"Did you have a nice time on the journey with your friends? "I ask
"Oh stop sounding so homosexual about it. Soooo gay. 'Did you have a nice time with your friends?' "she mimics in a smarmy mummy voice.
I continue: "Well how was it?"
"It was jokes. We had the two most liberal teachers come with us, they slept the whole journey but made sure they were in another carriage. In our carriage you could see how annoyed all the adults were. I swear every time my friend laughed I could see this guy sighing. She's got a really loud laugh.
"and Hastings? What did you think of it?" I asked.
"It's a shit hole. Nothing there, just some shops and the sea. We spent our whole time in Macdonalds then bought some beers for the journey back"
"Did you manage to ask the questions for your coursework?"
She'd spent days preparing a questionnaire. They were supposed to ask tourists what brought them there, where they stayed, what they did. I said she should ask whether tourists would appreciate a home restaurant in Hastings.
"No way!" she said, staring at me with incredulity
"NO way"she repeated just in case I hadn't understood the first time.
"There were only residents, no tourists. And the couple of tourists we found when we asked 'could you spare 5 minutes to answer this questionnaire?' refused to talk to us"
I think about this. Of course, what tourist will visit Hastings in October? Really the teachers should have thought this through.
" It would have been better to do it in London, at least there are tourists here. But my teachers said it would be good for us to see another town. Hastings has got the highest suicide rate in Britain or something. The funniest bit was when someone's dog shit in the middle of the tourist office floor. When we went back a couple of hours later, they were still trying to clear it up"