The summer season is beginning and young 1Brits are 2hopping on planes to resorts such as Magaluf in Majorca and Sunny Beach in Bulgaria, excited at the prospect of 3letting their hair down.
Often they 4board the planes in 5fancy dress costumes that they will continue to wear once they reach their destination, though at times they prefer to wear nothing at all.
There is now a €2,300 6fine for people who 7strip off in the streets of Magaluf while police are patrolling beaches on Segways to limit the numbers of people having sex on the beach.
Magaluf’s biggest nightclub, BCM, has recently closed down following the arrest of its owner Tolo Cursach, but the party goes on. In Magaluf, the attractions include games involving sex acts 8in exchange for free drinks, competitions involving jumps from balconies into pools below, a lot of sex and, above all, oceans of cheap or free alcohol.
And it’s not just locals like Tolo 9cashing in. The market attracts companies and the companies 10feed the market. 11Take partyhardtravel.com. They offer seven destinations and packages with ‘12booze cruises’ and as much locally produced alcohol as a tourist can drink before they collapse. Club 18-30 has a reputation for wildness and 13reps that are told to 14encourage the most 15outrageous 16antics.
Of course, it is not only the Brits who go to cheap 17resorts to party. The Germans, Dutch, French and Scandinavians also do it. But none of these other nationalities seem to 18behave as badly as the Brits. 19In search of an explanation, Nómadas Solidarios asked British residents in Spain why they think the British, usually reserved and polite, are so 20keen 21to debase themselves.
Ian Bahrami, freelance editor:
“Isn’t it because of a combination of factors?
1) Kids are not able to accompany adults to bars so alcohol becomes a ‘22forbidden fruit’ and gains a ‘cool’ factor. Once the kids are old enough to drink it, they don’t know how to behave responsibly. So they are drunk by 6.30pm, fighting, etc. This also happens in British towns at night, so it’s not surprising it happens abroad too.
2) Traditional British reserve can only 23be overcome by ingestion of large quantities of alcohol, leading to a total 24lack of control.
3) A belief, fed by the tabloid press, that the UK is superior in every respect to relatively poor countries like Spain, giving tourists a sense of arrogance and power that they don’t have at home in towns like Derby and Dundee.
4) We’re a violent nation in general. Look at our history.
5) Life in the UK is stressful and hard, so all frustrations 25are released on holiday.
6) We are suspicious of foreigners and like to spend time with other Brits, who suffer all the above 26hang-ups, 27thus creating a vicious circle of idiocy.”
Suzanne Smith, freelance PR
“It’s awful and embarrassing. Where are these people from? I wish they would name the parts of the UK they come from instead of calling them British. I guess the only way to stop it is 28to put up the prices. At the moment it’s cheaper for someone to go to the Balearic Islands from the UK than from 29mainland Spain.”
Nikki Strutt, editor
“Personally, I don’t think British tourists behave worse abroad than they do at home. It’s just that abroad they are compared to other nations. They are not 30used to cheap alcohol and that makes the problem worse. Their lack of self respect could be because they haven’t been respected or valued as young people themselves. I once read England is the only country where a small kid falls over and instead of a 31cuddle receives a 32smack.”
Jane Mackey, editor
“Certain Brits behave badly on Friday nights in places like Brighton and Newcastle. Once they get a bit of freedom and cheap alcohol, they feel it’s their 33right to celebrate because it’s their holidays. They think, it’s our holidays and that gives us carte blanche to get as drunk as possible.”
Michael McGovern, journalist
“Expectations of unrealistic levels of self control in normal life?”
1Brit: un británico
2to hop on: subir a bordo
3to let one’s hair down: desmadrarse
4to board: subir a bordo
5fancy dress: disfraz
7to strip off: desnudarse
8in exchange for: a cambio de
9to cash in: hacer dinero con
10to feed: alimentar
12booze cruises: crucero con mucho alcohol
14to encourage: animar
18to behave: comportarse
19in search of: en busca de
21to debase oneself: menospreciarse
22forbidden fruit: fruto prohibido
23be overcome: superar
24lack of: falta de
25to be released: liberarse
27thus: de este modo
28to put up: aumentar
29mainland: la peninsula
30used to: acostumbrado