top of page

Apathy Abroad – An All Inclusive Nightmare

Sunbed Incarceration – In Grumpy-Old-Man-Mode

It’s no good. I have to admit it – I’m bored. I’ve been here four days and I’m listless, apathetic and grouchy.

I made the decision once before to avoid sedentary all-inclusive holidays, and now I know for sure that I was crazy to over-rule myself, hoping this time for a different result.

Not just bored, but in an environment and among people I don’t vibe with.

From a place of apathy, everything is wrong. From the wastage, the uninspiring buffet, unfulfilled staff wearing forced smiles, to the fakeness clacking in every corner.

The featureless canteen, its tiny decorative flourishes gesturing with a half-baked nod at the culture of the clime, but really are cheap trinkets to distract from the fact this is the feeding hall where the job of subduing the masses is undertaken quickly and efficiently. Rows of buffet counters crammed with produce, scooped in massive quantities onto plates by the semi-conscious, with eyes even bigger than capacious bellies, to be abandoned half consumed on tables awash with hapless spills. Mechanical staff clear away the debris from the plundered buffet, dismayed by the spoilt gluttony.

Row upon row of post-luncheon swollen bodies, bloated from excess, and now lethargic are sprawled on their plastic loungers, like acres of walruses slumbering in the afternoon sun. The exposed flesh testament to residency, ranging from bright pink new comers to the mahogany of long-stay snowbirds.

Beads of perspiration sparkle on the forehead of one over-cooked 60-something as he shuffles across the clay tiles, slightly bow legs supporting stiff hips and an exposed belly like an alarmingly over-inflated beach ball hanging over lurid coloured swimwear bought from the criminally priced collection in the hotel’s souvenir store. His already tepid margarita slushy slopping at the edges of the flimsy plastic cup.

A warm breath of wind sends empties, previously relieved of their over-sweetened contents, scuttling across the tiles until they settle, abandoned in a group, rolling and testamentary to consumerism and frivolous improvidence.

One of the rubberized ‘entertainment team’, in his whiter than white outfit and perky

little baseball cap, wheels a huge speaker to the edge of the pool, while others pump up balloons and prep for what looks dangerously like a pool foam party. Oh god, how dire.

Yesterday is was line dancing, accompanied by the constant prattle of the 22 year old coach, issuing instruction over the loud speaker in tiresome repetitive catchphrases so irksome, they remained, bouncing about one’s cranium for the remainder of the day.

The distant tropical hues of the ocean beyond beckon once more. How is it that such a beautiful place is so effortlessly contaminated by the presence of human beings? Heaving myself to my feet, I evacuate. It’s time to walk on the sand and feel the waves…Just as I have every afternoon when the boredom gets too much, or the kindergarten-esque ‘fun’ erupts.

“You don’t do fun, do you?” says one of my group, with a cynical grin.

What can I say? Being in the wrong environment causes me to become a belligerent, ornery version of me, the version that eviscerates the human race in fiction, who growls complaints, and also wails petulantly at our waste, our greed, our obesity and oafish behaviours.

What is it about people when they go on vacation? No doubt half the people round the pool are in their normal lives, professional, sensible, and educated to a moderate degree; so why do they need abase themselves before mediocre games hardly good enough in their country of origin to entertain a 12 year old? Were they as bored as I?

A sun-pinked group howl with laughter as they stagger from the bar, their super-size bubba jugs filled to the top with rum cocktail, and I realise; inebriation is the key! A full sedentary day in the sun, with cocktails starting at breakfast…It makes banal and puerile entertainment worthy of the four star money.

Maybe next time I should be drunk? Or maybe I should just stay home. Minus 20 and driving snow may not be my ideal environment, but at least my life is there.

Why oh why did I not book solo and do a hiking holiday or yoga retreat? Next time it will be different.

I scratch off another day on the wall of my room and check my passport for the fifteenth time for fear it will have somehow timed out and I’ll be stuck in this wretched Cuban crisis forever…Thankfully I’ll soon be flying home; back to the snow, ice, responsibilities and corporate demands…what bliss!

I hope you enjoyed this month’s blog; a comedic and cynical view at all-inclusive living – With all the venom and bile of a reactionary, out-of-place, grump.

I had fun writing this


bottom of page