I’m fortunate to be out in Cyprus at the minute. I say fortunate because, let’s face it, we’re all pretty skint right now. Our cars are worth as much as a melted chocolate bar, we’ll pay off our credit cards when we retire, we can’t sell our houses and no-one, anywhere, has any gold left to sell.
So I’m sat by the pool. Billy is in bed and we’re enjoying 30 minutes before having to go on pool-patrol once more.
Cyprus is a strange place. It’s basically England, with the temperature whacked up to full. In the bars and restaurants you’ll find teenagers from London working for a few Euros, whilst on the street Polish workers hand out flyers. Everyone drives on the left, there’s British traffic-lights, double-yellow lines and satellite TV pretty much everywhere. Whilst not everything is to my taste there’s something for everyone if you’ve got a car to get around in. In Protoras, small Tavernas and local restaurants mix with bars and steak-houses, whilst in Ayia Napa there’s burger joints, nightclubs, pubs, fast-food and fast women.
Even the radio brings a taste of home. BFBS brings a slice of the UK to British Forces posted here and local English stations serve the holiday resorts. Today I found another one, named Bayrak International. It has to be, without doubt, the weirdest station I’ve ever listened to in my life. Imagine, if you will, the posh Radio 4 lady, or that lady that reads the 10 O’Clock News. Serious, monotone and with a touch of class. Now, imagine her on the radio out here in Cyprus. It’s as if the BBC Radio 4 lady is doing some work on the side whilst on holiday, but there’s a twist.
Here on Bayrak International she’s discussing the health implications of fatty food and she’s reading a long scientific study about the dangers of junk food. This is fair enough, and probably the sort of thing you’d expect from a “Talkie” station, but – for reasons best known to her – she stops every few minutes and introduces some rather hardcore chart music…
“Scientists in this study have found that it can increase heart disease and other problems in later life. I’ll continue to read this study after The Prodigy, with ‘Smack My Bitch Up’…”
..No, I’m serious. This is exactly what she said 10 minutes ago. Since then we’ve had this important health notice interspersed with the Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta and Fat Boy Slim.
It makes for the weirdest listening experience ever. Imagine if a nightclub operated in the same way. Banging tunes, not mixed together, but faded out slowly with the DJ telling the assembled crowd about the dangers of drink and drugs..
“That was Armand Van Helden there. Now, the research into binge drinking performed at Manchester University shows that constant alcohol abuse can lead to severe Liver damage and further complications. Also, in a seperate study that we’ll be looking at later, it’s revealed that alcohol can also cause memory loss and a trip or fall. Now for more music, this is Armand Van Helden”
It shouldn’t work, but for some reason I’m hooked to this station and, even weirder, all this info iabout fatty foods is filtering into my head.
I’m off for a salad…