Sunday, August 19, 2007

How do you spot a genuine Jerseyman?

My considered answer to this question - having just spent a week in the Channel Islands - is that you don't spot a Jerseyman. He spots you. A mile off.

He then charges you £14 to ride a bike down a promenade for an hour or £18 to park a car while you go on a day trip to France.

Don't get me wrong. It's a nice island with some very beautiful beaches and a fascinating history. But it's not as cheap as Aya Napa. Somehow or other, I always end up going to places on holiday that I can't really afford. That's Mrs W for you. She favours Switzerland as a general rule (see blogs passim) but has a sideline in tax havens and Crown Peculiars.

The Mrs really pushed her luck this time though. On a day trip to Brittany, she knocked a whole load of china off a shelf in a shop in St Malo. I was forced to shell out 43 euros on one of the most hideous china tea sets I've seen in a long time. L'ebay beckons. We have a sneaking suspicion that the miserable proprietor of this knickknack emporium had balanced things on the shelves in such a way as to make an accident likely. There was some wobbly wooden ornament that generated a cascade similar to those that you get in a money-toppling machine on an English pier. Only this time, the jackpot was claimed by the owner.

"C'est la vie, n'est pas?" I quipped as I coughed up on my Mastercard. The little sod just gave me a textbook Gallic shrug.

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