Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sun, Sun, Sun and Burnt-On Panda Eyes

Sun, gorgeous beaches, hot weather, bbq ribs. This about sums up my 7 days in sunny, hot, beautiful St Martin (or Sint Maarten if you're on the Dutch side). So, despite believing that I would end up burnt to a crisp by a volcano or drowned by the giant tsunami that would most certainly follow, I had a really good time. But no-one ever wants to hear about the how great a time someone has on holiday (I mean, really.. everyone just sits there nodding their heads whilst some prat is harping on about how hot and sunny it was, how the people were friendly, the food was excellent, and how you met some really interesting people, but really what they want to hear is about how you got food poisoning because you ate something too expensive to eat at home, or how you got burnt to a crisp cause you fell asleep in the sun after one too many beers, how hung over you where from all the boozey nights out, or how someone scammed you out of all your travelers cheques. This then leaves you with that inner glow of smugness as you think "ha! Serves you right, you bastard, cause you were on holiday and I was stuck chained to my desk at work"). So I'll cut the crap about how nice the holiday was and just get on with the more interesting/gorey bits:

1) Sun
Yes there was lots of sun. Lots and lots of sun. And, it was hot. And I mean really HOT. Which was fantastic when you were on the beach, or near the beach or anywhere with a 5 meter distance of the beach, but when you're walking down the main street in Philipsburg (the Dutch capital) looking at diamonds and Cartier watches you can never afford, there really is nothing more unpleasant than catching a glimpse of yourself in a shop window, with tufts of hair sticking to your cheeks from all the sweat, your face red cause you are actually dying from heat exhaustion, looking like you're doing your best Wicked Witch of the West impersonation and actually melting right there and then on the spot. Despite what the American deodorant ad said about how "There's no such thing as a hot....steamy...sweaty...sexy...DUDE! .." I'm kind of under the impression there also is no such thing as a hot, steamy, sweaty sexy female tourist in shorts, t-shirt and baseball cap looking like they've just been stuck in a sauna. Fully clothed. Especially when everyone else around you looks so, well, frankly dry and fabulous. Beautiful, non-sweaty, aclimatised to the weather, St Martin bastards. It's just not fair.
2) Sun II
Like I said the sun there was great. And I've been living in England for too long. So, we took a ferry to Anguilla, and mozzeyed on down to Shoul Bay East, which we were told was the most touristy of beaches on the island. So with trepidation (I mean who wants be at a beach jostling for space with the throngs of tourists? I can do that in Britain) we got to this hub of tourista activity to find an empty 2 mile stretch of beach, with 4 huts selling barbecued fish and ribs, and about 20 people. If this is what Antiguians called busy, I'd hate to see desolate and empty. It was great. So with the heady mix crystal blue ocean, white sands, hot sun, warm ocean breezes, empty beach and, that most fantastic ingredient of all in any disaster, too many bottles of the local beer, I obviously forgot that whilst I may not burn easily, I in fact, still do burn. Plus, after 5 years in England, I've actually started to believe that being tanned is a good thing. So in a hasty effort to help speed along my now inevitable skin cancer, I waded into the ocean, wearing my brand new swim suit, with the slightly low cut front, my brand new Oakley sunglasses, which my flatmate assured me would be ok in the water, AND wearing no sun screen (sunscreen? ha! Who the fuck needs sun screen? My Asian genes will protect me from the sun! I laugh in the face of solar protection! ha!). I then proceeded to float in the water for 4 hours non stop. And I gotta say people, it's was a really nice look: tanned brown arms, tanned brown legs, PLUS the extra sexy touch of a bright red chest with the tan lines from the swimsuit, a red sun burnt face with the ultimate in Hollywood sexiness, the two WHITE unsinged rings around my eyes because my new Oakleys protect me from all UV rays.. I looked like a fucking sunburned giant panda. At the end of the day, I got back to our apartment, and stood in front of the mirror (cause by this stage I've learnt to stop looking at my reflection in shop windows) and screamed NOOOOOO!! (come to think of it, I did look allot like the ghoulish figure in The Scream). It was hideous. HIDEOUS. But, like all good things, the 3 important life changing lessons I've learnt from this are :
  1. Always, always, always put 30 plus sunscreen on.
  2. With enough deodorant liberally sprayed all over yourself, you too can stop sweat glands working overtime when you're in the hot Caribbean climate and wearing high necked shirts.
  3. And finally, Benefit tinted moisturiser and Benefit pressed powder really will take the red out of your face, and with enough of it caked on, you too can step back from the edge of social ridicule and de-lobster yourself till you look almost normal. Almost.
I'll leave there for today. Tomorrow lesson kids: Why you should avoid the awful mix of Champagne and Cognac, especially after 4 glasses of rum punch, a gin & tonic, and some red strawberry vodka/gin concocotion which I only vaguely remember. Plus, Mormon polygamy. This really is where HBO went after "Sex and the City"?

No comments: