Guilt Trip

So, why am I feeling guilty? I’m on a well deserved holiday and everyone deserves a holiday don´t they – although coming back to Ibiza is never really a holiday for me, at least not in the true sense of the word. For me, Ibiza and `problemos´ always seem to go hand in hand.

For starters there was a National strike planned for the day after I got here, but the baggage handlers decided to practice a day in advance by losing my suitcase. Take note – always pack meds in airline bag. Then after I´d gone through the trauma of arguing with surly Spanish officials and thought of having to wear Luis´s cut off pantalones for duration, it (according to surly Spanish official) just turned up.

“Was on carousel all time,” she insisted.

Was not – she dirty liar or I am going blind mad or both! 

All shops, bars and restaurants obliged to shut today, people advised to stay at home or risk being branded filthy scabs and targeted by picketers. But of course, being Ibiza, like the smoking ban, thankfully no one took a blind bit of notice.

Then it rained, thought I had escaped from the rain but wasn´t to be. Luckily didn´t last long. But then water in another of its wettest and mutifarious forms seemed determined to plague me. Woke up after restless night, still feeling guilty about being away and stressing about why couldn´t solve crossword puzzle, ten letter word starting with C for miserly person (as if it mattered was only Daily Mirror not fr*****Times)  and listening to Luis talking away to self  in dreams.  But instead of usual throaty growl was more like a delicate whisper, something along the lines of (if my Spanish is to be trusted ) a simple handful will do.  

A simple handful of what  I wanted to know? Cornflakes, Diamonds – maybe best not to ask, but I did.

“Handful of what?” I questioned delicately in his ear, because it´s dangerous to wake a dreaming person, especially a fiery Spanish hombre.

Couldn´t get back to sleep after that, brain spinning – ten letter word for miserly person, handful of what?

Could hear shower pelting down when I woke up, thought it was Luis, but Luis gone out, water pouring down through ceiling from flat above. Ran upstairs in jim jams and banged on door.

“Who is?”

“Is me woman from down below, mucho agua coming from techo (roof).”

“I is not washing clothes in the bath,” voice defended from behind closed door, so obviously woman was. Eventually washerwoman let me in. How many wild haired half naked gyspy looking women can you get in one small flat – they were all dancing to rumba music and smoking, was like mini Carmen factory.

“I ees not washin clothesses in bath,” Mrs Carmen washerwoman with biggest bosoms and tattoos keeps repeating, leading me to bathroom. “Aaah mira, si, si, si, hombre has had ducha,” she points to sulty gitano man hunched in chair, line of beer cans lined up in front of him. To be quite frank, he didn´t look like he´d showered for quite some time, but it wasn´t my business to point this out.

“You want cerveza?” he thrusts can in my direction.

“Bit early for me actually, but muchas gracias anyway, thing is am concerned that next time you take ducha, you end up in bath with me.” Gitano doesn´t look too averse to the idea, even though not looking my best, pickhammers on etc.

Quick rumba in pickhammers with Mrs Carmen, then we go downstairs to show her gaping hole in bathroom ceiling. “I leaving next week, flat too small,” she says disinterestedly.

I should say so – Mrs Carmen washerwoman needs small hotel, Chinese laundry or entire gypsy encampment to house or wash clothes for her harem.  We go back up arm in arm (Mrs Carmen a bit overfamiliar for my liking) so she can call owner of flat.  ”He very old hombre,” she tells me. What she didn´t tell me was that he is obviously mad and has lost his marbles.

Ten minutos later my front doorbell goes, is very old man with estate agent from office next door. I show them bathroom ceiling.

“Who you and what you doing in my flat?” asks old man.

“Is not your flat , you flat upstairs,” I assure him.

Agent points to water dripping from ceiling.  

“My flat below,” he tells agent. Agent points out that his flat above. This goes on for a while, then as they are leaving, old man ask me, ”Why you change furniture?”

“This not my furniture,” he tells agent. 

No, because its not your flat you stupid old marble-less git.

Who knows when the ceiling will be fixed, marble-less man will just keep telling insurance company is fault of woman from other flat.

Never a dull moment. Bathroom definitley not safe place to be until roof fixed, so think we´ll be having a very dirty weekend – although chance would be a fine thing.

That Luis in heap big trouble though. For three nights whilst indulging in my five o´clock in the morning Frosties or Crunchy Nut habit he  has listened to me moaning on that Spanish Frosties have no sugar, that they were in fact disgusting, like eating cardboard. That the trade descriptions board needed to be told, a complaint put in about the lack of sugar. Then this morning, sat there dismally crunching away, I finally sussed what the dirty trickster had done. He´d put a half eaten packet of Special K left over from my sisters visit back  in June in an old Frosties carton. Now what kind of sick and twisted mind could come up with such a cunning and dirty trick.?

When confronted, Luis just smiled his toothless grin and raised his shoulders in the famous Spanish shrug – “what could I do ?” gesture.

“But Luis, for three nights, three torturous sugarless nights you actually let me believe that they were fr**** frosties. How could you?”

Luis hangs head pretending to be shamed, but sniggering secretly to self.

“You will suffer for this,” I warned him, “I will get my venganza (revenge)”

Still trying to think of a suitable torture for him – having to sit through Friday and Saturday night of the X factor in a Hinglish bar was not nearly henuff. 

But all told, I have to say Ibiza is a little slice of paradise and a welcome escape from gloomy Blackburn. I called home and predictably it´s raining cats and frogs.

So do I still feel guilty  about being away – fraid not!


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