Friday 21 September 2012


Well, as promised I am back from my holiday and ready to share. The only problem is, little did my husband and I know, there was more to our island market research trip than first presented. And due to that fact - and the NDA that I signed -  I can only share so much at this present time. Yes, I was sworn to secrecy, but let it be said that when I can talk about it, OH don’t you know that I will, in all its surreal and hysterical detail. But there is of course plenty to share about the holiday that will hopefully amuse and delight.

As reported last week, my husband and I ventured off to the island of Fuerteventura (part of the Canary Islands) as part of a market research study. We landed on this very arid and HOT island to quickly discover that our luggage did not land with us. I wasn’t sure which was worse, the fact that I had nothing to change into after having traveled since 5am that morning on two separate flights, or the fact that I ignored my husband’s suggestions the night prior that we should take a carry-on bag only. God I hate when he is right. He was kind and didn't rub it in too much.

Of course all the other couples taking part on this adventure brought carry-ons, so when we finally escaped the hell of baggage claim and Iberia customer service to come out to meet them, they were chipper as ever ready to the hit the island (they were Americans, so they were pretty chipper anyway :-). To make up for the fact that we had no luggage, the airline (a paragon of virtue and compassion) gave us two small cosmetic totes filled with useless things like shoe polish (um, for what shoes??? I was wearing flip-flops) a nail file, and a scented wipe to make up for the fact that I would be wearing the same dress for three days. But to their credit they did include a toothbrush and a hairbrush, and considering the humidity was making my hair look like Donna Summer with every passing minute, I was eternally grateful. Also within this little treasure trove was a lovely (that’s sarcasm) XL white T-shirt and a matching pair of white cotton boxer shorts – for lack of a better way to describe them. Okay fine, I was in 30 degree weather on a free holiday, I could make this work.

The woman who picked us up and claimed to be our tour guide (we’ll get to this in a later blog) alerted me to the fact that the hopping metropolis of Fuerteventura had a Zara, and I could take a taxi down there after we got settled at our hotel and find something to wear if in case our luggage was sent to Guam and was never to be seen again. [Can you imagine the look of glee on my face when I heard that piece of information? The Zara part, not Guam] Sadly, the look didn’t last long when I realized that fashion on Fuerte (let’s shorten it, shall we) is a tad different than the rest of the world. After deciding I was not in the mood to rock sequins, feathers, a T-shirt that said 'Ola Fuerteventura!' or winter wear (it was 30 degrees outside), we found a sports store where I managed to buy a tank top for 3 euro and a flimsy mustard yellow mini skirt that someone my age should NOT be wearing. But alas, I was on a gorgeous island, the sun was out, and it was either that or belt the pillow case back at the hotel. One can’t be picky in these circumstances.

Needless to say, by the time we did our first (filmed) interview for the client (whomever, ahem, that would be) I’m not sure what looked worse, my tired face, my eighties mini skirt the color of baby poo, or the piece of string that I ripped off a shopping bag and had tied in my hair around a makeshift bun. Get a load of that MacGyver, this chiquita is crafty!

So during our first interview (the parts I can tell you about) they start asking us about the hotel, describe our first impressions, what we would change etc. and they told us to be picky and discerning. They clearly have not met my husband. Once he gets started giving his opinion on things (and the man does have mild OCD remember, another reason why I love him so) the pace quickens like wildfire as he deconstructs the entire room like Martha Stewart on crack. At one point, as he is mentioning that the place could use a good clean, he makes the interviewer get down on the floor so she can get a good look at the dust underneath the TV table. She asked for discerning. But aside from the surface dust, the villa had it’s own roof terrace and pool, and not a toddler in site (but we missed you King oh so much!!), so who were we to complain - unless asked of course.

The next night and morning involved food (oh grilled squid, how do I love thee), more food, and a night of tossing and turning as me and my husband battled the one long intertube pillow that stretched across our bed (you know the kind when you put your head on it bounces off). So we decided to set off in search of the nicest beach on the island, and trust me this island had some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen: turquoise water where you can see the bottom for miles, white sand…and really dark rubinesque naked people all walking around like a bunch of proud peacocks. Oh, did I not mention that part? Yes, a lot of the beaches on the island welcome you to get your kit off and apparently there is no requirement that you look good doing so – thank god. I’ve been told I can’t mention if my husband went au naturel (he's English after all) but I will confess that I happily did, and got so used to it I almost suggested we just spend the rest of the holiday on the beach. I mean, we had no luggage, no bathing suits, no nothing…a nudist beach was just what the doctor ordered. And don't you know I had serious Blue Lagoon flashbacks as I swam through the water pretending I was Brooke Shields - okay I'm about 10 inches shorter and would look crap in Calvin Klein jeans.

When we got back to the hotel we had our second interview; my husband decided to wash the only pair of shorts that he had in the sink fifteen minutes before the interview started thinking that they would dry outside in time. Um, not so much. So he was relegated to wearing the Iberia see-through cotton hot shorts with a lovely sweater he bought at the airport. Oh oh oh the laughter. To be honest, I wasn’t looking much better as I was back in my Danceteria outfit from the sports store and was trying to get my unruly hair to behave after being exposed to the elements.

At this point, that’s about as much as I can tell you. But trust me, the rest is worth the wait. OH so worth the wait.

Happy Friday. 
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