We loaded all of our luggage into the taxi and asked the driver to take us to a hotel for the night. Like I said in the last blog mum hadn’t factored in it is the height of the busy season.
We were driving with the windows wide open and I couldn’t believe how hot it was.
It was night time so it wasn’t unbearable but it was a hell of a lot different from not so sunny Liverpool.
We got to the first hotel and the driver went in with mum and in thirty seconds we realised that there was no room in the inn.
Luckily he was a nice guy and he must have known to expect this but he was willing to help and got back in the car with mum to drive to another hotel.
We keep hitting these hotels and keep hitting 22 and this now turns into a magical mystery tour.
In all fairness, it was a whole new world from what I was used to seeing back in Liverpool so I was enjoying the show.
A couple of hotels later I started to get a little cramp in my stomach and couldn’t figure out why as I wasn’t hungry.
We keep trying new places and they keep saying no and the cramp starts to get worse now it’s apparent I need a shit.
Trying my best to ignore it and mask the farts I try really badly to look as innocent as possible and look out the window to try and distract myself.
Ten minutes later I’m weighing up the possibility of jumping out of a moving car and it’s like I’m having contractions.
The car suddenly starts to hit speed and I look up at the sky thinking my God has forsaken me and as nice as this guy is going to be really upset if I shit in his taxi.
For the record, I’ve shit myself in a taxi years later in Germany and the driver wasn’t nearly as understanding.
I could barely talk or function and trying to defend myself while being dragged out of the car was fruitless.
The taxi driver then went through my pockets and takes 50 marks off me.
The fare was about 30 but even in my state, I knew he fucking earnt every penny of that drive.
I then cleaned myself as best I could by using my underwear which was the equivalent of turning up after hurricane Katrina with a dustpan and brush.
I took off my white t-shirt and finished off the job and left it at the side of the road with my underwear like a victim of the crime and walked the 5 miles back to camp in silence.
I got back to camp and Alan Harvey was SGT of the guard.
It was 4 am on a Thursday night and he looked at me disgusted and said I’m not even going to ask.
It’s ok I replied I’m not even going to tell you I said as I walked past the guardroom back to my block.
Back to Spain I’m now doing my utmost to hang on but can’t concentrate on other things and the car grinds to a halt.
Mum looks at me before she gets out and sees I’m struggling.
What’s wrong she asks really concerned.
Mum, I’m desperate for a poo and I have been for ages.
Ok ok, she says let me ask in this hotel if you can use the bathroom.
I calmed myself down and realised there was hope. She came up smiling saying great news they have a room we can stay in and the driver started to unload the car.
Carol pays him and he drives off into the night.
what floor are we on mum?
The third floor
Is there a lift?
Sorry there isn’t
Mum, I can’t hold it.
She gives me the key and I run as my life depended on it up the stairs.
I’m scaling the stairs two at a time determined to make it to the toilet but my body is telling me to give it up.
My momma never raised no quitter I power through and burst into the room like John Mcleese and run screaming into the bathroom.
I find the small Spanish toilet and begin to decimate the bowl.
The panic is initially over and I find a towel to wipe my forehead as I’m pouring with sweat and catch my breath.
I walk over to the bed and pick up my Beano annual and go to return to this small Spanish toilet.
This carries on for a good few minutes and then I hear my mum reach the top of the stairs laden with bags.
Now I felt for Carol because she went from a serious victory to a serious low in a matter of seconds.
She looks at me with her eyes like saucers which I may add were watering as I had stunk out the room because of the intense heat and rancid smell.
Arlo What are you doing?
I look at her like she’s an idiot and says
I’m pooping what does it look like I’m doing?
She says to me trying to figure out what’s going on in my head
ok son why don’t you poop in the toilet like everyone else?
That’s what I’m doing mum I’m pooping in the Spanish toilet.
That’s when mum realised OK Arlo grew up in Toxteth and he has never left Liverpool it’s not very likely that he’s seen a bidet before.
To be fair to her she kept her cool and explained what I had done wrong and she could see that even I was disgusted.
Also, she could see it was a genuine mistake so she was very chilled about it.
She disappeared to reception to get some bleach and other cleaning products. Luckily the guy spoke English and when she was back I had wiped and washed my hands.
I tried to flush the bidet but yes that’s when I figured out that’s not how it works.
So mum came into the room like something from CSI and cleaned up the mountain of shit.
I can’t help but think looking back now that you never see pictures of that in the holiday brochures and if you did you would attract a very different form of clientele.
Now after all of the drama it was late so we got cleaned up and put the air conditioning on and fell asleep.
We both woke up with the sun rising as it was a lot more powerful and we woke up really hot even with the AC on.
We got up and got cleaned up and went downstairs to get breakfast outside by the pool.
I got my full English breakfast and took it outside and was blown away.
Granted Aigburth was a lot nicer than Toxteth but my memories as a child were litter everywhere, being freezing cold, and being surrounded by poverty as Liverpool had been left to rot by Margaret Thatcher’s government.
She had let the city go into a managed decline after the riots which is explained in the links below and it became more derelict by the day in places like Toxteth and other low-income areas.
I was sat next to a swimming pool surrounded by palm trees in this amazing heat with everyone smiling and so relaxed. I said to my mum I think we are in paradise.
I finished my breakfast and asked the man behind the breakfast bar if I was allowed in the pool he laughed and said I can’t think of any reason why not so I jumped in and started playing.
Carol was finally starting to decompress from all of the stress and she was happy seeing me in the pool having fun.
We had to find new accommodation though because the hotel only had a room available for a couple of nights.
There were also a lot of rowdy teenagers and 20-year-olds on holiday so she wanted a place that was more family orientated.
We had a nice day to unwind and then we got the reception to phone around as there was no internet we learned of a place quite close which had a room for 6 nights available.
We packed our stuff and headed to the new place.
It was a British guy in his 40s who owned the place and he was really cool.
He showed us to our new room which had a balcony and luckily there is no more human shit involved in this story.
I unpacked my case and went and sat on the balcony and could see a view of the beach and the new pool below. We had 6 more nights in this paradise and I couldn’t believe the difference between Liverpool and Majorca.
The next day I’m hanging out by the pool and the owner comes over to me and asks me if I wanted free cokes.
Obviously, I said yeah and then I started working for him.
I would hang out by the pool and when there were a lot of empty plastic cups I would take them back to the bar.
It was a nice arrangement and when I got fed up after an hour he wouldn’t press me and I must have drunk my own body weight in coke.
Then we discovered the beach which looked like something off the TV show Wish you were here and I was so excited to go play in the sea.
On my first day at the beach a young Spanish lad who didn’t speak any English came over to me and we ended up spending hours building sandcastles together.
He was a little older than me and even though we could not understand each other we played for hours totally fascinated.
In all fairness, he was from Majorca so it would probably a normal day for him but I was amazed at how different he looked and how friendly everyone was.
I’ve said it many times racism and hatred are learned behaviour.
Nobody is born hating anyone the picks up destructive toxic habits that are passed from generation to generation.
As fucked up as it is I can be more understanding of this many years ago as many people didn’t know any better and we naturally put up barriers of things we are scared of
However, in the modern information age its mind-blowing that this is still a very prevalent problem.
There are many studies that try to learn about the origins of this like in the link below. Unfortunately, we are a long way from getting rid of this forever.
We came back from the beach and we had started to make friends with other people who were on holiday and it was like we had lived there for years.
We went back to the pool and relaxed for the rest of the evening
Just when I thought the holiday couldn’t get any better I found a room with a TV and video.
The owner showed me he had an entire video shop full of new titles.
So as well as having a ball on holiday I could watch a movie every day.
That does not sound like a big deal but in 1987 when Video was still quite new it was a big deal.
So when the sun got a bit much I would go in and watch a movie. This is when I first starting to watch Clint Eastwood movies and they had so many to choose from.
So we would wake up get breakfast, chill out by the pool, go to the beach, I would watch a movie then relax for the evening. It was the best holiday ever and like most holidays I didn’t want it to end.
Now how it worked back then with holidays flights came in on a Tuesday and left on a Tuesday.
We were having the most amazing time and Carol didn’t want it to end as she still had one hundred pounds left in her purse.
Like many people she had underestimated how cheap it was once, we had got her and one hundred pounds went a lot of further back then.
She spoke to the British guy who owned the hotel and he told her sorry the room will be booked as it’s the height of the season.
We had made friends with these two girls from the West Indies who were living in Leeds back in the UK.
They kindly let us stay with them for the night.
They were used to having no room they were 2 out of 11 kids. Their father told them he had wanted a cricket team.
We spent the night with them after another amazing day and then we moved to another smaller hotel which was not far away which also had its own pool.
We unpacked again and relaxed. The family who owned the hotel was really nice and I used to hang out with their daughter by the pool and was still having a great time.
The time was running out and so was the money so mum had to figure out a way for us to get home and a convincing story as to why we were coming to the airport three days late.
This was pre-internet days so it was easier to get away with stuff like this but still, it had to be a hell of a lie otherwise that would be some serious hitchhiking back to sunny Liverpool.
Hitchhiking is a dying thing but there is an interesting article above which explains how this came about.