Chapter 5 - My holiday horror story

My Holiday Horror Story

Language level: pre-intermediate


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The summer holidays finally arrived and so Dave and I decided to go to the seaside. 
After my terrible experience in the mountains, I decided to be better prepared this time and the first thing I did was buy the special protective sun cream they make only for the English: protection level 326.

Preparation

Dave, who had already been to the seaside in Italy, gave me some important advice:
 “John, you must prepare your skin a little, you’re too white. Go to the ‘solarium’ and get a little browner.”
 I liked this advice and so visited my local “solarium.” 
“I’ll start with my face,” I said to the lady there.
 The lamp was programmed for 10 minutes at minimum power and the ventilator on maximum, but after 2 minutes of agony and suffocation, I was already spraying my face crazily with the bottle of water.

“No, John!” I said to myself, “you’re here now, you must resist!” 
After 30 minutes I was back home. “Hello, Dave, what a good idea you had!”  Dave looked shocked: “Who are you?” he asked “you look like a talking tomato!”
I looked into the mirror and saw “Gabibbo” looking back at me.

At the beach

When we finally arrived at the beach I immediately got changed and walked on the nice soft sand. 
Everybody was looking at me and pointing.

OK, so my body was very white and my face was very red, but I didn’t think I was so shocking.
“My God, you look like a matchstick!” Dave said.
 Ignoring Dave and the curious people, I started to walk towards the sea and, after just a few steps, I saw that a group of children were following me pointing their fingers and talking excitedly.

This made me very nervous.
“Why are you so red?” a little boy asked.
“Go away!” was my reply.
 “Are you a monster?” he continued.
 I started to lose my patience: “Why are you here?” I asked.
 “I’m on holiday” the little boy said.
 “Holiday?” I shouted “you have never worked a single day in your life! Why do you think you deserve a holiday? A holiday from what?” 
The little boy didn’t answer, but he did cry.
All the children seemed scared. They talked quietly, but I could hear them.

“Why is the matchstick monster shouting at us? Why doesn’t Daddy kill it?” 
I finally went into the sea up to my stomach, then my shoulders... and I saw that a group of people were watching me from the beach... all waiting to see if my face made a ‘psssss!’ sound when the water reached it.

A new friend

Then, back on the beach, something magical happened.

I was lying under the sun when an African vendor stopped near us. 
There I was, a towel covering my feet and legs, another towel covering my stomach and chest, sun block on my nose and ears, sunglasses and a big white hat on my head.
 “English?” the vendor asked... ”How did you know that?”... I asked incredulously. “Do I know you?”

I promise you, dear friends, I did not know that man and he did not know me. It remains a mystery.
 The next day the sun was strong outside, but in the hotel room it was snowing... from my face!
 My skin had died and left my head, leaving big white marks on my face... How beautiful I was!
 For the rest of the holiday I stayed in the hotel room. I was too afraid to go out into the sun.
 All I did was watch TV and drink beer in the hotel room.

So, apart from the first day, it was the perfect holiday!


Glossary

skin - pelle
power - potenza
matchstick - fiammifero
scared - spaventati
chest - petto
sun block - crema solare a schermo totale


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