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This is a question Family Holidays

Back in the 80s when my Dad got made redundant (hello Dad!), he spent all the redundancy money on one of those big motor caravans.

Us kids loved it, apart from when my sister threw up on my sleeping bag, but looking back I'm not so sure my mum did. There was a certain tension every time the big van was even mentioned, let alone driven around France for weeks on end with her still having to cook and do all the washing.

What went wrong, what went right, and how did you survive the shame of having your family with you as a teenager?

(, Thu 2 Aug 2007, 14:33)
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Socialist paradise
When I was 12 and my brother was 17, my parents booked us all onto a package tour of the Soviet Union. This was 1983, very pre-glasnost, organised tours only kind of thing. Highlight included:

* Our first breakfast at the Moscow hotel consisted of a tomato on a plate. No garnish or anything, just a tomato. I was a fussy enough eater at the best of times, and wouldn't touch it. In fact, I ended up skipping a lot of meals and had to live on ice cream instead. This was plain, flavourless Soviet ice cream, but at least it was tasteless rather than vile.

* We were warned not to drink the water in Leningrad as it was unfit for human consumption.

* The hotel in Odessa was about 12 storeys high and the lift only worked long enough for you to get stuck in it. The sponge cake they served us after every meal got staler every day. On out final night there the staff served us a "special" cake, which was exactly the same (now 4 days old) with cream on top (well, something white anyway).

* Some of our fellow tourists bought fruit from a roadside stall and had diarrhoea for days. The toilet next to the stall (and therefore used by the vendors) consisted of a hole in a slab of concrete. I suspect the two facts may not have been entirely unrelated.

To be fair, it was still quite a unique experience for a 12 year old, although everyone at school called me a commie for the next 5 years.
(, Thu 2 Aug 2007, 18:09, Reply)

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