Malia – My One Week Stand

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‘Now whatever you do Jack, please, PLEASE don’t jump off the balcony’.

Like all of my friends’ worried mothers my Mum must have repeated this plea to me about seven thousand times in the week running up to my recent holiday to Malia. Within minutes of getting into our rooms we were packed onto the balcony judging whether or not we would be able to make it to the pool without turning ourselves into Christopher Reeve. And so it began!

This was my first time experiencing one of the media-vilified ‘Lads’ holidays. I was following the well worn path of young people to the Mediterranean, paying around £500 to throw myself into a whirling staggering haze of drunken debauchery with my friends for a week. Just so long as I didn’t do anything ridiculous like getting a tattoo of my own face on the back of my head, managing to be kidnapped by a gang and ransomed, or failing to McTwist over a helicopter I was guaranteed the best holiday of my life… Right?

One of the things that immediately struck me about Malia was the fact that everyone looked more or less the same. Girls seemed to wear a uniform of tiny tops and shorts that let their arse cheeks hang out of the bottom (often with nightmare inducing consequences). In terms of other guys, walking down the strip often felt like I had stumbled into a JLS/The Wanted/One Direction look-alike contest. Most of the guys looked as if they haven’t left the gym since about year nine, Channing Tatum chic has caught on. This is obviously a far more appealing choice for the sea of mildly burnt thong-short-clad girls than a cynical student journalist who shares his physique with Danny Devito.

Fuelled by vodka and energy drink we headed out onto the strip each night to be swarmed by reps, given countless shots, hoover up fishbowls, have our minds numbed by constant thumping bass, eat fast food, down more drinks, get burned by cigarettes, down more drinks, wince from cheap vodka and stumble home as the sun rises. All whilst dancing in ways that ought to have resulted in us being carted back to a care home. It was great fun and usually hilarious (even when I cut the top of my toe open and bled all over a bar). Over the course of the week though I found myself maybe getting a little bored?

Bored?! Shock. Horror.

Thousands of years ago Crete was a centre of European Civilisation and is home to the ancient ruins at Knossos. Sadly the only ruins I managed to see in Crete were the crumpled figures of doubled over teenagers who couldn’t handle their drinks on the sides of the strip. Seeing the ruins was something on my list of to-dos for Malia (yes I’m weird) but it seems that on these kinds of holidays nobody really does anything during the day! When I go away I like to chill but at the same time I like to explore and experience a different culture or way of life, not just lounging around for a week straight.

In Malia everyone was speaking English, McDonalds was never more than a deranged quad-bike jump away and there was little need to move more than a mile from the hotel. It was brilliant to escape for a week and experience the infamous ‘Lads’ holiday, but I’m going to put it out there that I’m done now, it was fun but I don’t think I’d do it again.

I like a bit of adventure, totally new experiences, completely leaving my own culture behind and exploring beyond the tourist trail. I did really enjoy my week in Malia, but I think you get out of Malia what you put in. Maybe I didn’t put in enough? Maybe it’s because at times I felt like I was in a channel five documentary? Maybe I’m just a bit odd?!

Like the countless one night stands that occur in Malia every night, Malia herself has proven to be my fleeting holiday romance. I’m sorry Malia, it’s not you, it’s almost certainly me.

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I study history. I like sport.

Discussion11 Comments

  1. avatar

    Great article mate, really strong finish.

    It is an interesting point. Some people may feel that if they voiced certain opinions about Malia, Kavos, Ibiza, Magaluf etc. (ie that its too repetitive, not very stimulating and fucking unhealthy) they may be branded ‘boring’ and ‘anti-fun’. And you are spot-on about everyone looking the same; it has surpassed ridiculous.

    Frederick Olsen
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    But that is what you British like, and even knowing that you are still going to those places!

    Jack Winter
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    You make a rather large generalisation there considering you just read something that goes against that completely…

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    Frederick Olsen

    It is the problem with Britons, when you travel around the world you just want to do the same as in UK but with better weather. Then, as you have to run away of the cloudy country at least once per year, and that is a good money for another sunny countries, they just give you what you like, that basically is, destroy some parts of their beautiful countries in order to build massive hotels and streets with fast food and shitty clubs where you can drink without measures and cheaper. I think that this is brilliant because the rest of the world we can travel to another places without that shitty tourism and it will be free of drunk British “people” and really enjoy the place as it is.

    Nathan
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    Let’s just have a quick look at your immaculate and error free argument. I’m sure there is a portion of the population that travel simply for the warmer climate, and yes, it’s not the best kept secret that Britain has the occasional cloudy day. However, I find it strange that you claim these same British people “Americanised” these countries with large hotels and fast food restaurants. You see the British already tried to colonise the world, the only thing we managed to spread was cricket, football, and slavery. Not all of those have survived. Therefore I think you’re thinking of the wrong imperial country. Generally as a nation we preserve the natural beauty of our country; we travel to experience different cultures and experience foreign landscapes. In several surveys looking at the worlds worst tourists, British people ranked at their highest, number 10. We were generally behind countries like Germany, France, China, Japan, Russia and unanimously first.. America.
    Personally the main problem with travelling abroad is ignorant people like yourself. Who come to countries with an already warped opinion of what people are like based on the country they are from.
    Put down the the playstation controller. Read a book.

    Alexander James Green
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    A truly bizarre comment. There are many Britons that do go on holiday “to do the same as in the UK, but with better weather”, but such a instance is regardless of nationality; not because of it. There are, after all, people from many different countries that take such holidays (For example, many Australians go to Bali)

    The rule cannot be applied to everyone. In fact, many Britons have a healthy appetite to experience other cultures and countries away from tourist hotspots … all your are doing is falling into a xenophobic stereotype.

    Laura
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    Way to generalise all British people. Not everyone is the same and there are many different types of people in this diverse country who like to take different kinds of holidays.

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    Totally useless article! I am wondering why it has been allowed for publication! Who publishes an article on a newspaper saying that went on holiday, got wasted, had several one night stands, and most importantly, criticises the place which is usually full if people from his country doing exactly the same inappropriate actions!

    Finally I would like to second Frederick’s Olsen post but with one addition. What is said it has been proven by MANY Statistics (especially british) during the last 5 years, leading to a very powerful argument that no British person can argue!

    It is the problem with Britons, when you travel around the world you just want to do the same as in UK but with better weather. Then, as you have to run away of the cloudy country at least once per year, and that is a good money for another sunny countries, they just give you what you like, that basically is, destroy some parts of their beautiful countries in order to build massive hotels and streets with fast food and shitty clubs where you can drink without measures and cheaper.

    P.S. Even the people at the picture above look foreigners and not locals, and most probably they are British looking at their outfit which is the classic british one during summer!

    Alexander James Green
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    These comments are just outrageous. If British people said this about other cultures, we would be accused of racism and xenophobia.

    Not ALL Britons go on holidays that consist of just going to “hotter version of the UK”. This is pure stereotyping. There is perhaps evidence that they do this more than other nationalities, but this would be due to climatic reasons.

    But you can’t say that Britons are the only ones that do so, especially in reference to your “P.S. most probably they are British” comment; I have lived in three very different European countries and people from all of them went on such holidays.

    Laura
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    In regards to your P.S of course they look like tourists, they are at a holiday site, I doubt that’s where the locals would go. In the same way, you get more foreigners in a British hotel than British people, so I don’t get your point here. Also the article is about a British holiday, hence the picture of Britons.

    I have no doubt that these countries relish the tourism from British and other nationalities and the money it brings in. Hell, I’m sure they cater for it. Just in the same way that Briton caters for the tourists who come here, and I’m sure that not all British people are happy with the way that tourists from other places treat the UK either. That’s the nature of tourism.

    In the end, I’m British, I know a lot of British people, some like sunny holidays abroad, some like adventure holidays and some like to holiday in the UK. Your views are extremely narrow minded and I feel sorry for you if you have not yet managed to experience a range of cultures in the UK.

    Jack Winter
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    I would be inclined to take Andreas’s comment seriously if it weren’t laced with thinly veiled xenophobia. Your generalisation of all Britons into some sort of sub-nationality is not only sickening, but narrow-minded and painfully embarrassing for yourself.

    I feel perhaps you may have misunderstood the article, that would certainly explain your ridiculous response. For a start, yes I have described getting wasted, but I’m not sure where you got the idea I had several one night stands? That is just pure fabrication. Maybe attempting to add weight to your argument that falls painfully short of the mark?

    As for your powerful argument that no British person could argue, perhaps you’d be so kind as to cite the source of your statistics? Maybe you could also write an article on your own nationality and culture? I would be truly interested in why yours is superior, or is that just another generalisation?

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