My White Plastic Chair by Phrank Phraser.
I should be feeling guilty. I really should be hanging my sunburnt head in shame and pleading for forgiveness for having idled away so much precious time doing nothing. But strangely I’m not. And what’s more I don’t care.
You see, it was my first trip to the beautiful volcanic island of Fuerteventura, proudly boasting miles upon miles of fine, white sandy beaches. An island where the 30,000 inhabitants are outnumbered by twice as many goats (here a kid’s meal may not be quite what you imagined).
I started off with good intentions – honestly I did. As we left the airport by coach and continued northwards up the eastern coastline towards Corralejo, I marvelled at the weird martian-like landscape.
Occasionally our courier would put us in the picture. To our right an eerie extinct volcano (are volcanoes ever really extinct?) loomed menacingly in the dusky half-light looking old and tired, solidified lava streams meandering down its slope as if they’d set in an instant.
As darkness fell, the majestic Corralejo Dunes kissed magically by moonlight stretched far into the distance on either side of the road and were a compelling sight as we neared the resort.
As I stepped off the coach and grabbed a satisfying lung-full of Fuerteventuran air, I knew at once that I was ready for the experience of a lifetime. Yes, tomorrow would be the beginning of an exciting new adventure.
But then I met my white plastic chair.
It was amazing, it really was, the way we hit it off straightaway. Located outside on the airy terrace within the hotel complex, where cooling drinks could be sipped leisurely and meals taken quietly in the hot sub-tropical sun, I lazed there all day long. Could this really be January?
I ate an enormous breakfast and then later a light lunch with wine after which I enjoyed several refreshing beers which took us well into the afternoon.
Then after briefly returning to my room to shower and change, I met up with my white plastic chair for dinner.
This routine was repeated day after day, night after night throughout my stay. I’d wile away the hours studying the giant dragonflies as they hovered gently in droves over the pool. I’d watch contentedly as the swaying palms pre-warned me of the refreshing breeze soon to lap over my sun-drenched face. I’d watch the splendid peacock as it poked around the lush lawns for scraps of food left lovingly by holidaymakers.
But then it all came to an end.
And when on that last sad day as I bid my holiday farewell, I turned around and gazed one last time at my white plastic chair.
I almost went back, you know. For a fleeting moment I was almost drawn back for one last little sit before we left. But the coach was waiting.
So I turned and I walked away under the sweltering sun, pulling my case behind me, and I never looked back again.
And now that I’m home and I look at the photos of me in my white plastic chair, I often wonder: who’s sitting there now?
Adios, Fuerteventura. Hasta luego.