Last Friday, we traveled down south to the coast of Spain. The 5 hour trip took a grueling 8 hours. In the mini-van, along with piles of luggage, bicycles and other sporting equipment were one chatty father, one slightly frazzled mother, an Ecuadorian housekeeper, three bickering children, one long haired-hamster...and me.
And if you want to know why I don´t even want to talk about it, you do the math (I teach English).
Sancti Petri is a vacation getaway right outside of the seaside city of Cádiz. It´s known for it´s long stretches of sandy beaches, rolling green golf courses, resort-style vacation homes and 5-star hotels. The Antuñano´s recently purchased a 4 bedroom townhouse within a bike-ride of the beach.
Now, I must say, I enjoy lounging around as much as the next person, but I´ve made a startling (to me) discovery.
Days spent at the beach are little more than an exercise in covert vanity.
Right now, I´m at the beach, sitting on a rough-hewn red & yellow towel (colors of Spain) right on the bull´s face. The sun is having a staring contest with this part of the world. The sun is winning. It´s a wonder my book hasn´t burst into flames in my hand.
Scantily clad people parade up and down the shore pretending to ignore the sunbathers who are pretending to ignore them. They all want to be watched.
Why else would a person prance around half naked in the blazing hot sun?
Ocean winds armed with handfuls of sand beat on my sizzling skin. The sharp grains burrow into every available crevice, particularly those dampened with perspiration.
The backs of my knees, my ears, hair and the tiny rivulet trickling down my chest are coated with sand. Even the gum in my mouth is a bit gritty.
Of the few things in life that I hate (aside from roaches and trashcans with no bag) are...
2. Being dirty
3. Intense direct sunlight
Days at the beach are a combination of all of these things multiplied by screaming, undisciplined children and raised to the 5th power by the guilt of not enjoying it.
It´s endlessly ironic how the same people who regard the dark-skin with such disdain (mild as it may be), spend countless hours begging the sun to darken their own skin.
I´m begging the sun to stop. It´s not listening.
Aint that a beach.