Recently, I was having a chat with one of my younger cousins about the depressing slog that is now her life. She’s in sixth year, and the conversation centred on the usual woes – higher level maths, Sylvia Plath, and how shite the ‘sraith pictiúrs’ are. Eventually, we got on to the good stuff like prospective college courses, the debs and, of course, the sixth year holiday. That was what I really wanted to get to. I couldn’t wait to pass on the same sage advice that had been passed on through our family for generations (sort of) about how to survive the piss-soaked paradise that is Magaluf. And so, before I launched into the finer details, like where to find the best kebab place on the strip (something that tastes equally okay coming up as going down is what you’re looking for), I thought I better actually ask her first where she was thinking of going, just in case she’d decided to go to Ponsa. I was prepared for that.
As it turns out, I was not prepared for what was to come next. As soon as the words came out of her mouth, I felt the same unmistakeable dread and horror that my mother had felt when I’d told her that I was going to Maga. My little cousin is going interrailing.
Following the dread, I immediately felt pity for her. Oh, all of the wonders that she is going to miss out on. A myriad of different European countries, the chance to meet other international travellers and memories that will last a lifetime? I’ll take what is essentially Cork on a sunny Spanish island, creepy English lads and nights where the only thing you remember is that last jaëgerbomb you got off an exploited little person in Coco Bongos, thanks.
I know, it sounds bad, but I mean this sincerely: Magaluf is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When else are you going to be able to go on such a beautifully shameful banger after a year of horrendously hard work? When else are going to be able to get sick off the side the boat that they actually used in The Inbetweeners Movie? Magaluf is a cultural melting pot: French, Italian, heroin addicts, Scots – all together in a true utopia. A place where there’s so much love, there’s always someone willing to get your name tattooed on their arse.
Sixth years, I know interrailing sounds like the more appealing choice; I know you want the hip instagrams and the stories of swimming in Lake Bled with some Czech guys under the moonlight. I know smoking along a canal in Amsterdam with all your friends sounds cool, but if you didn’t get your weed off of a lucky, lucky man and it doesn’t smell like deodorant, is it really your 6th year holiday?
Sixth years, sit yourselves down. Get to BCM, down a shoulder of Rushkinoff, shift some Scottish lads at a Tinie Tempah concert, and enjoy yourselves. The trains can wait.