New experiences / Deep-rooted hate
Way back in the summer of last year, two friends and I found ourselves on a mini surf-trip to a beach near Swansea. As we kicked a ball around on the beach we talked about our shared passion for all board sports, and in particular - surfing. We were in our element with our boards in the back of a beaten up estate car, tents pitched right next to the beach, food on the barbecue hissing and the beautiful, calming sound of beer chilling in the cooler. As you do in that situation we decided that it'd be a good idea to meet up more than once every three years and we talked about where to go next. A few beaches and countries were banded about but my attention was finally grabbed when one friend suggested that we got together again to go skiing over the winter. I was over the moon - the closest I'd ever been to skiing was standing on a home-made death trap (sledge) and hurtling down an extremely steep (rock-studded) Welsh hill-side towards a barbed wire fence and a freezing cold river. Which in itself, was always pretty exhilarating - will I cut my head off? Will I get hypothermia? Will I just crack my head open on a rock? Nevertheless, I was ready for the next step.
Fast forward a few months and I'm sitting with an array of warm clothing and ski equipment strewn around my room and my ever-faithful rucksack sitting empty, eagerly waiting to be filled to the brim - which signals that it's time for another adventure. Perhaps foolishly, the only 'lesson' I've had was on Friday night when my housemate Becca (with beer in one hand) told me to just 'bend my knees and don't cross my skis'. I can see myself falling over quite a lot and perhaps wiping out a few ten year olds as I career down the nursery slopes - but that's half the fun, isn't it?
My excitement has been replaced with a massive pang of guilt, I've realised we're going to the sort of place that I swore I'd never, ever set foot. We're going to Andorra, and more specifically to a place named Pas de la Casa. Other names include 'Mandorra' and 'Essex-on-ice'. The skiing may be fun but it's the nightlife I'm more concerned about, with an unofficial 7:1 male to female ratio, the music policies in clubs ranging from 'mature cheddar' to 'stilton' and the reps (who annoy me to high hell) who spend their summers in Ibeefa seem to congregate here in the winter. When I'm abroad I hugely dislike seeing large groups of Brits getting leathered and annoying everyone else - I've come to despise such sights. Hopefully it won't be as I'm expecting, but I fear that I'm going to have to put on a t-shirt displaying the words :-
"Sorry for all the pricks that have invaded your country in the worst possible way"