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    (April) Fool by the Pool

    I never liked Spain. It’s too sunny, everyone is too peppy and they all remind me of Penelope Cruz when speaking English, which is more than a little bit disturbing. At the very least they might remind me of Javier Bardem but my brain has ways of its own. So it’s sort of ironic that in the last 18 months this is my third trip to Spain.

    My sister decided she absolutely had to spend her birthday basking on the beach as dark-skinned exotic-looking foreigners rubbed lotion on her back and I absolutely had to take her in my capacity as her big sister. I blame Sarah and her fancy USA holidays… We picked up a car hire in Alicante and our plan was to drop off our things at our hotel and go straight to the supposedly heavenly beaches of the Costa Blanca.

    But we arrived to find the hotel staff in something of a panic, warning tourists to stay away from the recently shark-infested waters of the Mediterranean. Horrible huge monsters with mouths filled with sharp pointy teeth, we were told. There was a girl who even got her leg chopped off just the day before and they were advising everyone to stay away from the sea.

    Even if we were so bold as to go to the beach, we should stay away from the ocean, as this was a special breed of sharks, who’d jump off the water like over-excited dolphins and get anyone who was unlucky or foolish enough to be within jumping distance.

    So we’ve been spending the day by the pool, taking advantage of the complimentary VIP service provided by the staff to calm our poor English nerves. As I write this, a waiter just brought me yet another very colourful and unpronounceable drink with a little umbrella and a straw, and I can see my sister Anna swimming in the pool.

    The manager just came by with a sly smile to let everyone know the shark alert was just an April Fools prank and there’d be a special dinner out on the terrace to celebrate the shark-free condition of the Spanish coast.

    Think tomorrow we’ll take our Spain car hire for a spin and explore the coast a bit, but to be honest, I might spend another day letting the hotel staff pamper me.

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