The Terrible Holiday Tale

Today, my kids did and/or said several things that made me laugh. Unfortunately, most would be too humiliating for their future-selves to put out there into cyberspace, available to anyone and everyone forevermore (kind of scaring myself).

I really relished laughing and retelling the funnies. Sometimes, it’s just what we need. To laugh. To get over ourselves and not take things so seriously.

So, to hopefully give you a bit of a laugh I’m going to tell the story of our worst holiday that I teasingly mentioned in a previous post…

Before we had children we booked a holiday to Turkey. My husband had been there several times and really loved it. He’d loved the people, the food, the places he’d visited. I’d been there on a family holiday where we stayed on a boat with two other families who were our friends and toured part of the Turkish coastline. It was a fantastic holiday; unique, plenty of authentic Turkish sights to visit, amazing food food from the onboard Turkish chef, beautiful scenery and weather. What more could you want?

So we decided to go back there, together. We didn’t have a tonne of money and used the travel agent we booked our honeymoon with. He recommended the tourist resort of Olu Deniz, which isn’t quite as 18-25’s as Marmaris, we were assured, and supposedly has an amazing beach. We opted for half-board so we didn’t have to leave the hotel for every meal but my husband couldn’t wait to introduce me to the amazing authentic turkish cuisine he had sampled many times, so we planned to either have our evening meal or lunch out of the hotel. A hotel in a tourist resort can often mean a large amount of western food. He was also confident it was most cost effective too because buying food out there was very reasonable.

So, we arrive at the hotel and it was okay. I love Lee Evans’s depiction of British holidaymakers and how when the coach from the airport does the drop off everyone panics when the coach pulls up outside a horrible-looking hotel. He says about how when your name isn’t called you bounce up and down with relief… But then you end up pulling up to your hotel in the dark and realise the next day that that was because your hotel was the worst one of the lot. We were gutted to find that the food wasn’t that great. Brilliant, we have to eat this rubbish every day, twice a day. If your food isn’t good on a holiday, that’s 50% of your enjoyment gone. In my book anyway. It was nice around the pool though. Despite this larger-than-life bloke who didn’t seem to have a “quiet voice” and thought cross-dressing was funny. As in, he would put on his wife’s hula skirt to be funny. Ok mate, it’s day three, wasn’t especially hilarious on day one. There was a nice middle-aged couple who chatted to us a couple of times and the general throng of holiday-makers were pleasant.

On one of the first days, we ventured down to the beach.

Olu Deniz
Perhaps we went to the wrong one?

Probably the worst beach I’ve ever seen. Okay, that was a bit dramatic – I have been to Blackpool. But it was pebbly, gray, and empty. On our way down we noticed a distinct lack of Turkish cuisine and a serious amount of England football club flags. Ugh. We go into one of the restaurants that has a few Turkish options on the menu, as well as the apparently common “roast dinner” and “burger and chips”. My husband asks the waiter if they do an Iskender Kebab and he looks dubious and goes to ask the chef. He comes back and says okay we can do that for you, but it will cost this… The amount was more than the western food and about three times what my husband had experienced in other parts of Turkey. Miffed to say the least.

One day we decided to take a trip to a nearby town in search of some better food. We did find some in a food market and it was lovely and a fun atmosphere. But it was still flipping expensive and we did something that to this day, I still don’t understand. We totally miscalculated the money we had on us and overspent so we couldn’t get a taxi back. We figured we could get a taxi and run in to the hotel when we got back for more money to pay the driver and that worked out fine, but it was a tad stressful.

I should mention as well that I chose the wrong holiday reading. The Time Traveller’s Wife had me sobbing by the pool. I was lying on my front
Quote bookreading the last pages and tears were dropping down onto the book. I felt sad for the rest of that day as if the characters were my friends (I love how books can do that though, even though sometimes I feel I could do without the intense emotion afterwards or feeling like I “miss” the characters when it’s all over). If the emotional pain wasn’t enough of a disruption to my sun-lounging and relaxation, I felt a tickly sensation on my leg and this could have played out in slow motion as I reached my hand down to swat the offending insect away and at the last second heard my husband saying, “stoooooop!”

Too late. The bee stung me in the thigh.

Things went from average to bad when my husband came down with a stomach bug. It was nasty. I had to go and eat the terrible hotel food by myself. At least he didn’t feel as though he was missing out massively. This bug seemed to go on and on and really he wasn’t back to normal when we got home and it was a couple of weeks before he was fully recovered. Not the kind of holiday souvenir we were hoping to take home.

So, you’re thinking, surely that’s it? There can’t be more?

Well, my friend, there is. It’s probably the most embarrassing and stressful situation we’ve ever gotten ourselves into. The return journey took things from bad… to worse.

We travelled to the airport, quite happy to be heading home and arrived to the gutting news that our flight was delayed by four hours. Four hours. That is no small delay. There was nothing to do there and they were offering us compensation with a meal from KFC. When we arrived we went to the bar and sat with the couple we had met at our hotel and had a drink.

Thank the Lord for that couple.

We finished our drinks and decided to have a wander so went to pay the bill. I turn to my husband and ask if he can pay. No, he says, I don’t have my wallet.

I didn’t have my purse.

WE HAD PACKED THEM BOTH INTO OUR LUGGAGE, which was now trundling along a conveyor belt towards our plane. In the travel documents wallet I had there was a green bank card and perhaps I’d just assumed it was my debit card but it wasn’t it was my credit card. I didn’t know the pin number.

Funny thing is, I brought it, you know, for emergencies… BUT POTENTIALLY WHAT GOOD IS A CREDIT CARD THAT YOU DON’T KNOW THE PIN NUMBER FOR???

My husband stepped up and did the painfully dreadful embarrassing, but necessary, job of asking this couple to bale us out. We told them we could pay them back the other side.

Dying inside and heads hanging we trot off to try and amuse ourselves for three hours with no money. We sit on a bench and try to make sense of what just happened and then head off to KFC to get our free meal. We sit down and after a few minutes I reach down to get something out of my handbag and it’s not anywhere near…

I’d left it on the bench.

No, you can’t make this stuff up. I wish I was making it up. We had crossed the line of really stupid to stupendously stupid. I checked to make sure my dress wasn’t also tucked into my pants. Anything was possible right now. We’d entered some sort of humiliation dimension, perhaps never to return.

Husband legged it down and retrieved my bag – phew.

Last stage of embarrassment was to grab our luggage off the carousel and have the contents, messily packed in the first place, spill out whilst we found my purse and hurried after this couple to pay them back.

So, my take on these things is that you live and learn. What did we learn?

  1. SOMEONE needs to take responsibility for our money. Good marriage lesson – don’t assume the other person is doing a particular job. Generally, I would be worrying about that sort of thing as I am the organiser, but sometimes I decide I don’t fancy it and am going to let my husband think about stuff. Guess I ought to tell him… Or maybe it’s just as simple as always having your wallet or purse on you.
  2. We can be too relaxed for our own good.
  3. Don’t trust pictures of nice beaches.
  4. Chain all of your effects to your person.
  5. Take Imodium with you. Everywhere.





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