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  • Submitted by: Danny, United Kingdom
  • Submission Date: 11th Jun 2006

This is my second instalment of travels and continues the story of my brother and myself, my brother had just finished with his college course in London and I was in the second year of a two year course living in student digs near Tooting Broadway.
He came to me after having just finished with his girlfriend, my term was due to end for the Christmas recess and he slept on my floor for the night, the next morning he suggested in going to Spain for the holidays in place of going back to my parents, I told him that I couldn’t afford it as I only had about £75 to my name [typical student] he said not to worry and he would help out if it were needed [he had about £300].
I agreed to this and over the next few days we booked the flight, we decided to go to Alicante again because of the good memories there and hoped to bump into our old friends.
We arrived about the 17 of December and the first thing we did was to book up a room in one of the many dilapidated one star pensions, this was run by an elderly couple who seemed to blend in with the building.
We gave them some cash as a deposit and noticed that they didn’t ask for any id or passports maybe undeclared?
The next few nights were the usual, cheap beer, walking around looking for excitement and sleeping/brushing up our rusty Spanish
During this time we got bored, mainly due to lack of money and we couldn’t go out a lot my brother was lying on his bed and noticed one of the small, white hand-painted cupboards was unlocked, on closer inspection it was found to contain an old wall projector and some cine film, we set it up and 'lo and behold' an old homemade blue film! After a little while of viewing we distinctly recognised the 'performer' it was a very young looking proprietor of the pension and what looked like his wife swinging on a wagon wheel lampshade!
On Christmas day we decide to attend a mass at the local catholic church [we were brought up Catholics but have since lapsed] this was a lovely experience and it felt 'more spiritual’ than an English church, maybe something to do with the old ladies dressed in sombre black with chic looking fans waving in the silence, the church was packed to the hilt and as I have noted in other countries this wasn’t only because it was Christmas day.
I remember on that day we had only eaten banana sandwiches again because of lack of funds
The next day the situation was getting beyond a joke we were starving hungry and ate what meagre supplies we had left, we both ventured into a local supermarket both took a trolley and I put a few foodstuffs in it, as in a lot of small supermarkets in Spain they seem to have a skeleton staff during the siesta and combined with my then rumbling of my stomach and opportunity to steal I took a handful of meat off the 'deli' counter and went to put it in my trolley but instead kept it in my hand and walked down the adjacent aisle whilst doing this I proceeded to bite great chunks out of it.
With this going unnoticed my brother followed suit and after a time we had had our fill, bought the few things we had in our trolley and left the store
This had seemed a surreal setting, two customers both English scoffing food as quickly as possible we had a laugh about it afterwards but at the time I was thinking of the 'midnight run' film.
We also met up with our old friends and they invited us to their place for an authentic Paella and Gazpacho soup but they had changed slightly and seemed more 'cool'.
Well, when it came time to get the flight home we realised with horror that we didn’t have enough money to pay the proprietor, we hatched a plan, that evening we went out at 8pm as usual, we had packed all our belongings previously, we knew they had two Pekinese dogs that slept by the outside door
We came back around 1am and headed as if to go to bed, no sound was heard so we quickly put on our rucksacks and did moonlight flit past the dogs, they made a slight growling noise but we didn’t awake them
We walked for what seemed like an eternity and headed for the airport expecting at any minute a police car come racing up beside us, sirens blaring but it didn’t happen and we made it safely to the airport and on the plane.
I felt a mixture of emotions, guilt, relief and exhilaration that we hadn’t been caught also glad that he didn’t have our passport details
Through this travelogue I would like to make a tardy apology-lo siento a muchas gracias, hasta la vista baby.

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