So I bought three guidebooks yesterday.
'Easy there' says my wallet.
Travel costs are crazy as it is, but no one takes the guidebooks - the fundamental structures of any trip - into total account. One has to budget for a budget guidebook on budget travel.
I also bought a new bikini. Because although the gold one is sensational, shiny and astronautic, it's very Seychelles 2007. It'll be the back-up bikini.
The new one has little pink palm trees all over it.
I am worried though. Even after two solid months of pilates, I'm not sure if I'm completely Bikini Ready. It's summer in Europe, and therefore the Europeans will be all golden and toned and oiled up, and yes, possibly very hairy.
I feel a bit winter pastry. Like a pie just before it goes into the oven. And we'll be Greeking it up with around 25 European nationalities that comprise my company's region.
But fuck it. Whatever man.
When we fly out on Friday night, if my lilly white thighs are unbikini-friendly, I don't actually give a fat fuck, quite honestly.
Talk about a convenient turn in the recapturing of my youth, though. The last time I was in Greece I was 18 and backpacking with C2.
I even remember it, amazingly.
It was filled with ouzo, a bunch of hot Americans (who got tiresome after 2 days, so we had to sneak around until we were safely engulfed by a bunch of hot Australians), and a bout of food poisoning. (When I was told not to eat beef in Greece, I should've listened.)
We hired a car and drove to the highest point on the island that directly looked over the coast of Albania. Stopped at all these little beachy coves filled with aquamarine water and remember thinking: I am so very orange right now.
The Med sun doesn't burn the bejesus out of you, it turns you orange.
I hauled out my diary from the trip and found this:
9 August 1999
Arrived at The Pink Palace in Corfu and immediately got given a shot of ouzo before we even checked in. This is definitely my kind of place.
Hanging. Got woken up by the hottest man I have ever seen, his torso, my GOD, was he even real? We got allocated a condo room with a real BALCONY and a PRIVATE BEACH. Plus FREE BREAKFAST. FREE BREAKFAST.
10 August 1999
Hanging. Met these Yanks. One dude was hot, so I reckoned fine I'd kiss him. Met up after dinner on the beach, etc etc and after a while and a lot of sand, I decided naught and went back to my bed.
12 August 1999
Shit. What are the chances. Just bumped into the Canadians we were with in Florence. [Of course though. Joburg is too small for me, as is Europe – Ed]. Blind one.
And I'm hanging.
13 August 1999
There's a guy with the the most horrendous man boobs selling burgers. Haven't eaten a burger in two months, so I bought one from the Boob Guy. [Hello Amoebic Dysentry – Ed].
15 August 1999
Shit. Just bumped into [my first boyfriend from matric.] Come the fuck ON. Hanging.
16 August 1999
Hanging. Well at least people know how to party here. Got to get rid of these American dudes now though. Over this Greek fling vibe. Very over it.
Plan for today: Totally avoid Americans. Will hire a car and drive around the island in peace.
And so it went. This trip will be different.
Now according to my guidebook, Rhodes island, (where we'll be based, as our conference is on the island) is literally on the coast of Turkey. I didn't realise this, and frankly, this is why guidebooks are essential. Poen circled a few nightclubs in my guidebook last night too. I'm ready.
Collecting my visa this morning, God help me.
I can't wait to see hot, studly European men strut around on the beach. Wopah the fuck. Hello Dionysus.
Hopefully not too many spandex manthongs.