, for long breaks this time of year we would sometimes ignore the outrageous cost and decide we would pack a large 20 kilo case as well - damn the cost and let the devil take the hindmost! As I was - and still am, a deeply tedious man, I was always struck by the fact that none of the clothes had been for you-know-who - and I am also hard-pressed to explain away the undoubted fact that that usually the case would contain at least seven pairs of shoes - none of them belonging to me. I’m considering writing a university thesis on this subject i.e. Women & Shoes - Why?

DON’T DO IT!

Whilst on the subject of too much footwear; can I also make a case for there to be some sort of protocol set for those who like to deny nature and believe that they actually look good in shorts? I have written before about the fact that it seems to be compulsory for British postmen/women to wear shorts all of the time, whatever the weather, or whatever the state of their legs. However, the recent extremely hot weather here on the island has brought with it a great deal of uncalled-for semi exposed legs. Distressingly, it appears that short-shorts or ‘budgie-smuggler’ type shorts have become the fashion option of choice at the moment. Men, who really should know better, now swagger past in very tight fitting shorts; that at a guess, would inhibit their re-productive options in the future. Long baggy shorts, have been the summer look for many years - then it was long, tight, knee length jobs, that were okay I suppose with the right supportive underwear in place - but it has now got silly with shorts getting smaller and smaller - tighter and tighter. I think local authorities here should ‘police’ this fashion very carefully and seek to dissuade men of a ‘certain age’ from wearing them. Naturally, this ruling does not apply to young women because - er, just because! Next week, I will rail against mature women, who should know better, actually buying and wearing ripped jeans. Don’t do it!

THE ART OF TIPPING!

As I was on the subject of shopping here in Majorca, I wonder if any reader has noticed some of the quirks that one has to face when experiencing any retail situation on the island? Take for instance buying fuel for your car. Does anyone know the protocol when you arrive at your fuel pump and a chirpy young assistant insists on filling up your car for you - for instance, are you supposed to tip them or do they do it for free? A woman of my acquaintance tells me that young forecourt assistants are told only to respond helpfully to older people such as myself - but that’s clearly a nonsense isn’t it - isn’t it? Then we have the business of what to tip and when to tip. There should be a protocol produced that outlines how much and how often - as I never seem to get it right. I’m either being stared at for being tight-fisted or having part of my tip removed before it’s picked up and I’m accused of being “flash.”

frankleavers@hotmail.com

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