Well folks, tonight's my last night on the White Isle, and I've got to admit I've got mixed feelings about going. On the one hand, pretty much everything's closed and everyone's gone home, so there's less than feck all to do out here now (not to mention the fact that I'll have nowhere to live come tomorrow night anyway!), but on the other hand I've now got to go back to London, sort out my shit, a job, some money, and somewhere to live. Scary stuff...
So I guess I ought to try and do a mini-recap of my time out here, just in case you missed anything or I forgot to mention what's been happening the first time around so, well, here's the last 2 1/2 months* in a nutshell...
* Well obviously there's been a necessary amount of censorship in my stories: for obvious reasons I can't tell you about the villa/topless dancers/baby oil/massage incident (but I swear it was NOTHING other than a massage!), the naked gigolo incident, meeting the very gay bouncer whose "Shagged Celebrity" count this season alone is on 21 (allegedly including a cast member from a well known gritty Northern comedy drama set in Manchester... ahem), the sheer number of strippers and dancers I've embarrassed myself in front of/drunkenly proposed to (honestly, it's not like I go looking for them!!), Room 101, and some of the other "standard" Ibiza activities which should be filed under the "what happens in Ibiza, stays in Ibiza" category. Anyway, I digress...
August 2nd: arrived in Ibiza with Steph, booked into a hotel for six nights. I'd left the UK telling my parents that I'd almost certianly be home within 6 days as I wouldn't be able to find a job or anywhere to stay - plan for the worst, hope for the best, etc. As you might'a been able to guess though, Steph and I both found ourselves jobs - her PRing for Clubland, and me working for a psychopathic Spanish photography chap, and found a pretty nice room with a heyowge balcony in central San An living next door to the Ship Inn with Nathan, Nick and Johnny. Ma and Pa were told I was staying out here, at least till the end of August, and I set out on a mission to find the cheapest food in San An to survive on.
After a week of working for my psycho boss I decided that my mental health was more important than scratching a living - I was acutely aware of the fact I was likely to end up involved in an Ibiza Sun front-page headline story beginning "Photographer Beats Boss To Death With Camera In Portrait vs Landscape Argument". Maybe. Soooo, I quit my job and spent the next week or two chilling out, bored out of my head. Around this time I had to pop back to the UK to play "Whose Laptop Is It Anyway?" with The Thin Blue Line, and managed to spend more in two days on travel and food than I had done in the previous two weeks in Ibiza. Still, it was definitely worth it thanks to a certain someone... :o)
Back in San An and after my week of skyving off work, I managed to blag a night taking photos for Ibiza Voice (http://www.ibiza-voice.com) at the DC10 Circoloco opening night. Very messy and great fun. Photos at http://greyhead.co.uk/photography in case you still haven't seen them!
Still technically jobless, a few days after Circoloco, housemate Nathan told me that the laughing gas munki working at his bar had quit the previous night, and would I like to give it a go? The job was 100% commission, so I wouldn't earn any money unless I could sell the gas, but regardless I went along for a trial night as I had nothing better to do, and fully expecting to hate every moment of the ordeal. Surprisingly though, I actually found the job quite enjoyable - although the boss was, to begin with, very scary - and think it's probably one of the best non-specialised jobs you can do in Ibiza, 'cos you're selling something that gives people an immediate laugh, and there's very little actual pressure once you've got your sales patter down to a tee. Not to mention all the people you get to chat to/be cheeky with, and the free drinks... Oh, and the money was good, too. Which is nice!
Steph and I also discovered the Shipwrecked boat party, a mainly-workers' sunrise boat party which left San An harbour at 6am on Wednesday mornings, and which was the scene of many of my most embarrassing moments. Well, it's got to be done, hasn't it? ;o)
Fast forward through many messy nights and lazy days and we get to the truly amazing workers' Shit Party, held at the Old Zoo near Ses Paisses (close to where I'm living at the moment). It's organised every year by the enigmatic Loco, and is a fancy dress-compulsory, workers-only event which raises money for the Spanish equivalent of the Samaritans. Want photos? http://greyhead.co.uk/photography Going next year? Join the Facebook Group and sign up to the Facebook Event!
I'll skip over the incident with the angry tourist/glass/my lip/lots of blood and pain, but if you heard about it when it happened a couple of weeks ago, I'm sure you'll be completely disinterested to know that my lip is now completely healed, there's only a tiny scar, and as a result my youthful good looks have returned (errm... maybe... ahem).
As a side note, if any of you caught the "Ibiza" series on Living TV this year, I don't think I'm libelling myself too much to point out that, while Sam was and is indeed a numpty of the highest order (just ask his housemates), there is little doubt in many people's minds that huge amounts of the controversial parts of the series were complete fabrications designed to boost ratings, causing a great deal of upset among the Ibiza workers population. More information and discussion here and here. Grr....
Fast forward a bit more and, as the end of the season drew close, the closing parties started to come round. I finished my laughing gas job at the end of September as the number of customers in the West End dropped to a fraction of their August numbers, and was all set to fly home on the 4th October after making it to a couple of great closing nights when my friend Kate suggested I cancel my flight home and stay at their villa a couple of miles out of San An in Ses Paisses for a couple of extra weeks, do the closing parties and generally chill the hell out. So, I accepted her offer - I mean, it'd be rude not to, really - and that's how come I'm still here in Ibiza now instead of freezing my bits off looking for a McJob back in the UK tonight.
The villa is very nice, living with seven other bods (and the world's coolest kitten called Bruce), comes with its own hammock, and is in a quiet enough area that I could actually sleep at night. I made it to almost every one of the closing parties, spent far too much of the money I'd saved from my laughing gas stint (oops, sorry!), and saw some of the craziest, weirdest, and most amazing nights on the planet. My favourite closing night has got to be Space's truly immense closing fiesta. Good times :o)
Yesterday was the last opportunity for a day out together for most of us in the villa, so five of us headed over to Atlantis, a beautiful natural sandstone feature on the coast in a very secluded part of the island just round the corner from Es Vedra, the third-most magnetic rock on the planet, and an outstandingly beautiful area. When I get the photos online you'll see that getting there - descending around 900 feet on a stony, sandy, extremely steep footpath (like, a 1 in 3 gradient) and then shimmying down a 50 foot sandstone cliff-face to get to Atlantis, was nothing compared to the challenge of climbing back up the incline to the car park a couple of miles away. Still, totally worth it...!
I also have a shedload of other photos to put online, including the day and night down at Cala Gracio, and our visit to the island's highest point (also yesterday), so I'll send a message out once they're online so you can take a look if you're interested.
I guess that pretty much wraps up the last couple of months, although I guess I could write volumes about what I've seen and done (but that would take most of the fun out of finding out for yourself what it's like out here!). Also, Ibiza is different for everyone who comes out here, and you really should try to "do" it at least once as a holiday - even just for a couple of days - if you possibly can.
Also, if you happen to be one of the bods I met in Ibiza and I didn't get to say goodbye to you, sorry! My last few days have been... well, interesting, and I haven't had a whole load of time to do anything apart from the running around I've been concentrating on. Stay in touch, and maybe I'll see you back out here/there next year (if it didn't scare you too much to meet me for the first time!) - who knows?
Anyway, that's pretty much all from me, so those of you who have found my updates depressingly boring can now breathe a sigh of relief, and I guess this means it's about time I buggered off to find a real McJob back in the UK. Yey!
... Well, assuming I don't miss another flight home, hee hee... ;o)
Hokay, last of all, a short list of Ibiza highs and lows, in no particular order.
Highlights: workers' parties, workers' guestlists, sunsets, friendly people, beautiful people, beautiful friendly people, making a new best friend in under 30 seconds at a superclub, great food, beautiful quaint old towns, Circoloco moving to Privilege?, finding out I'm not the complete social retard I thought I was (I won't explain further, but it's a huge thing for me :o), acquaintances who help you out when y're in need, and loads and loads and loads and loads of other things.
Lowlifes: the proliferation of crap drivers, drunken English lager louts, violent drunken English lager louts, "friends" who lie and/or steal, people who don't say thankyou, the funny smell in the streets of San An in the summer, the corner of Capone's bar which always smells suspiciously of sick, not having enough hours in the day, not having enough money in your wallet, "friends" who are only friends while you're getting them into clubs, DC10 closure (boo!), and just a couple of other things which really aren't that bad when you think about it :o)