The Brits Abroad: Fags, Burgers And Replica Shirts

Once upon a time we used to travel with pride, now we just turn up, create a mini-Blackpool and generally show ourselves up...
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Once upon a time we used to travel with pride, now we just turn up, create a mini-Blackpool and generally show ourselves up...

Best thing about this image? She thinks it's sexy...

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It’s the kids I feel sorry for.

It’s truly astonishing how many horrendous British people you encounter at international airports. Take a random sample of charter flight-travelling Britons and the pattern that emerges is a nation of physically grotesque, mentally handicapped, inbred simpletons. I should know, I’m one of them.

It’s the citizens of foreign countries I feel sorry for.

Here I am sitting at Sharm-el-Sheikh airport. This is post-revolution Egypt. The people have recently overthrown a dictator. Now they are faced with a new enemy; an army of sunburnt morons.

My eyes sweep the departure lounge – star tattoos on the backs of necks, replica England shirts, battered wives, morbidly obese Chelsea fans, third length cut-off combat shorts and trainers (no socks), Ralph Lauren polo shirts, people so fat they are limping under their own weight, folds of skin, pot bellies, inappropriate pink sandals, packets of Doritos, glasses of white wine, wrinkled puckered faces muttering something about having a fag…….

It’s the cabin crew I feel sorry for.

On the flight out I observed a middle aged couple angrily shoving 400 Superkings and 400 Lambert & Butler into the overhead lockers without any trace of irony. To them a holiday is not a holiday without 800 fags. They’ve probably already got lung cancer. They just don’t know it yet. In the next row a young mum coughs her lungs up like she’s suffering the late symptoms of Consumption. Then buys 400 ciggies on her debit card from the duty free trolley.

It’s the holiday reps I feel sorry for.

These are the type of idiots who boast to their friends in Danny Dyer voices “yeah, we’ve done Egypt, Tunisia, The Gambia, Gran Canaria, Barbados…..”

No you haven’t, you cunts. You’ve been to a hotel and eaten beef burgers.

Another replica Man Utd shirt walks past me. I feel nauseous. I reach for the tramadol, order a Heineken and a large Merlot chaser.

It’s the teenagers I feel sorry for.

Painfully thin girls in Nike tracksuit bottoms shouldn’t be dragged on holiday by loud, racist parents.

Men in the check-in queue shove money into Egyptian tour guides’ hands. “Thanks for a great holiday mate”, they say, with hatred and resentment in their eyes.

I hope they’ve been massively ripped off.

At the ‘security check’, the uniformed Egyptian official barks “hurry, HURRY!” quickly, QUICKLY!” That’s it mate, at least you’ve got the roles correctly identified here. You’re the prison guard, these are the inmates recently released from a Thomson’s concentration camp.

It’s the snobby, liberal, middle class off-the-beaten-track travel writer journalist I feel sorry for.

I shouldn’t have to endure this. Not after seven days at a remote eco lodge surrounded by sand, sea, bohemians, environmentalists and students learning Arabic. A place where you sleep in bamboo huts on the beach with the sound of waves on the shore lulling you to sleep. A place looking over the calm, salty Gulf of Aqaba to Jordan and the mountains of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

I shouldn’t have to put up with this.

Gatwick is five hours away. That’ll be fun.

It’s the UK Border Agency employees I feel sorry for.

Another replica Man Utd shirt walks past me. I feel nauseous. I reach for the tramadol, order a Heineken and a large Merlot chaser. Wake me up when we get to England, this royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, this earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, this other Eden, this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

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