Category Archives: Holiday

The Inbetweeners Movie: Riding Out On A High

Shagaluf? Sorry, it’s Malia

The Inbetweeners have been posing nude in front of our tv screens for a successful three series, now they’ve got us hooked on the big screen ready to bare their bums (as well as other parts) in a 90 minute ‘LOL’ trip to the Greek Island, Malia.

On hearing the word ‘movie’ in the same sentence as ‘end of the series’, it is safe to say that I was a little dubious.  Though it worked for Sex and the City, fully disregarding the atrocity that was the sequel, I was blindly hoping that The Inbetweeners Movie may just ride out on a high.

I wasn’t disappointed.

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Opening the Door to the Past: Poverty in the Dominican

For the first time, I find myself having difficulty expressing my thoughts so succinctly and concise, but poverty is not a topic that can be so easily summarised. Sure enough, many of us watching television daily see commercials of the poverty in Africa; of the malnourished children and the slums they call homes. Many of us will turn a blind eye to the disastrous areas of the third world, but what happens when you are forced to look upon such devastation?

The Local Gas Station: A Gallon for 9 Dollars

You feel guilt.

That morning, I had set out for an adventure into the Dominican wilderness, to experience all things Caribbean; from the delightful cocoa, to the more-ish and wonderfully scented aromas of roasted coffee and the crunchy taste of the coconuts – I was certainly well catered for.

But what of the locals? The young girl that reached up into the jeep to give me a parting gift; an exotic red flower. What life does she lead, while I sit in blissful luxury in a five-star hotel just twenty minutes away? Looking into the deep contours and colours of the flower, I felt guilty, but incredibly grateful for what I had.

Her Parting Gift

Almost a year ago I created a blog on ‘The Importance of Being Grateful’, and of the family that claimed thousands in benefits, cheating the real poverty of our own country. What right do they have? What right do they have to take money from the homeless, the penniless and the tragic?

School Area: Brightening the Day

I was faced with one question: what could I give back to the Dominican locals?
What could I give back to the school that had trembled in its footsteps towards the future? Those grey wooden desk chairs, the rotting chalkboard and the basketball hoop hanging by its steel chains in the playground – what can I do?

Raise awareness.

The children and adults alike are happy because they know no different. They have pride in themselves, and they seemed to say ‘do not pity us, for we are proud of the way we live’.

If you are visiting the Dominican Republic, please spare a thought to the children and their education. Please donate crayons, pencils, colouring books, children’s toys, anything that may help them.

They are a proud nation, and their children deserve to play with something other than the discarded bottles of tourists.

The Makeshift Game: How many stones can fit into this bottle?

Culture In Three Words: Eat Pray Love

My holiday was a little shortlived; I had five days in fact before something came up back home. Guess it was fate that I had to be back home though, because a lot of stuff has came up that I had not been anticipating nor expecting.

Sunday the 26th, I managed to coerce my parents in taking me to the recent Julia Roberts film Eat Pray Love; lucky for me (free ticket), not so lucky for my Dad though; he wasn’t impressed he was dragged to a ‘chick flick’…
Aside from the glaringly obvious fact that men DO NOT, under any circumstances, like ‘chick flicks’ – unless of course they are hoping to bed the woman afterwards, and want to ‘sweeten the deal’. Though, let’s be fair, our sugar coated lipglossed mouths aren’t exactly kissable after we swallow hoardes of our own salty tears, yet the men still think we look attractive with panda eyes as we rush to the little girls room afterwards. This isn’t to say that all men do not like ‘chick flicks’ because I’m sure there are many who do, unfortunately my Dad isn’t in this category; he rolls his eyes at P.S I Love You and on commenting on Eat Pray Love he grumbled something along the lines of, ‘it was alright.’ In other words: I got dragged to a film primarily for women, what do you expect me to say?!

Granted, this film’s target audience is women. I’ve seen many ‘chick flicks’ and to be fair I wouldn’t label this film as that genre. Eat Pray Love is a woman’s journey for self-discovery. She doesn’t travel because she wishes to find love, and she certainly doesn’t travel to find sexual discovery. She travels for herself. Is this a concept so foreign to us all now? Like many women, Julia Roberts’ character, Liz, is busy, ambitious, clever and well-driven. She has problems, like we all do, but she chooses to kick her miserable self-loathing character into a care-free woman with a good dose of the travel bug.  She visits three countries; Italy, India and Bali – each one of them gives us an entirely new perspective of her character, as she goes through the ups and downs of independant life on the move.

It wasn’t just the character of Liz that I admired, but the culture of each of the countries and their people. In general, I find culture astonishing and this film captures the beauty, the heartbreak, and the startling reality of the places and the people. We learn as Liz learns, we share in her intimate friendships and her private meditative states. We are there with her; we are on the path to self-discovery with her.

Liz embodies all women in our own society and culture; she is where we wish to be and what we want to be. Liz defines our hearts desires, the difference is she put them into action. Afterall, how do we know who we truly are if our lives are too busy to just stop and think?

The key to self-discovery is just around the corner, we just don’t know it yet.

That Holiday Feeling

  Tomorrow I am departing my lovely home, for Manchester and Monday I am departing the UK for two blissful weeks to visit Turkey. My reaction: WWWOOOO!!!!!

Problem is, I’m sat here the night before and I’m officially well and truly bored. 100% bored. Have you ever had that holiday feeling when you’re so organised – to the point where you have nothing left to do, and are now fretting over the tiniest things – and really just want to get up and go. I am at this point right now, in fact I’ve probably surpassed it and I’m at the next stage where you do the ‘check list’.

‘Got your passport?’
‘Got your tickets?’
‘Got your hair straightners?’
Check Check.
And the list goes on.

However three years ago, my parents and I were flying out to Florida; we went through the ‘rigmarole’ and did our series of checks. Problem was we didn’t think of the most obvious thing we needed, and no, it wasn’t our passports.
Manchester Airport
What Dad?’
‘I don’t have my driving license…’

And voila… madness arrived. Those 2 to 3 hours you spend in the departure lounge went buy in a flash (no longer a drag, with screaming kids). We went from one end of the airport to the other. Manchester Airport is long, trust me – especially with luggage (for some reason it didn’t occur to us to check-in).
Up and down. Up and down. You get the idea.
Ended up most of our holiday was spent trying to get the license brought over from the UK. We should have just said ‘f**k it’ and enjoyed our holiday. Turned out a lot went wrong during that holiday.

So bringing myself back to the journey I’m jetting off on, I have this terrible foreboding feeling that something may happen. Manchester Airport has never been a good luck charm with my family, mind you I’m going with the girls this time! No doubt there will be much drama, drunkeness and dunks in the pool – after all, we are girls.

Another routine check you have, or just another worry:
Is my case too heavy?
You know it’s not going well when your case just won’t shut. Thankfully I didn’t have my ‘movie moment’; jumping on my case with all my weight and forcing it to close. Guys have probably never ever got this with girls, but seriously we NEED our hair products. We don’t just get frizz-free hair with the click of our fingers, and we don’t get perfectly bouncy girls or divine-goddess straight hair without styling. I think it’s ridiculous that my toiletries and hair products weigh more than my clothes and shoes put together. Maybe we should just have a separate case for our toiletries, or even better can we just have one super-miraculous hair product that cures all problems? And one super-miraculous device that can both shave and moisturise your skin at the same time? And don’t even get me started on the make-up! I wonder if we’ll get these products before robots start ushering our cases into the airport…

One question: Do you get pre-holiday jitters?