Tuesday, August 4, 2009

High Seas

It was a particularly malicious wave, that wave which knocked me on my ass felled me these three years ago, not because it was so strong (which it was) but because I believe somehow that it knew and therefore delighted in the knowledge that I'd be feeling the aftermath of that ass-skid across the floor of the Mediterranean for the next few days. Certainly, back in the bathtub of our hotel room that night, I would gladly have sold my soul to the devil (and had I not already had, I surely would have) to lay my hands on an industrial vacuum cleaner outfitted with a crevice tool to clean the sea's detritus out from my - well - crevice.

And by the time I finished showering, there were enough pebbles and sand and grit and bits of vegetation and crustacean shells to build a brand new water formation.

Nor did I get everything "out" that first night. Nor did the welts and bruising
and torn flesh along my thighs and buttocks dissipate much that first week.

And why
am I boring telling you all this? Because last Sunday night, as I found myself again wishing that I could lay my hands on an industrial vacuum cleaner outfitted with a crevice tool (and regretting having already sold my soul to the devil), my thoughts hearkened back to that fateful Escape-from-Ramadan holiday Mr. This Cat's (Not) Abroad and I took to the south of Spain. Only this time, the problem wasn't my crevice - or rather lack of a crevice tool - but my feet.

In fact, I hadn't even gone swimming on Sunday. My fateful mistake it seems, was making the rather foolish decision to walk barefoot along the beach of the Black Sea. And the price I paid for my lunacy: cement feet.

I have exhausted the internet (not really - in fact, not even close) trying to learn if the Black Sea - that inland sea bound by Europe and Asia - or more accurately, its sand, has some sort of unique chemical property which, when it comes in contact with skin, sticks to it like glue. Consider the photo (above right) taken just a few moments after extricating my dry feet from the dry sand. Conversely, consider the photo (top left) taken many many moments after (but before my excruciating ass-skid across the floor of the Med) extricating my very wet feet from the dry sand.

See the difference? Do you see cement feet in front of a gorgeous Mediterranean backdrop? No you do not.

Not only that, but by the time I got home on Sunday, so much sand had adhered to my body - I had this awful glue-sand everywhere - th
at I could have joined a circus as The Amazing Sandcastle Lady. Tack on a bit of seaweed and I could have been The Amazing Bearded Sandcastle Lady.

Dear Reader Readers, that freaking sand just would not come off. I washed, I loofah-ed, I scrubbed - finally I had to use a pumice stone to scrape away at the sand
. And by the time I finished - for in the battle of porous volcanic rock and insidious Black Sea sand, the former was the victor (but just barely), there were enough pebbles and sand and grit and bits of vegetation and crustacean shells to build a brand new water formation.

Quite frankly, I don't really care if the Black Sea is a favourite resort spot for vacat
ioning Turks. I don't think I want to go back unless I'm wearing a HazMat suit or I'm ensconced in a plastic bubble. Cleaning up afterwards isn't worth it and I swear I'm now itchy all the time.

Looking back on these two seemingly unrelated visits to the seaside, I am struck by one glaring similarity: both happened on the eve of Ramadan. If I were a betting
Amazing Bearded Sandcastle lady, I'd say that someone sometimes known as Great and Compassionate and Merciful had had a hand in this. So much for being Compassionate and Merciful - I call that being just plain mean.


Snowflake said...

Are those actual pictures of your feet? How did Mr. This Cat's (Not) Abroad's feet make it? Did the sand cure the smell???

This Cat's Abroad said...

Indeedy those are my feet. Although I hate having my photo taken, photos of my feet are just tickity-boo. The first photo (@ the Med) was taken at Nerja in '2006. This week, Mr. This Cat's (Not) Abroad was just as plastered with the cement sand as I was.

His feet still smell but he says it's his Teevas. Sure.

Mr. Cat said...

It is the Tevas!! Honest!

Anonymous said...

That tale is more proof that Spain has the best of everything.
Even beach-bees.

This Cat's Abroad said...

Even the Spanish bees were considerate. If memory serves, it didn't sting me, rather I stepped on it.