If God existed, why would he design my white sensitive skin, incapable of tolerating any direct sunlight? Every time I walk along the hot Valencian streets my burning body sends a message to my brain: «Find a cold, dark Irish pub! Quick! This is dangerous! You are a helpless, feeble, pale guiri and your body is not designed for temperatures above 15°! Just hide and drink beer.»

My skin is right; I am not designed for this. It’s not fair that Valencian people are so well adapted to the heat. They don’t sweat, they don’t burn, they don’t complain. They just enjoy the heat, remain dry and go brown. I’ve never seen anyone here use sun-cream or even drink water. This leads me to a conspiracy theory: Valencians are aliens, born in the middle of the sun and they are all just here to cool down a bit.

In fact, I see people wearing jackets, coats and scarfs in 30° heat. Those who are dressed in summer clothing are usually holding a jacket, just in case the temperature drops down to an intolerably cold 29°.

Personally, I have a bit of a dilemma. I have the whitest legs in the world, and I want them to get some colour, but I am so embarrassed about how white my legs are that I’m afraid to wear shorts, so they will never go brown. Ideally, everybody would disappear for a month so I can take my clothes off and get a tan without suffering the embarrassment of being the whitest person in Valencia (amongst other embarrassments).

EXERCISE: Fill in the blanks or change the words

A Guiri in the Summer

Ah summer! A wonderful time for the residents of Spain to bask …….(1) the sunshine and go out for tapas every night! But for the pale-skinned guiri it is a time of enormous ……(2. frustrate). How do we survive when the sun comes beaming ……..(3) on our white, pasty bodies? Here are 4 rules of …….(4. Survive).

  1. Sun Tan Lotion!

…and lots of it! The …….(5. apply) of cream is essential to the guiri, we vigorously rub cream ……..(6) our skin! Every ten minutes we must coat ourselves with ……..(7) layer of cream until we are covered from tip to toe! Then we are ready for a day of sun ……(8. expose).

  1. Exceptional Sun Hats!

The travelling guiri loves nothing more ……..(9) walking through the centre of Valencia on a hot summer afternoon with some kind of extravagant hat. Usually ……..(10. company) by an ……..(11. Equal) outrageous pair of sunglasses. Now the guiri stands ……..(12) in the crowd! It is …….(13) hard to spot a guiri lost in the centre of Valencia!

  1. Shelter from the Sun!

The true British guiri enjoys ………(14) to their natural home while on vacation in Spain. The pub! This is a place they can truly relax and express themselves to the …….(15. Full). In these places they are able to use their ……(16. Know) of Spanish phrases like ‘una caña por favor!’ or ‘otra caña!’ Yes, beer is the best liquid to help soothe and protect the burnt lobster skin of the guiri.
……(17) being in the sun for only 10 minutes the guiri looks like Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. 

  1. After sun…

At night, the guiri returns to their hotel and looks at their …….(18. Reflect) in the mirror! “OH MY GOD!” It’s time for some ‘after sun’! This cooling lotion is applied all over by their partners as they scream ……(19) agony! Every touch on the skin feels ……(20) being stabbed with a knife! But the guiri loves the sun! So this is the price we ……(21) for achieving beautiful golden skin! In England, the sun never comes ……(22), so we all have to flock to Spain for the exceptional tapas, ……(23. Afford) beer, and that formidable sunshine! Thank you Spain! We love you!

  1. In
  2. Frustration
  3. Down
  4. Survival
  5. Application
  6. On/Over
  7. A/Another
  8. Exposure
  9. Than
  10. Accompanied
  11. Equally
  12. Out
  13. Not
  14. Going
  15. Fullest
  16. Knowledge
  17. After
  18. Reflection
  19. In
  20. Like
  21. Pay
  22. Out
  23. Affordable
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