Thursday, 18 July 2013

In praise of holidaymakers



Long time, no see. I've been here all along, but I've been in holiday mode. It's that time of year when Skopelos becomes busy with people intent on kicking back and having a good time and, to be honest, I've sort of been swept up with that feeling.

I know some expats here who moan about holidaymakers. These expats complain that the caf├ęs and tavernas are full, the beaches are too busy and the roads are congested and it's all down to holidaymakers. Well, yes, but I think I can say without fear of contradiction that these selfsame expats were also once holidaymakers. Skopelos is not the sort of place you'll just happen to pass through on your way to somewhere else. So for most people, and this includes a lot of Greeks as well, the only reason you come here is for a holiday. Oddly enough I have also heard some of these expats moaning that it gets too hot here in the summer.  Mmm, I wonder what it was that drew them here in the first place.

Anyway, back to holidaymakers. I like that whole aspirational feel about being on holiday. This is how we might live our lives if only other things didn't intervene. So our holidays give us time to sit and watch the world go by, stare at the sea, let our minds wander and our bodies soak up the heat. Although I'm not on holiday here, even if my lifestyle doesn't make that readily apparent, I, too, like to watch the world go by. And in watching that world, I study, hopefully not too obviously, holidaymakers.

I like to see the families who find time to be with each other (even if that sometimes ends in bickering), I like to see the loved-up young couples who only have eyes for each other, the children given the chance to enjoy more freedom than they are used to in the busy cities they come from. All in all I like to see people on holiday showing every sign of feeling the weight of everyday life lifting from them for a little while.

To be truthful I wouldn't like Skopelos to be this busy constantly, but for these few weeks at the height of summer I think it's only polite to share what I am lucky enough to enjoy all year round. Happy holidays!