As you will perhaps have noticed from the reference in the previous piece to songs being sung in different languages (English, German and Spanish in this case) there are people of these nationalities in this hotel at this time. I am not aware of any others although I did catch some people arguing in Scottish and heard someone in the town speaking Dutch. Either that or he was a German with a mouthful of pebbles!
As far as the residents of THIS hotel are concerned, the Germans outnumber the British at this moment – whether this changes as the year progresses I will not be able to tell.
Incidentally, please don’t think I’m having a “Basil Fawlty” type pop at the Germans because of our historical issues with them over the last century – I understand that the places frequented by masses of Russian tourists have things MUCH worse – but there aren’t any of them here, thank god!
For now, however, we ARE the minority and consequently I have to make do with a lot of low key “tutting” about “nasty foreign habits”!
I do not want to go over the old ground of “towels on sunbeds” except to observe that the current variation on that theme involves leaving a hotel towel, an empty bottle of sun cream and a book (in German – I looked!) borrowed from the hotel library on the bed in question. In this way, you will note said sunbed can be reserved all day without using a single item of identifiable private property to the annoyance of other residents.
No, the thing that gets me riled at the moment is their attitude to……
Last night in the buffet-style restaurant I had lined up patiently behind a number of British people for some freshly cooked meat dish (I don’t recall exactly what it was) and as I got to the front of the line a hard-faced haus-frau steamed in from the opposite direction, grabbed the tongs from under my outstretched fingers and pinched the last piece!
I suspect that she didn’t speak any English as there was no reaction when I smiled pleasantly at her and murmured a friendly “I hope it chokes you!”
On the same subject it seems very odd to me that ALL the Germans staying at this hotel seem to know each other! I don’t know if they are such creatures of habit that they all turn up here for the same week each year but it certainly seems like it.
This manifests itself when, for example, waiting for the hotel restaurant to open. Late arriving Germans spot these “friends” near the front of the queue whereupon a great deal of waving, “helloing” and handshaking takes place with inevitable results – the queue, which is one that even they cannot avoid completely, gets longer from the front!
And, do you know, it could all have been so different!
Before I came out here I was (and, indeed, still am) reading “Sir Winston Churchill’s “History of the Second World War” on my Kindle and learned something interesting about the position of Spain in that conflict.
As anyone with a modicum of education will know, General Franco the Spanish Dictator kept his country neutral (albeit with a pro-fascist bias) in WW2 but was always under pressure from Herr Hitler to actively join Germany and Italy in action. He did, however, always contrive to await some Axis breakthrough that would guarantee him being on the winning side.
Had such an event occurred the first hostile move by the Spanish army would have been to overrun the major British Naval base at Gibraltar – a base that allowed our shipping access to the Mediterranean to supply both the island of Malta, our considerable forces in Egypt and provide escorts for other Atlantic convoys.
With Gib. gone ALL of those convoys for Malta and Egypt would have had to go around the bottom of Africa and through the Suez Canal to reach their destinations. Unescorted, they would have been in considerable danger from constant U-boat attacks.
So, the redoubtable Sir Winston set up a contingency plan (Operation Puma) and the fall of Gibraltar would have seen a massive Naval, Army and Air Force Task Force set out immediately to capture and hold…… The Canary Islands! This would have given the Allies as many suitable bases for convoy escorts as we could have wished for AND, after the war, a head start in setting international standards of poolside etiquette and queuing manners in overseas holiday resorts!
Ah well, such is history!