Costa Del Packet!!

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Costa Del Packet. We received some good feedback for our last Blog, featuring Joe Blogger, who has since returned from holiday and dashed off his latest contribution.

Please remember that his views do not, in any way reflect the views held by Tristar Driving and his contributions are his own opinions, based on his daily observations of life and his experiences within the driving instructor profession.


Well, after ten days on the Costa–bloody-fortune, it’s great to be back here in England – just in time to see the back of Wimbledon, the punnets of strawberries and the glasses of Pimms.

The flight home to East Midlands Airport was reminiscent of a world war two bomber raid, then dodging the flack on the way home; buffeting? At one point I thought we’d lost an engine – then the guy next to me lost his breakfast – halcyon days!


I must say the thought of spending 10 days abroad had not, initially, filled me with expectant joy but on reaching our hotel, I was tempted to fall to my knees – either from trauma or a desire to thank The Almighty for surviving the taxi ride from the airport.

Carlos, our “driver” spoke a little English like – David Beckham, Man United and where my bloody tip, tight-fist ****hole!

It wasn’t just the intense speed with which he negotiated the narrow country lanes, which were comparable to a thawed-out Cresta Run but his tendency to turn around to speak to us or search for his latest CD, whilst attempting to light another Panatela.

My wife was speechless – so not an entirely wasted journey – and she sat with her medusa-like stare burning into the back of his neck.

-What you do for job in England? – he asked whilst replacing his bottle of San Miguel into the door pocket.

I explained that, up until a couple of years ago I had been a driving instructor but had since retired.

Now in England this revelation had usually prompted comments like “have you noticed I don’t cross my hands” or “don’t watch me then – you’ll make me nervous.”

However, this er….I’ll use the term ‘driver’ immediately launched into one-handed steering, steering with his knees whilst playing air guitar or taking tight corners almost on two wheels.

-You come to Spain – you see skill eh meester?- he asked whilst laughing at us via his rear-view mirror, which was deliberately angled towards us and not the road behind.

I think he mistook my numbed expression as being one of silent admiration, whilst in reality I was fighting the urge to dive out at the next traffic lights.

My wife had suggested that we arrange ‘data roaming’ on my mobile which, she insisted, was ok unless I had it welded to my right ear, as was the case during my instructing career.

As we sat in the English bar awaiting our full English breakfast – (just like in UK –enjoy!!), reading our English newspaper, the mobile buzzed aggressively in my shirt pocket.

A text apparently – “Can you recommend a good instructor for my son Bobby – he’s 17 in eight months’ time but hasn’t got his provisional yet (No?) – looking for a deal with first lesson free”

Why oh why has it all come down to cheapness? FIRST LESSON FREE!! FREE THEORY TEST etc?

It used to be the case that Instructors were recommended on merit, by people who realised how the skilled and highly-trained individual had changed Johnny’s or Debbie’s life – they used to say, ‘you never forget your driving instructor,’ yet now it seems it’s regarded as more important to get a youngster through his or her test as quickly and as cheaply as possible; though I’m glad to say there are instructors out there who resist the temptation to lower prices to rock bottom – preferring to charge a realistic rate for passing on life skills.

Fortunately, we survived our Costa adventure, though ‘ordeal’ may be a more adequate description.

The drivers out there are mad – seeming oblivious of traffic laws and speed limits – our taxi driver (yes we got Carlos again) mistakenly assumed he was Clark Kent and therefore could only be killed by Kryptonite!

My wife remarked on how nice it was to be back in England, as we crawled along the M1 and on what o good idea it had been to get the “data roaming” on the mobile.

Perhaps I would switch it back on later – much later.

Joe Blogger’s views do not, in any way reflect the views held by Tristar Driving and his contributions are his own opinions.

Costa Del Packet!!

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