26 March 2009

Resort World

One of the things that keep me going, tapping away in the artificial brightness of my artic new office, in the dash to the deathly monthly deadlines is the shimmering idea of the vacation. This vision is an amalgam of the memories of holidays past, updated and sparkling with all sorts of novel recent obsessions. However, the invariables of these daydreams are always these: An expansive, powder white beach, deserted; Glass-clear ocean, calm; Slow-motion days spent under rustling palms, turning slowly, lazily brown. An icy bellini served in the bowel of a rainforest. Escape for me means nature. It’s very old-fashioned notion, I know. But I started going to resort holidays when I was quite little (yes, once upon a time, in the ‘80s, when I last had a waist!) before it became a travel fair convention, and those halcyon days haunt me still. For me, it’s an atavistic longing: Warm salt sea (curative, surely?), the rhythm of waves (soothes frazzled nerves), the chorus of cicadas in bamboo groves (sensuous), the smell of Clarins sunning lotion, mindless, meandering, inconclusive conversations with loved ones lying in deck chairs (no phones, no laptops, no gadgets of any kind!), swimming in lagoons, encountering beautiful island natives or an estuary dolphin.
I never dream of city vacations: Shopping and chic remind me of work – everytime I enter a shop, I involuntarily think of merchandise in captions. I never dream of winter holidays. Not for me skiing and fireplaces and bundling up in coats. I like a tropical island, the more remote the better, but with room service. I’m aware that it’s become rather unfashionable now, what with all manner of modern scares: Bombings, tsunamis, earthquakes, pollution, sun damage, global-warming. You can’t dip a toe into the ocean without causing irreversible environmental damage it seems. I can think of a dozen reason why it’s safer to sit in the office in the air-con, beavering away at the machinery, none of them improving. Part of what makes a beach holiday so lovely a vision is the prospect of returning quite rested from it and swanning back in the city looking seamlessly tan.
To me, a tan is sexy. Pallor is overrated, and despite what the branding experts say, I’ve a lurking suspicion that there’s something menacingly racist about this mania for “whitening”. Anything that is natural, authentic and real will always be sexier than the put-on, the pretend, the contrived. I have in mind the antithesis of sexy those horrors so rampant in my world: Those, wonderfully labeled ‘clones’, who work out their show muscles in dank gyms, those who wear the infantile costumes comprising too-small tees, jeans too-low waisted, cargo pants cropped too short, trainers too-new, an incongruous ‘trucker’ cap sitting cutely on their pop star hair. Nothing fits, nothing appropriate, mouse-clicking horrors pretending they are teenage jocks! Add to this an unhealthy obsession with fashion and there you have the deadly caricature of unsexiness... and how did this turn into a rant?


  1. I dig this! Especially the rant. Why do people try so hard? Lovely blog. Lovelier writing.

  2. Thank you Anonymous, glad you like the blog... I suspect people try so hard due to lack of imagination...

  3. people try in order to find a reason to get out of bed. if don't try, then die. like me.