Monday, 28 January 2013

Those were the days

Back in the early 90s I spent a summer working in a very well known holiday resort on Costa Blanca.
An older friend of mine had done a few summers there in the late 80s and had enthralled me with his tales of excitement, adventure and really wild things.
So after I finished college I booked a flight to Alicante and blagged a seat on a package holiday transfer bus to the resort.
Once there I managed to find some very cheap accommodation in a grotty hostel situated in the old town and set about looking for a job.
For two nights solid I was job hunting, going to almost every bar & club in the resort but everywhere was the same story, fully staffed.
I did have a back up plan, which was to go fruit picking in the south of France, but ideally I wanted to stay where the buzz was, I was only eighteen after all.
On my third day there I was sitting at a café near the bullring eating a huge bocadillio and having several ‘kick in the back of the head’ strength coffees when a handsome middle-aged man approached me.
At first I thought he was just some random perv trying to chat me up but he turned out to be a real diamond geezer; after making a few calls to his mates he’d sorted me out with a club propaganda job.
I started sharing an apartment with three of my workmates & although it was bordering on claustrophobic we had a whale of a time that summer.
On a good day we’d borrow some mopeds and head for the cliffs further down the coast, listen to loud cheesy techno music, drink cheap beer and play truth or dare, in which the dare usually involved launching yourself into the sea off a steep cliff.
In the evening we’d head back into town, feast on huge plates of tuna pasta and drink cheap plonk out of cartons.
Some times we had to do special promotions or leafleting on the beach during the day but most days we just worked from 9pm until 2am and after we would join the throng of punters inside and party until sunrise.
The busy season started slowing down in late September and one by one friendly faces sloped off.
By mid October the resort had been transformed into bingo heaven for well-heeled old timers spending the winter abroad. 
I bought a bus ticket to London and endured the most excruciatingly long bus journey I’ve ever taken.
My diamond geezer had offered to buy me a flight ticket but I quite stupidly turned it down cause I didn’t want to feel as if I owed him anything.
I think that I must have really hurt his feelings cause I never heard from him again.
Sadly I have very few photos left from this time of my life cause I “lost” them in a particularly nasty break-up from a jealous boyfriend a few years later but I will always have my memories.
The choon that defined that glorious summer…
Lot's of love,


Mariela said...

That sounds like such an awesome summer. I've often dreamed of doing something like that. Perhaps in the next life I will.

Tesa Jurjaševič said...

lovely blog dear :)

Vix said...

I loved reading this, Jennie! What a fantastic experience for a teenager.
I was 21 before I'd saved up enough cash to afford to travel abroad and that was on a coach - you're right, excruciating but the scenery was magnificent! xxxx

Simone Crown said...

Sounds like an amazing summer.... those memories are the best. I still think of that one summer between finishing school and starting Uni... memories & all that freedom ;)

Kisses from Vienna,

thorne garnet said...

awe,youth. I've always envied people who live in Europe, everything is so close! If I left in the morning, it would take me 4 days driving to get to California! How far can you go, how many different countries would you pass through?

Frocktasia said...

Thorne, That is one of the nice things about living in Europe, the feeling of not being isolated. If you get sick of the country that you live in you can easily move onto another one. I was lucky enough to get to explore Europe in my youth. I did two Interrail tours, once with my sister in '89 when we took in a host of Western European countries & in '92 when I stuck out on my own and went capital hopping in Eastern Europe. It was a truly epic journey, most the countries where still finding their feet after years behind the iron curtain and I'm chuffed that I got to see it before the multinationals moved in and homogenized everything.
Interrailing used to be like a rite of passage for many European youths & back in the late 80s & early 90s the ticket was still very reasonably priced & you could save money on accommodation by travelling on overnight trains, I think you'd probably have to pay all kinds of supplements now.
As regards to driving and how far you'd get in four '99 hubby and I hitched from Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland to Barcelona in four days, you'd probably get there a lot faster if you did the driving yourself...x

Paula Pastrana said...

love this song<3

Sarah Harradine said...

This is an awesome reflection.. I do wish I'd done something like this myself, but I guess you're never too old. One day maybe!

Frocktasia said...

Sarah, absolutely right, you are NEVER too old to go travelling or even to work/volunteer abroad for a few months, you just have to plan it in more detail as you get older.
I was well into my thirties before I went outside Europe and now I've got a huge list of places I want to experience. I'm hoping to be able to finance a second working holiday somewhere by working with a dive school, once I achieve my dive master status...x

The Vintage Bazaar said...

What a great post and a "snap-shot" of your life. Thanks for sharing. Lizzie

Sacramento Amate said...

What an adventure, Jennie. You must speak Spanish then???

Frocktasia said...

Sacramento, I only took Spanish for a year at college so I don't speak it very well. I think my pronunciation was pretty good but my grammar left a lot to be desired.
Last time I had a "conversation" in Spanish was with a flamenco guitarist in a small bar off La Ramblas back in '99...I think he understood what I was going on about but he could have been humoring me as I'd had a fair few cañas by then ;)

Violet E. said...

cool photo<3