DBTG who… asks about my skiing holiday

Some people aren’t going to get this.

I don’t mean to be rude.  I’m glad that you’re taking an interest, and trying to engage me in conversation.  Thank you for filling the silences that take hold whenever I find myself stuck in a lift with someone.  But please, let’s not have this discussion AGAIN.

British people love skiing holidays.  It is not a sport restricted only to British people, or even one that they are any good at, but it certainly seems to suit them best of all.  Where else could we go to spend the day in a state of serious discomfort, as frostbite permeates our extremities and our feet are wedged into a pair of poorly-fitting boots for 6 hours a day, causing muscle spasms in our lower back? Where else can engage in our national past-time (queuing) while waiting for a lift, get inexplicably badly sunburnt, and then spend the evening getting riotously drunk?  These are all states of being that British people not only endure, but actively seek out.  And above all else, it is perfect fuel for our favoured topic of conversation: The Weather (hint: it’s snowing).

I went skiing recently (did I mention that?).  I did all the above, apart from getting particularly drunk.  However, while everything about the holiday was great, the week before (and so far the week after) was dreadful.  I have had the exact same conversation about 1,000 times, and have repeated it several times with certain people.  It appears that when you find out someone is going skiing, you MUST ask the following question:


“Where are you going?”


If the skier doesn’t immediately play ball, and coyly replies “France,” or somewhere else large and vague, you need to nail him down:


“Which resort?”


At this point, you will have a decision to make.  You can either pretend to have heard of “Le Vallee des chiens”, or admit defeat.  This decision will be made primarily on whether you read about Prince Charles having skied there once.  You don’t actually like Prince Charles, but god damn, the man knows skiing. 

If you think you know the name, you must say “Oh, I’ve heard it’s good there,” which you haven’t actually heard, but this makes people think you know Prince Charles, which is a big deal.  Otherwise, you must ask “is it good there?”  And I will politely tell you it is, and either way the conversation will grind to an awkward halt.

The problem here is a weird one.  Why does everyone follow this line of questioning (and believe me, they always do)?  It doesn’t lead anywhere (because you invariably don’t know anything about the place I’m going), and it’s oddly specific.  No one has asked the name of the hotel I stayed in when I went to Egypt in 2011, because they didn’t care.  But as soon as I mention skis, the rules change somehow? 

Please don’t be that guy, let’s talk about something else.  You have avoided the pratfall that is a weather conversation, but please, be a bit more inventive.  Or just be quiet, that would be fine too. 

This will be the last post about skiing, I promise (for a while at least).


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