“At least you’re close to the sea, you can go for a quick dip and cool off,” he says, when I tell him the weather is terribly hot here too.
He has no idea… I may live not too far from the sea, but there is no such thing as a “quick dip” this time of year, not anymore. Those days are long gone, but my step father isn’t one for travelling anymore, so he still thinks of my little corner of the world as what it used to be 20 years ago, the last time he’s been here. Needless to say, things have changed… a lot… too much in some respects.
Going for that “quick dip” in months like July and August requires careful planning, one might want to remember to call ahead and book a chaise longue and umbrella, since these days that’s the only way you’re going to be able to get your feet on the sand. Gone are the days when you just walked on the beach, towel in hand, and you could go for a swim. I tell him all that, and he goes off on a rant about consumerism and posers. I smile and let him say his piece. My step father doesn’t like change, I know that; he’s convinced that the only “right ways” are the ones he’s used to… and he will not change.
I won’t deny it, I love a lazy day on the beach, on a chaise longue under a cute umbrella, a waiter fetching me cold drinks at the press of a button. If the umbrellas aren’t too close together, I don’t even mind if it’s a bit crowded. The noises of the wind, the sea, the lively people and the music from the nearby terrace can be oddly comforting and relaxing. I can people watch and make up stories about the characters around me or I can burry my nose in a good book and let the wind turn the pages for me.
However, this year is simply too much – “crowded” has acquired a new meaning, and so did “loud”, “rude” and “uncivilized”. Everything going on in my everyday life has also influenced my limited patience and tolerance for such behaviour and I need a break from my usual beach break. That was pleasant and relaxing in June, but I can’t handle it in July or August.
I wanted some peace and quiet. I wanted to be away from people who worry about whether they’re ordering the trendiest drink or not, from women who spend half a day at the salon so they can be ready to go to the beach for a couple of hours and from men who can only locate their self-esteem in the car they drive and what they ostentatiously spend every night in the club.
So this July and August I’m driving past the trendy beaches and I keep going, all the way to a small village. The beach there is far from “wild” anymore, the tourists have discovered that one too, but at least it’s not crowded and it’s quiet. Some people camp, some drive their caravans there, and others flee the city, just like me, trying to get away from the invading hoards. That’s my option for a beach break this summer. I almost forgot what it’s like to have to pack a snack and water, because there’s nobody to serve me on that beach, but I don’t mind it terribly. I can still enjoy a good book, I can still people watch. I can even observe birds through my lens. Birds and people look equally lazy. It’s summer after all, what’s the hurry? I think back – about a decade ago the place was deserted, we could go skinny-dipping there. That’s no longer the case. Change is inevitable, much to my step father’s chagrin. Even the way we take our well-deserved and much needed breaks keeps changing.
Thank you for the inspiration, Tina, and for reminding us it’s time to slow down and relax (Lens Artists Weekly Challenge – Break).