"So, how was your holiday?" was the first question I got asked when back at the office after two weeks of Thai island bliss and a bit of city slicking...
Depressing as it was simply being back, reflection upon time spent away brought back memories of longer travel and no need to be back anywhere, no deadlines, no ties. Sigh. Endless days of wandering, exploring and being free. Travelling. Different now. Duty calls and we all have to eat and wine is not free either. It should be though.
"Very nice but too short" was my flat reply....and my eyes returned to my two screens and fingers kept typing....
"Oh and look how brown you are!" (approving tone of voice from my "white" colleagues, while my Khmer co-workers frown upon every extra tone and shade of brown I gain and get closer to their own skin colour.)
But there is a mystery to holiday tan.
It disappears really quickly despite living in a country where on balance there are 2490 sunshine hours annually and approximately 6.8 sunlight hours for each day (OK, I had to look it up) - but that's what comes with enjoying an a/c office. You are locked away from all this sunshine. Same goes for the UK but the amount of sunshine hours (I imagine) will be much less.... I would look it up but really, who cares.
Back in time of short (two weeks....still too short in my books) Greek getaways I could almost hear my sun kissed skin crack and peel in the cold of the plane air conditioning system on the way home, depressed fearing my holiday reputation would be ruined. That and gathering post holiday germs so I could be sniffing and coughing and sharing more than just memories with my friends.
First hot shower on the UK soil would have me peeling my back with a sick satisfaction of a monkey yet desperate to keep my carefree beach look for as long as possible. No such luck.
In the UK and Europe the general rule of thumb goes like this: You go on holiday. You come back brown. You had a good time. You come back white? You had ......ehrm not such a good time. End of story. That's why I never made it as far as Scotland although I hear it is stunning there.
With more years leaving their trace on my face I tend not to reach for that bottle of tanning oil anymore and I get restless after 20 minutes on the beach, in fact factor 20 is my best friend, if I remember to pack it. Nobody wants to have leather boobs although I have seen plenty. No thank you, it's not a pretty sight. Laugh lines you say? No. I don't think so. With every gray hair I discover and immediately rip out with a pair of handy tweezers I may well need counseling soon. So no more prunes. I should invest in a hat. One of those funky ones with massive shield, flowery pattern. How about t(hat)?
Here people with lovely smooth brown skin torture themselves with unknown lethal potions to bleach their faces white. Girls and boys.... It's sickening and it looks sick. Specially with combination of wannabe blond (read orange and breaking off) hair. But who are we to say, we who used to spend lunchtimes in a solarium, standing there butt naked with funky glasses grinning into radioactive tubes hoping to come out looking a little more sexy than a freshly boiled lobster and carrot stew (I wonder what that would taste like???). All in preparation for holiday of course, nobody wants to be THE white body on the beach! They can spot you from miles around.....
The moral of the story is that we all seem to want what we don't / can't naturally have. Curly want straight. Black want white. Blond want black. Chemistry is king, where would we be without it?
....and I am making a hairdressing appointment as my highlights need a bit of attention.
anna bella betts
Never still, always on the move, looking for the perfect capture... Cambodia is currently my home, presenting endless opportunities....
In this blog you will find no profound wisdom.
Just accounts of daily life, sometimes about photography, often about wine, occasionally about travel adventures and sometimes about nothing at all.