Why don't people take their manners on holidays with them?
Why don't people take their manners on holidays with them? Alistair Brightman

When a seaside village turns into a nightmare

MY DECISION a decade ago to never again live in a place where other people like to take a holiday fell by the wayside three years ago; once again I was sucked in by a gentle seaside ambience when house-hunting in an area I had never before lived in. Note to self: Visit all potential housing locations during a peak time in order to see what you will have to endure most weekends, Easter and Christmas holidays.

Hordes arrive at 4pm on Friday and woe betide any local who attempts to visit family or friends after 10am on Sunday - the single access road becomes clogged by those vacating their Airbnb at the designated time, and entering the highway 20km away can take 90 minutes for the unwise.

Now, in theory, none of this should be a problem, am I right? We enjoy short queues at the local supermarket and the servo five days out of seven. But by golly, on weekends and during the Silly Season, all bets are off. It becomes a madhouse, and from what I can gather, it's because of one small thing.

Manners don't take holidays.

Visitors leave them at home, caring for the goldfish. They certainly aren't caring for Spot and Rover, because they are in the backyard next to mine howling up a storm because they're in a strange place and are left alone for eight hours while their owners sit in a café, on the beach, or go whale watching. Here's a hint for you folks who don't want to leave Fido in an expensive boarding kennel - dogs get very distressed when left in an unfamiliar yard.

This holiday is no exception, except an awful lot of the visitors have also found a source of cheap (illegal) fireworks. Most Saturday nights since Christmas we've had small explosions until the wee small hours; New Year's Eve was a nightmare. Somewhere online there must be a video of stupid people firing skyrockets horizontally down a street and by golly, it's gone viral.

The aforementioned supermarket resembles an out-take from a post-apocalyptic film most afternoons; there is nothing but a solitary limp lettuce leaf in the produce department, while I personally witnessed two women wrestling over the last daggy sliced sandwich loaf as though their children were starving in a garret. The over-crowded coffee van closes early because the owner is sick of copping abuse from caffeine addicts going through withdrawal.

It's a jungle out there.



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