One of the major differences between holidaying here in the United Kingdom and Mallorca is the way we spend a day at the beach. Pretty obvious I suppose, but both wonderful in their own way. I have to say that the heat of the Spanish sun cannot be compared with a blustery day at the beach in say, Cornwall - where 18ºC is considered to be quite balmy. And yet both venues have their own undoubted charm.
From a limpid Mediterranean to a tumultuous Atlantic, they should never be compared against each other because they are as different as chalk and cheese and offer visitors very differing feelings of holiday pleasures enjoyed. From row-upon-row of beach beds set against a cobalt blue sky with occasional yachts at anchor just beyond the roped off section of safe swimming - to the sound and fury of surf crashing on a two mile wide beach, they both have a magic all of their own.
One is populated with women in topless bikinis and men marching along the shoreline in inappropriate Speedos whilst the other specialises in wet-suits and all manner of surf boards and other cooler-than-cool water borne transportation devices. Nevertheless, my main interest in people on a beach is more to do with how they disrobe after a day in and out of the water. I don’t want to brag about it, but - do you know I can accurately guess at a persons nationality, just by watching them get dressed after a day at the beach.
You know that awkward time of day when you’ve had enough of the sun and sea and you want to get out of your damp bathers. My dear old mum always used to say that we kids would “catch our deaths” if we didn’t exchange pants for bathers after a day at the beach. However, I wonder if anyone has actually ever died from wearing wet bathers home? Just saying! Anyway, back to the beach, generally, but not exclusively, latin people manage to get out of wet beach gear with elegance, style, with just a hint of erotica.
Think Penelope Cruz and Sophia Loren - good eh? Then you have Germans and Scandinavian’s - as a rule these nationalities (particularly men) like to stand there showing all that they’ve got to the rest of the holidaymakers who are trying desperately not to look - for obvious reasons. Why don’t they just get on with it - I’ve sort-of answered my own question haven’t I? It’s just that I wish they would put whatever they have got… away a little quicker, that’s all. Nevertheless, it is we Brits who are the most hilarious when changing on the beach.
A gigantic beach towel wrapped around the offending body parts. Then that wonderful sand hopping routine, from one foot to the other, never quite stable enough to ensure the slick removal of bikini bottoms and bathers alike - it’s like watching a bad circus act. This can be enhanced by a stiff onshore breeze tugging at a towel wrapped loosely around someone’s waist and flapping dangerously close to something akin to the dance of the seven veils. As for her, by the time she’s got to her bikini bra thingy, the whole of the beach is slyly watching in wrapped silence.
Will we see a flash of breast? Might we glimpse his dangly bits? How thrilling can it possibly get? If you think about it, whilst laying on a beach all human life passes before your eyes and if you really over think it - it also goes to prove just what an absurd pastime it is. So my friends, how would you explain this activity to a visiting Martian?