I’ve been away from the UK for too long to feel British. I start feeling like a fish out of water as soon as I board my low-cost flight and find myself surrounded by people wearing inappropriate clothing talking with thick Birmingham accents, some of whom have obviously been drinking since they rolled out of bed.
The flight from Alicante to Birmingham is packed with a subclass of British holidaymakers that leaves me writhing with embarrassment. Why? Because Alicante-El Altet is the nearest airport to British cheap holiday Mecca Benidorm. Although Benidorm has one of the world’s most spectacular long, white beaches, numerous good restaurants and shopping opportunities, it is also a showcase for the very worst of Britain.
Strolling along the streets, sometimes having to swerve out of the way of loud beer-swilling hooligans or step over catatonic drunks on the pavement. One can only imagine what the rest of Europe thinks of ‘us’.
On my way here I noticed one very eye-catching couple with two children in tow. He was tall and quite good looking, and his enormous muscles were clearly the result of many hours spent pumping iron in the gym. He was wearing expensive-looking trainers, was deeply tanned and had tattoos on every inch of his body except for his face. The obligatory hipster beard and haircut completed the look. His girlfriend/wife was in a foul mood. Rake thin and with a face like a meerkat, she had giant fake boobs and a horrible selection of tats all over her skinny arms and legs. Even more fascinating, she was wearing an enormous waist-length Beyoncé-style wig in shades of orange with her own hair in a small brown bun poking out through the back. Ugh! While we waited in the queue for passport control, she fired a constant stream of barbed insults at her partner which he heroically ignored, playing with his little girl. One can only imagine what kind of holiday they had!
During the flight, the couple next to me completely failed to control their small child, a cute-looking little girl who screamed her head off and kicked the seat in front of her for two hours while they did nothing.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, I’d just like you to know that we are not all like this. There are lots of nice, classy people in the UK who didn’t vote for Brexit, who aren’t covered and tattoos and who know how to behave in a restaurant. We don’t start drinking at 8 am in the airport because we’re on holiday and we don’t wear neon vests on aircraft and our children know how to behave. Please don’t put us all in the same basket!