My criteria is simple, I abhor undue complexity, in anything:
- Sun – bar 1 nice week, we have had thunder, lightning, monsoon rain, and temperatures of 16 C for most of the summer in Oslo. It is like living in Wales
- Sea – actually, any body of water larger than a bath tub will suffice
- Value – given these economically challenging times, I demand value for my money.
I am in dream land, moist with excitement just listening to her. I enquire about the price. Upon hearing the daily cost, I break into a mild sweat. The daily run rate is what I wish to pay for the whole holiday.
I communicate the budget I have in mind. She suggests I buy back issues of National Geographic magazines, a SAD Lamp, and a blow up splash pool, and promptly hangs up.
I revert to my own research and consult the omnipotent internet with my criteria.
Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan top the list. 42 C is just what the doctor ordered to toast my gonads. Pools are plentiful, and the value is outstanding. And... I have just taken a Suicide Bomber Spotting course in the UK which could come in handy.
I consult my mates in the French Foreign Legion for some travel tips. They have important business in each of these territories thanks to outsourcing. They deliver a compelling offer. If I pick up a couple of days work, they’ll cover the whole cost of the holiday. Fantastic!
I have not considered a working holiday. A couple of days is doable. I enquire as to the sort of work they had in mind. Nothing strenuous, a village snatch raid, a kidnapping, or political extortion. Something that is manageable within office hours. I will be back at the hotel in the evenings for dinner with the Mrs.
I consult Mrs BB. She is adamant that I need a break and is not keen that I pick up any per diem. She knows I am wetting myself in anticipation of using my new training but suggests maybe next year and requests we focus on a destination a bit closer to home.
A desperate google yields an unexpected result.
Georgia. It is closer to Norway and is excellent value, hot in August, and on the Black Sea. It could be in play though I hear the place is overrun by Russian tourists this year. Russians can be unbearable on tour. They are loud, aggressive bullies who throw their money around trying to impress. This would spoil the ambiance of my holiday.
Back to the internet. Thankfully, I can get National Geographic back issues on their website.