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Words in the News: Mecca

07/11/20142 minute read


Mayo is mecca for tourist-watching

I have a penchant for good-looking men. (Aesthetically speaking, of course.) My particular interest is in tourists of a certain age who smoke the occasional Gitane, carry Le Monde or The New York Times and drink espressos outside cafes on sunny streets or expensive brandies in sumptuous lounges where the background music is jazz.

Such a shame they are always accompanied by lithe and sophisticated women whom – despite years of marriage and annual holidays way out here on the edge of Europe – they appear to still like.

The thing about tourists is they come and go, so you don’t have to get to know them warts and all. Although in a town like Westport, at the height of the summer season, it can get close-up and personal, particularly in traffic jams where your little banged-up bumper is schmoozing and canoodling with waxed Jaguars and RV Motorhomes that trundle along Bridge Street and across the Mall like pre-historic mammoths who have risen out of Clew Bay on the last high tide.

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The mecca is a place that many people like to visit, especially for a particular reason.

1. The coast is a mecca for tourists.

2. Athens is a mecca for tourists.

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