"And Another Thing..."
Christen Bradley Farmer
Q: Have you had your holiday yet?
A: Yes, in 2007.
It is the time of year when all the talk is about beaches and trains and busses and airplanes. We ask each other where are we going, when we are going, for how long will we be going, and then...
Oh! THAT sounds nice!
As someone who will probably end up in the vacation paradise of Palilula this year, all the talk of holidays is beginning to grind on my nerves. The photos on Facebook only add to the white-knuckled experience. For the avoidance of doubt: talking about what a wonderful time one had does NOT impart the experience vicariously to the listener.
Not that I am extraordinarily grumpy about holidays. I approve of holidays. I would very much enjoy a trip to the north of Greece, the south of France, or the Dominican Republic. Why not? I would snap a lot of pictures of myself and various trees, mai-tais, and seashells. I would post them all to Facebook and become the very thing that I complained about in paragraph three above. The double standard can be extremely convenient when push comes to shove.
In the meantime, however, I have engaged in the Imaginary Holiday. This involves removing my watch, wearing shorts sometimes to meetings, and sleeping in until 8:56. On my Imaginary holiday, I can sit on the balcony and sip coffee - eyes closed against the sun and imagining the sway of palm trees and clunking of coconuts.
Coconuts clunk, don't they?
The next level of the Imaginary Holiday is the fictitious auto-reply on the email: "Please note that I will not be available on Monday, July 16th through Monday July 16th from 07:45 to 08:56 due to annual holidays on a tropical island. For any urgent matters, please wait 20 minutes and try again."
After a reasonable interval, I will begin talking to people about how WONDERFUL my holiday was. The key, however, is not to be caught out with your Imaginary Holiday. Therefore, my strategy is to tell everyone a different story. I will have been to places including Morocco, Istanbul, Athens, Togo, and Karaburma. And now that I have written those names, the next ones will have to be different.
If anyone wants to see my holiday pictures, I will launch into a rant about how unreliable my camera-phone is and how they were all ruined during the meteor shower. That will occupy the conversation for at least enough time for the other person to begin talking about their WONDERFUL holidays.
"Oh! THAT sounds nice!"
Christen Bradley Farmer, founder and president of MACH IV Consulting, has been involved in numerous writing and publication projects since arriving in Serbia. Farmer regularly shares his observations on life in Belgrade on LivingInBelgrade.com, in Belgrade Insight, Politika, and in his B92 VIP blog.
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