So we are at a Club Med this week celebrating Mum’s 80th. Club Med was founded in 1950 and is Frencher than a Camembert-smothered Baguette wearing a Beret smoking a Gitanes at a Cafe with all the chairs facing outwards onto the street.
But I digress. These family-oriented holiday destinations are all-inclusive so you pay upfront for everything and then spend the holiday never having to pay for anything.
The food is endless and mostly French (even if you’re in an Italian, Portuguese or Japanese property) which means it’s a festival of empty white carbs.
Because (1) the moment of payment and the experience of the holiday is so far removed from one another and (2) the food and booze are ever-present, there is a misfiring in the brain that suggests “By God, this is all free, I must eat and drink everything in sight, for 7 days straight”. It must have something to do with the reptilian part of the brain that remembers a time when hunting and gathering were a chore so if food is available, we just pin the ears back, strap on the feed bag and go.
The layout also conspires against human nature. As you walk in to dinner there are mountains of cheeses on the left and desserts on the right. Every day there is a cacophony in the head with Will Power saying “don’t do it” while Holidaying Me says “screw it, you only live once”.
It reminds me of the famous soup experiment that revealed just how bad we are at knowing when we are full. We have no idea when enough is enough. Which is beguiling as our fellow French holiday-makers are impossibly thin. I think that goes back to the Gitanes.