Pavlos (pavlos) wrote,

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In the tube

As I write this I'm in a long aluminum tube, sat against the side peering out of the small windows. Just outside is a huge flat tank of explosive fuel, and hanging under it is one of the two blazing-hot engines. Inside the tube the atmosphere is hot and rather stuffy. Outside it's doubtless very cold and pleasantly three-dimensional. The travel tube will shortly set down in London. Just staying overnight, back in Edinburgh tomorrow.

So, we've been to Zakynthos (a.k.a. Zante) with Anastasia and Aris. The island is pretty. It is, however, also full of British tourists, and the trade that's set up to cater for them has turned large sections of the island into industrial wastelands, in the sense that tourism is an industry. We visited two sites where the seaside had been turned into a mesh of bad pubs, MacDonalds, other protein and fat outlets, more bad pubs, Indian and Chinese restaurants (sometimes combined), yet more dismall beerhouses, souvenir shops, thrift shops, and general crap goods shops. Everything was designed to fit very working-class anglo-saxon notions of sea and sun, including imported "carribean" imagery, which they, presumably, find less threatening than the local mediterranean kind. Yuck!

I don't know what causes this particular brand of British tourist to buy this package of being herded to some nameless consumption zone in a hot place, eating bad food, getting drunk and sunburnt a lot, and being herded back. French and German tourists don't do this, and neither do Americans, at least in Europe.


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