The International Writers Magazine: My First Vacation
hung limply on my Grandfathers shoulder, sleep still fogging
my brain as I watched my parents run around like mad ants snapping
at each other and collecting random items and stuffing them in
already oversized bags.
you excited?" my Grandfather asked enthusiastically, carrying
me to his car.
As I flopped into
the back seat still clutching my bedtime teddy, I was confused over
what I should be excited about. I had no idea what was going on. We
drove up the motorway, the sun just beginning to rise as I finally woke
up properly and began to feel a flush of excitement creep inside me,
realising that this wasnt what we usually did on a Monday morning.
I asked questions non-stop from then on, but my parents seemed too hassled
to answer them properly as we arrived at the massive building which
was filled with weird people wearing weird clothes; people in suits
scurrying around importantly and loud, angry people shouting at cowering
attendants in brightly coloured uniforms. At last, after we had passed
desk after desk showing very important pieces of paper which WE COULDNT
LOOSE, my parents suddenly turned into relaxed, easy-going people and
we sat down in a waiting area. Some of my questions were then answered
as my father took me to the window and showed me huge metal birds all
lined up outside. I was highly suspicious however; these lumps of metal
were meant to take us across the sea to a different country
were they? Mmm
I thought the seats were pretty comfortable in the aeroplane,
my little legs bounced off the end and I had plenty of room for my teddy
too; other people moaned really loudly about them though, especially
the big man in front of me. He moaned about the food too, but I thought
it was great, like a picnic
but not outside. Unfortunately, I
missed a lot of my first ever flight as I fell asleep somehow, apparently
I slept a lot as a child, even through exciting things, so I ended up
waking when we were landing, at which point I was told to act like a
fish and suck sweets, which I thought was pretty fun.
The heat was amazing; I had never felt anything like it before in my
life. It was like the sun had been moved closer to us, where ever we
were! I loved the place we were staying, all low white buildings and
fun shops full of toys and sweets; a swimming pool AND the sea, loads
of sand (but sometimes it was too hot to stand on). My parents were
like different people here, all happy and not stressed; they let me
stay up late, eat far too many sweets and bought me presents every day.
It was a like I had a different life in this place; I got up and had
a swim everyday floating about in my water-wings with my dad encouraging
me to swim, despite the pool being freezing in the mornings. We ate
out everyday; I did try the odd food placed in front of me: strange
pink seafood, loads of yellow rice with vegetables in and they even
tried to make me eat octopus. But I was strong; I stuck to my chips
and chicken shapes; that part was just like home. In fact some of the
area was a lot like home; most people spoke the way we did, and many
of the shops near the seafront sold things Id seen when we went
to the seaside where we lived. Really, it wasnt so much the place
that was so different; I mean the weather certainly was; but it was
the feeling of being somewhere different. It was a strange, peaceful
atmosphere where we did things we would never usually do back home.
It was a different pace of life too, my parents werent rushing
to work, or to the supermarket, or to do the housework
things in their own time, and the only issues were where to eat that
night, or what presents to get my grandma.
It seemed to pass far too quickly; all the trips to water parks and
some boring ones to old buildings; the endless days on the beach building
then destroying sand castles; collecting shells and taking lopsided
photos with my own disposable camera. I packed all my little souvenirs
into my case carefully, feeling quite confused. I wished we didnt
have to go, but also had quite an ache inside me for home; for my own
bed with big Care Bear sheets; for my crazy cat and the little things
I did everyday with my grandparents; I really missed them.
I was very casual about the flight home; after all I was a flying regular
now. I clutched my teddy, who was now an international traveller like
me, and looked back on my very first holiday fondly, almost like a dream.
Scribbling away with the free crayons the nice, smiley people had given
me (so many perks to being a kid) I fell in love with the idea of holidays
and decided I wanted to go on another one soon, perhaps next week?
© Holly Bates May 2005
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