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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 September, 2003, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK
Tales from Faliraki
REAL TIME
People's stories in their own words

The drunken exploits of young British tourists in the Greek holiday resort of Faliraki have been in the headlines this summer. Alex Macindoe, 21, from Rugby, Warwickshire, is just back from the infamous town and tells us exactly what's it like.

Thursday, 28 August
We got here at 4am local time. On the coach to the hotel, the reps talked to us about what's been going on, the stories in the papers and everything. One of them told the girls not to take off their bras. "If you feel like that," he said, "come round to my apartment instead."

By the pool
Fi, Vicky, Claire, Barny, Luke, Nick and me (back row, with sunglasses)
Even before the first day is over we're a man down. One of my mates, Russ, walked in to a bar in the evening holding two bottles of Smirnoff Ice, and tripped over. I don't know if he was drunk or what.

He went straight to hospital and had seven stitches below his lip, three in his wrist; four teeth had been knocked out; he'd broken his jaw. The holiday's over for him - he says he's going home on Saturday.

Earlier, the reps had split us into boys and girls for a 'hen and stag' night - all the lads go to one bar, the girls to another and then we meet up later.

So all the boys went to a hotel bar. We had three fishbowls, one filled with the cocktail Sex on the Beach, one with lager and one with Aftershock [a liqueur].

FALIRAKI IN THE HEADLINES
Faliraki, on the island of Rhodes, is a top destination for young British holidaymakers
UK tour operators have been accused of encouraging loutish behaviour
A recent crackdown by local police has led to three convictions against young Brits

Then we all got a straw and had to drink from each bowl for 10 seconds before moving to the next one. They gave us shot glasses and we did the same, going from one bowl to another. Then they gave us cups to finish it off.

After that, the reps got us to play drinking games. But it was just silly. We were falling over, so we went to a club.

The reps just disappeared at that point. They're trying to keep a very low profile around town, and are all in normal clothes rather than uniforms.

Friday, 29 August
The night started with a hotel pool party. The boys and girls divided into teams and we played silly games, each time the losers had to take a shot of Aftershock as a forfeit.

Alex Macindoe and friends
Alex, second right, with friends in the hotel pool
In one of the games, we had to line up, jump on an inflatable and swim to the other end of the pool to eat Pot Noodle off the tummy of a girl.

Later we went to the Bed Club, which was mad. They started pumping out loads of foam, until it was 3ft high, and we were picking people up and dragging them around. It was a brilliant. I got back to the hotel at 5am and went to the bar for two hours before bed.

Saturday, 30 August
Russ can't get a flight home. Since he came out of hospital, he's been on a diet of omelettes and yoghurt because he can't chew. But that didn't put him off coming out with the lads to a school disco night in Rhodes town. We came back to Faliraki later and went to a club, but it was an early night. We were back in the hotel bar by about 3am.

Sunday, 31 August
It's so hot in our bedroom I have to sleep on the balcony and the sun wakes me up about 8am. So I never get more than about two hours' sleep.

Swimming pool
View from our hotel balcony
The reps organised a pub crawl in Rhodes town. They've been banned in Faliraki in the last few weeks, because of the trouble. We were like a swarm - two or three coach-loads, going from bar to bar. You have a couple of bottles in each, like a Smirnoff Ice, and a free shot. We did about six or seven bars.

We were a bit hammered and a bit tired. I got to bed at 4.30am - the earliest night yet.

Monday, 1 September
Started the day with a slap-up breakfast, as usual. There's a McDonald's round the corner from the hotel, so we sometimes go there as well. We always get a kebab at night, on the way back to the hotel.

Barny and girlfriend
Barny finds real love on holiday. Can't separate them.
We did our own pub crawl; three to four bars in all; a couple of fishbowls in each one. It's the first time I've seen any police, they swung by to check things out but there was nothing going on.

I've not seen any trouble since I've been here. You read all this stuff in the papers and think it's going to be like a zoo. My family were really worried about me before I came out here. But it's relaxed. I've not seen anyone throw a punch. Maybe people are behaving themselves more.

After the pubs we did a club crawl and got back to the hotel at 3am. I'm running out of energy.

Tuesday, 2 September
On our last night here we all went out on a mad one. There were eight of us. We started in Ziggy's Bar with an 80 euro fishbowl, with almost a whole bottle of vodka in it, and polished it off in 20 minutes.

Me and Barny by the pool
Me and Barny by the pool
We're quite well known in some of the bars. We've got own Muppet T-shirts - I'm Gonzo - which we all wear. They get us noticed so we get free drinks now and again.

The first and the last nights have been our heaviest. We were well gone on both of them.

Wednesday, 3 September
We flew out this evening - well actually at about 4am on Thursday. I didn't have anything to drink as I've got to drive back from the airport in Birmingham

This has been the best holiday I've been on. I've had such a cracking time. And the locals have all been really nice to us. No one seems to mind us here. They're very hospitable.

But I don't think I'll come back. After all the bad publicity this year, I think Faliraki will be dead. Me and the lads will find somewhere else next summer. But before that, in November, the tour company have a big reunion at Butlins Skegness. I'll be there.


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