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Bathing abroad

You've thrown the entire contents of your wardrobe into the dusty suitcase you've pulled down from the attic, knowing full well you won't wear half of what's in there. You haven't brought an adapter; you'll get one in the airport. It's early; all you need is your passport, boarding pass and a smile. You should have left more time to get to the airport, and for some unknown reason you haven't put your toiletries into tiny re-sealable plastic bags. But you couldn't care less. You have bigger fish to fry, exotic baths to try.

Whether it's the hills of Northern Italy or sandy white beaches of the Caribbean there are infinite bathing opportunities once you have departed Her Majesty's Airspace (wow, the Queen is lucky, I would love to have my own airspace). Emerging from a stuffy, noisy cabin in to the sweltering heat of the place you have spent the last month at work looking at on Google images is, in my experience, anticlimactic. The hot and hazy tarmac glues your clothes to your exhausted body. You are then crammed in to the world's worst invention – the airport bus. Having just clambered out of an airliner, one of the finest pieces of engineering in modern human history, it is nothing short of morally disastrous to force passengers aboard a bus as cramped and dated as a very small, very warm, raisin. This is not the start of your holiday. This is the beginning of the end of the stressful life you came to escape. Baggage claimed, security checked and more exhausted than a Galapagos tortoise post-childbirth (they can have up to 1360 babies in their lifetime!), you set off, telling the taxi driver in what to your ears is perfect Spanish, the direction in which you must be propelled in order to regain your sanity for the next ten days.

Your out-of-office reply is set up, your data roaming turned off and you're ready to engulf the ambience and luxury of your holiday destination (until you find free Wi-Fi and have to check Twitter just in case Justin Bieber has indigestion or a splinter). The mini shampoos and tiny grooming packets await larceny, your book seems more interesting than ever and the pool sits patiently, bracing itself for the impact of your canon ball of delight. Meanwhile your other half looks on with what you can only hope isn't regret in her eyes. The holiday has begun.

Bathing, for a reason that can be explained only as extra-terrestrial, is far more enjoyable abroad. Splash as much as you please. Sling your towels across the room in ecstasy. Leave the seat up, the door wide open and your clothes in an untidy heap on the floor. Your only troubling apprehension today need be the unlikely possibility that you will cross paths with an irate hotel cleaner the following morning.  What's more, you might find yourself with a more exotic tub than normal: some jazzy tiles, a European style tap that you're not used to, or maybe even a whirlpool bath. The worst thing a hotel can ever do is give me an average tub which I can't even straighten my own legs in.

Tip: justify the guilt you feel at making someone clear up your mess by checking how much they've charged you for the 10cl of wine you didn't even have from the mini bar.

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