February is creeping closer, and you're cold and poor as shit. But wait, what's this? It's a "Live Your Myth In Ayia Napa" advert, staring at you alluringly from the Metro, positioned as far away from the articles about welfare cuts and the Money Advice Service ads as possible. By some insane, cosmic coincidence, the plane ticket prices are the lowest they'll be all year – so why not? Why not just blow the last £90 you have on a one-way ticket to Larnaca and see what fate has in store for you? I mean, fuck it, right? You only live once!
Yeah, maybe, but ministries of tourism and ad agencies know that your new year's resolution was some brand of "enjoying life" bullshit, and they spend their lives working tirelessly to exploit that.
And it's not just the weight of your pockets; there are other reasons why eyeballing shots over full English in a pub called the Nags Head (it won't have an apostrophe) might not turn out to be the sepia-tinged Eden you imagined. Reasons like the local people end up hating you when you arrive to spill your British blood, stomach acid and semen all over their hometown. As a native Athenian, I am one of those locals. Sure, both myself and my country's ailing economy may like your medieval-looking currency, but everything else about "holiday you" is a pain in my massive, pear-shaped Mediterranean ass.
If Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents, Magaluf Weekender, What Happens In Kavos and all those other embarrassing TV programmes haven't made this obvious enough to you already, here's why you British people make the lousiest tourists ever.
YOU CAN'T HOLD YOUR LIQUOR
Maybe drinking like George Best the night before he went to prison is the only way to escape the depressing rigmarole of everyday British life. Who knows? What I am confident in saying is that I spent about 70 percent of my teens emptying bottles of Ursus down my neck while running around Mykonos in a studded, turquoise bikini, and yet somehow I never managed to get so fucked up that my friends had to drag me home unconscious with my face covered in snot and my displaced thong in full view.
By the way, what's wrong with your friends? Why do they always appear to be so unconcerned with redeeming what's left of your dignity? Why can't they ever pull your skirt down? You might want to think about treating them better.
YOU HAVE NO SENSE OF DIGNITY
This is kind of a follow on from the above, but again, no combination of drugs, alcohol, sun, relaxation or temporary insanity has ever inspired me or anyone I know to climb onto a booze-stained bar while 15 slobbering teenagers stick their yellow-nailed fingers into my vagina.
But hey, maybe I'm just a prude.
YOU CAN'T TOLERATE THE SUN
This doesn't necessarily make you a bad tourist, but, as a local, it does make you extremely embarrassing to be around. Every time I've had British pals take advantage of my parents' summer house, I've been forced to walk among judgemental family members (yeah, we're all related down here), marvelling at the panting, infrared babies urgently trying to devise DIY keffiyehs.
As for the beach, that's a place you need to avoid unless you're cool with spending five hours in the shade, next to a corpse-like concoction of human flesh and SPF 60. Is there even a point in that? You may as well have just stayed at home, turned the heating on full and pressed an iron against your face.
YOU THINK I'M A GIANT CARICATURE OF EVERY MEDITERRANEAN STEREOTYPE IMAGINABLE
Me in England.
The first time I went on a chat room (some time around 1999) the first thing someone asked me was how come people in Greece never get cold, what with that toga and sandals combo we're all so set on wearing all-year-round? I knew they were probably joking, but it's been 15 years and every "Western" friend I've made since still thinks it's hilarious to make jokes involving feta, bouzouki, ouzo, people beating each other on the head with sticks, or offering me bread to take home to feed to my mum. (Those last two are especially funny at the moment, because Greece is having a few money problems. Satire!)
This situation can only be worsened when you go home and the idiots cracking jokes about your national identity aren't your friends, but a random assemblage of heavy-breasted women and hairless men covered in sovereign rings and thick gold chains.
You people arrive in hordes, looking for donkeys to ride and plates to smash. Then you realise none of that is available, because the image of Greece you have in your head no longer exists. You get over it by dancing to "Agadoo"* and syrtaki all night, unaware that the reps you're dancing with are actually Italian.
Nevertheless, one of them fucks you. He has a tiny penis. I hear you cry about this to your friend in the queue for the kebab shop.
*Nice going on that whole "Agadoo" thing, by the way; pop music is the one thing you guys are actually good at and you spend so long dancing and singing to this when you're abroad that everyone in Greece thinks Black Lace are what "Madchester" is.
YOU BRING YOUR HOME WITH YOU
Nothing screams cultural ignorance like the notion that there is such a thing as a "proper cup of tea".
Or you get arrested for causing offence to a huge proportion of the population by dressing as naughty nuns. According to a study conducted by the British Foreign Office, more than 6,000 Brits found themselves behind bars on holiday last year, and over 3,700 ended up in casualty. The number of those who died in a foreign country rose by four percent.
Considering you think it's a good idea to spend your days jumping off balconies into hotel swimming pools, it isn't much of a surprise. It's also of no use to me. How am I supposed to pry money out of a dead tourist?
Follow Elektra on Twitter: @elektrakotsoni
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