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Monday, August 08, 2005

Battle for the Sun Lounger

Apologies to my American readers who might not understand this post. For many years now, there has been a titanic battle of wills between the British and the Germans. This has not manifested on the international political stage nor in the echoing corridors of the European Union. No, this battle has been fought on the poolsides of hotels across the Mediterranean, sometimes spilling into more far-flung locations, like the Bahamas, Florida or Skegness.

The battle of which I speak, my friends, is the Battle for the Sun Lounger. For years the wily Germans have been accused of hogging the deckchairs and loungers. British tourists arise from their sweaty beds and eschew breakfast knowing full well that they will soon partake of their traditional mid morning snack of a few pints of lager. Instead they pull on their speedos, tucking the elasticated waste in beneath the pasty beer belly (or lobster-like, depends on how long since they arrived), grab their towels and stroll down to the pool. Upon arrival they are faced by a multitude of Germans and no spare sun loungers.

Ah, but the British are canny! The next morning they get there even earlier sure in their desire to get a deckchair. But what do they see? They see towels; hordes of German towels, strategically placed to claim the sun loungers. The following day they get up earlier still, sometimes before they have even got back from the bars and clubs, and yet there are towels facing them! The more paranoid stay up late at night to ensure that the towels are not placed out the night before. They go to bed satisfied that the loungers are towel free and so drift into a sweet, blissful sleep, arising some 30 minutes later to get down to the pool before their German neighbour's. Once there they break into a hollow scream, muffled only by the multitude of Teutonic towels decorating the pool area.

It has been the bane of the British holiday maker for years. Except now a German lawyer has informed us that the German tourist is not legally entitled to hog the loungers with their towels. We Brits are completely entitled to remove the towels and inhabit the seats ourselves.

We know this you moron! That is not the point! It just wouldn't be polite to do that and so we suffer and moan. It is the British way, damn it!!! Besides now we no longer care about the sun loungers... it's about getting to them before the Germans do. We must prevail!

'"Nobody knows this in Germany, that it is a stereotype. It is the same with the football rivalry," Mr Hoecker said.'

Well fine, but that is hardly the point. We don't care that they don't get it. It's the fact that they do it that gets our goat. My apologies to Hrun for propagating this stereotype, but if he wouldn't leave his towel lying around I wouldn't have to...


hrun said...

Hah, that made me laugh out loud. Funny thing is, I feel that I am the victim of the 'beach towel' in form of deck chairs left in cleared parking spaces in the snowy times in Boston and on occassions in New York. It turns out that some people clear away the meters (or feet) of accumulated snow alongside the road to park their car. Of course, as it turns out, they have to leave the spot during the day in order to go to work. Since they feel it would be unfair to have to shovel snow twice they 'reserve' their spot with a deck chair. While I appreciate the personal effort put into clearing the snow from the side of the road, I do not appreciate the fact that I have to circle around for parking, while dozens of deck chairs take up free parking spaces.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for such a good laugh. I think I ran into the same group of Germans that you did on a cruise a couple of weeks ago. I would roll out on the Lido deck with a good trashy novel, ready to lay around soaking up the skin cancer, and when I got out there, there were towels on all of the chairs that would have had a view of the pool. Bastards ! Fortunately, I am a rather large and formidable looking man, despite my gentle demeanor, so I just removed the towels, and I mean the whole lot of them.