Sunday, June 03, 2012

Story telling Sunday - Foreign Lands

Today being the first Sunday in the month it is story telling time. Why not post a story and pop it on Sian's blog and join in the fun. But if you don't have a story you can still go blog hopping around all those who do.

My story starts back in 1961 I was invited to go on holiday with my friend and her family to Spain, Loret de Mar on the coast. I had never been abroad before so I was excited. Trouble was I spoke no foreign languages and at the time apart from the hotel staff not many people over there spoke English. I was arrested, panic I didn't know why and the policeman who took me to the station didn't speak English. I found out eventually that it was because I was only wearing a bikini and I had come off the beach area where you could wear one to the shops in the next street back. You were supposed to cover up but I hadn't realised. After that I just didn't want to go out of the hotel complex.

My next excursion out of Britain was a day trip well 24 hours across to a port on the coast of France, in 1963. John had arranged for us to do something special as this was the day I should have married someone else, (that is another story) and I couldn't change my holidays but bless him he wanted me to have good memories of the day. We took the ferry over spent the day wandering around the town, no one spoke much English and although John had schoolboy French it was not a very good day. On the way back on the ferry we found a place on deck to snooze (couldn't really sleep and we didn't have a cabin) but it poured with rain. I thought that John had been a bit subdued and he told me on our way home that he had been given the sack on the Friday.

The next time I went abroad was in 1991, John and I were invited to go with friend to stay in the cottage they had bought in Couvains a small farming area in Normandy. The wife of our friends didn't sail well so we took the shortest route by ferry and drove across France. a long long drive and although they both drove I don't so John was the only driver in our car (they had their two daughters with them). Arriving at their cottage it was like going back to the dark ages, so primitive and a building site really.
They were friends with a local apple farmer and we spent quite a bit of time with them. but again I don't speak French, John spoke very little and no one was interpreting for us. I felt left out and very uncomfortable.

I swore I would never go abroad again. But........

I am on my way to Florida to Disney World with my Son and family in just 5 days time. At least it is English speaking and I should be understood and I am with family. I need to break the spell of foreign lands being frightening and uncomfortable places.

18 comments:

Amy said...

Oh yes, this time it will be different ... but probably tiring and hot!
I doubt you would be arrested for wearing a bikini on the streets of coastal Spain these days!

Maria Ontiveros said...

Well, just make sure you don't wear a bikini to Disney World, and you should be okay! LOL! I'm sorry your stories all ended negatively; we've loved our travels abroad and (in an odd coincidence) my story telling contribution is also a collection of travel tales.
Rinda

Jimjams said...

I'm amazed that you dared say "yes" to Disney!!! The lack of language barrier makes a big difference - you'll have a great time, but pace yourself & wear comfy shoes!!!!

Missus Wookie said...

I hope your trip to Disney is stress-free and wonderful - at least they speak English! Congratulations on trying again.

Sian said...

Mary, you are full of surprises! I just love the bikini story (even though I'm sure it was very scary at the time!). I hope you have an absolutely wonderful time on holiday this year and that you come back with many many more (happy) holiday stories to tell

Ladkyis said...

comfortable shoes loose cool clothing carry plenty of water and remember that most Americans are delightfully friendly and they can understand English even though they speak American. They will have you feeling at home straight away.

WendyB said...

Oh Mary, what a combination of experiences on holiday, especially the scary one in a bikini! I hope you have a fantastic holiday with your family.

Karen said...

Lovely story Mary. Have fun at Disney x

Chipper said...

I am sure this time will be different!!! Have a great time with your family. You may not catch everything said to you because of the accent. But I promise you it is English and at least you will be able to read menus and ask for directions :-)

Julie Kirk said...

Oh you'll have a wonderful time I'm sure, with lots of great photographs and memories to bring back home with you! :-)

Louise said...

we're going there later this year so you'll have to share your experience.This time i'm sure will be very different. great stories.

Lynn said...

I always find the language barrior difficult as well. I'm sure you will have a fab time in Florida.

Alison said...

I'm sure this will be very different Mary..enjoy Florida!
Alison xx

Abi said...

I'm sad to hear your other experiences haven't been so great . I'm sure you will love America though. Have fun! X

humel said...

Wishing you a very happy holiday this time, Mary - sounds like you need it, to make up for your other experiences! xx

Gail said...

You're definitely overdue for a nice vacation experience abroad and I'm sure you'll get it at Disney World. Just remember to wear comfortable walking shoes. Looking forward to reading all about it.

furrypig said...

You will have a wonderful time in Florida, you will be well looked after and there is so much to see and do and no need to worry about speaking French! Enjoy it xxx

heart.hearth.home. said...

Oh Mary, how I felt for you and your experiences of holidays abroad. In this day and age it is unimaginable that you could be arrested for wearing a bikini on the street. Times were very different then, weren't they?
Have a wonderful time in America. All the Americans I have met just love the English especially how we speak. Enjoy!

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