The man who knows no foreign language, knows nothing of his mother.


The summer holidays finally arrived, so Dave and I decided to go to the coast.

After my terrible experience in the mountains I decided to be better prepared this time and the first thing I did was buy the special protective sun cream they make ONLY for we English... protection level number 326.

Dave, who already knew the coast in Italy, gave me some important advice.

John, you must prepare your skin a little, you’re too white. Go to the ‘solarium’ and get a little browner.”

I liked this advice, so I visited the ‘solarium.’

“I’ll start with my face,” I said to the lady there.

The lamp was programmed for 10 minutes at minimum power and the ventilator on maximum, but after two minutes of agony and suffocation I was already spraying my face a lot with the bottle of water. “No, John!” I said to myself, “you’re here now, you must resist!” After thirty minutes I was back home. “Hello Dave, what a good idea you had!”

Dave looked shocked. “Who are you?” he asked. “You look like a talking tomato!”

I looked into the mirror and saw Gabibbo looking back at me.

When we finally arrived at the beach I immediately undressed and walked on the nice soft sand.

Everybody was looking at me and pointing.

Ok, my body was very white and my face was very red, but I didn’t think I was so shocking.

“My God, you look like a matchstick!” Dave said.

Ignoring Dave and all the curious people, I started to walk towards the sea and after just a few steps I saw that a group of children were following me pointing their fingers and talking excitedly.

This made me nervous.

“Why are you so red?” a little boy asked.

“Go away!” was my answer.

"Are you a monster?” he continued.

I started to lose my patience. “Why are you here?!” I asked.

“I’m on holiday,” the little boy said.

“Holiday?!” I shouted. “You have never worked a single day in your life!!! Why do you think you deserve a holiday?! A holiday from what?!”

Little boy didn’t answer but he did cry All the children looked at me afraid. They whispered to each other but I could hear them. “Why is the matchstick monster shouting at us?”, “Why doesn’t Daddy kill it?”

I finally went into the sea... up to my stomach, then my shoulders... I saw that a group of people were watching me from the beach... all waiting to see if my face made a ‘psssss!’ sound when the water reached it.

Then, back on the beach something magical happened.

I was lying under the sun when an African vendor stopped near us. There I was, a towel covering my feet and legs, another towel covering my stomach and chest, sun block on my nose and ears, sunglasses and a big white hat on my head.

“English?” the vendor asked.

“HOW DID you KNOW THAT?!” I asked incredulously. “Do I know you?!” I promise you, dear friends, I did not know that man and he did not know me. It remains a mystery.

The next day the sun was strong outside but in the hotel room it was snowing... from my face!!!

My skin had died and left my head, leaving big white marks on my face... How beautiful I was!

For the rest of the holiday I stayed in the hotel room afraid to go out into the sun.

And all I did was watch TV and drink beer in the hotel room. So apart from the first day it was the perfect holiday!


Where did John and Dave decide to go?

What did John buy?

How long was the lamp programmed for?

Was the lamp on minimum or maximum power?

When John looked into the mirror, who did he see?

Who asked John why he was so red?

Were the children afraid?

Where was the vendor from?

What colour was the hat on John’s head?

Did the vendor know John?

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