Mar 30, 2008

Come here, come here, go away.

Go away now. Come here!

To say I am confused is an understatement but then again when have we ever really understood this shit?

The plan was simple, head north for some sun, water, kite boarding and fun.

There were no ulterior motives, no need for romps of a sexual nature. Indeed no desire other than the desire to nail new moves on the board, spare my liver a total trauma and avoid complications and entanglements amongst friends, both new and old.

Well the wind failed us and I was left with no other choice than to dance and drink then dance some more. As the hours melted away the discussion of sleeping arrangements heated up.

For me this was simple. I had a nice thick self inflating mattress and a coffin shaped sleeping bag for one. It was my cocoon and haven. It could go anywhere and everywhere and shuttle me safely through to the dawn as it had done so often before.

For others it was not so clear cut.

There were beds and girls in them. The couples were coupled and had their rooms which just left me and three girls to sort out the rest.

The discussion went like this;

"So you two have that room and he and I will share the double bed in the loft." said girl 1

"Its all cool, I will just sleep here on my camp bed" I said.

"No, you cant do that" said girl 2 "I don't think girl 1 is comfortable with sharing a bed with you but I will if you like?"

"Um, I am really happy with my camp bed out here. She can have the double bed to herself." I said

"I tell you what, how about if Girl 2 and him share the double and Girl 1 has the single bed in my room" interjected girl 3

"I am not sleeping in a single bed" said Girl 1 "He will sleep in the double with me - it is settled"

"I am happy with..."

"Shut up, it is settled, you are in with me" said girl 1. "No one is sleeping on the floor!"

Girl 2 scowled at Girl 1. Girl 3 changed tracks on the Ipod while I drank my rum and giggled a little.

Then I too scowled because I realised there would be no wind in the morning. That was more vexing than where I slept.

The hours went by and the fridge got emptied. The music was good but the numbers thinned as a thunderstorm rolled and rumbled out to sea.

Girl 3 retired to her room with the two single beds and then there were five.

The conversation came back to where we were sleeping. I wanted to roll out my camp bed right there on the balcony and watch the stars and listen to the surf - it was magic.

I was not allowed to.

Girl 1 grabbed my elbow requesting assistance with her bag to the loft and boudoir with the double bed. Girl 2 scowled and announced she was off to bed in the room with two single beds.

There was much huffing and a goodnight hug that was too long for even alcohol to explain away.

We bade her goodnight and resumed last drinks on the balcony. Then there were four and it was at 4am. The symmetry was fitting of the beauty of the moon lit night.

There was a commotion from inside and the serenity was broken.

Girl 2 appeared from behind a mountain of bedding and pillows. Poked her head through the door to the balcony and declared that it was all sorted. She would sleep with Girl 1 and I could have the single bed.

"I am happy with my camp...."

"Shut the fuck up. I will be so pissed off if you sleep on that thing while I am up here in the bed with her. You have the single bed. End of conversation ok?"


Girl 1 looked at me with puppy dog eyes and pouted.

I giggled into my rum. I never wanted to share a bed with Girl 1. I never wanted to share the bed with Girl 2.

As I descended the stairs I could hear heated words from above.

"I thought we agreed..." "But you know I wanted...." "Well I am not going to just sit back..."

I shook my head and smiled the crooked smile of a drunk while negotiating stairs that were determined to kill me.

Girl 3 was in the room at the other end of the house. A room with an en suite bathroom and two concrete floors separating it from Girls 1 and 2. As I crept around in the dark and unrolled my sleeping bag a voice slid out of the darkness behind me.

"hello you....."

The fog lifted in my head a little. Ah, girl 3. The really cute one.

Mar 28, 2008

Come back summer.

I have things to say and not the time to write them.

I have things to do but not enough hours to do them all.

I have a blog that needs love and attention but not the motivation to give it the care it needs. For now.

Though technically summer has passed, I am busy wringing the last bits of warmth from the sun and water before the cool settles in for real.

When googling for an image of Apollo, Ra, Helios or Horus in honor of the various sun gods, I found this.

I swear google is trying to mess with my head in subtle but cruel ways. I was so disturbed I just had to share the load.

See you all as soon as the sun goes down and life returns to normal. If there is such a thing.

Mar 13, 2008

The predators are not just big cats.

Yes folks, I am back and survived the big cats and charging bull elephants. I have a nice big tan rug with teeth for the front of the fire place and a fantastic little elephants foot to put my umbrellas in at the front door.

But that is not why I am writing today. It seemed that lions, leopards and hippo were the least threatening creatures in the wilds of Kenya.

No, it was a crazy German woman that posed the greatest threat.

Emirates are sneaky fuckers and after the trip from hell on the way out of the country they saved all the nice bits for the return trip to try and woo me into using them next time.

It will never happen.

They slipped a little transit in at Bangkok that was not on any itinerary that I ever saw but it served to empty the plane and give me three blissful seats to stretch out on and sleep in as much comfortas can be had in cattle class.

At this point I have say that I do love the Boeing 777 compared to the nasty little Airbus 340 - as the geeks who know the difference say; "If it's not Boeing, I'm not going..."

Anyhow, the people at Emirates must have known I had been in the bush just a little too long and seated me near what can only be described as a seriously horny old(er) woman. She was in the same row as me with the center four seats to herself.

Before take off she leaned over and started the normal small talk about how she hoped they would close the door soon and won't it be great if all these seats stay empty. I was polite but we very quickly hit my quota for airplane chit chat. I had a good book to read, 100+ movies to choose from and to be frank I just was not interested in wasting all this new found space.

I had not been in the bush that long.

After take off she again leaned over and gushed about all the space and how it was almost lonely where she was. Would I like to join her for dinner in the centre isle?

Que the batting fake eyelids...

With the raised side of my noise cancelling headsets dropping back onto my head, I politely declined. I had three seats which is a luxury that I was not going to forgo at meal time when every inch of elbow room is a blessing.

She attempted a few more intrusions into my personal space but I deftly parried her with a constant stare into the glowing screen in front of me despite the fact it was only telling me how high we were and what speed were doing - all in Arabic of course.

With the meal devoured it was time for a sleep and I curled up in my luxury suite and forgot the world.

When I awoke something had changed. I had a moment of ely*.

Peering over my legs I could see movement in the center isle. There was a second person who had obviously taken up the offer of helping relieve the boredom and lonesomeness on the long haul flight.

I am not normally motivated towards voyeurism but I was curious. I was sure she had been making a pass at me before but not to be deterred she had obviously gone cruising the plane for a snack that was more accommodating.

Curiosity got the better of me and I surreptitiously gawked through the darkness to gauge just how they intended to accomplish the feat and exactly how far it would go.

After a fair amount of furtive shuffling under the blanket by the two I gave up watching and went back to sleep. What ever they were up to, he was sure getting the better end of the deal and I decided there was enough flight ahead of me to have nightmares if I kept watching.

Well, that and I think she noticed my gob smacked stare.

When I awoke the man was gone. She sat there with a grin on her face and smiled at me and shrugged her shoulders, her head cocked slightly as if to say slide on over.

A chill ran down my spine and I carefully returned my eyes to the screen in front of me. Like a child I honestly wanted to believe that what you could not see did not exist.

Here was a predator of the top tier not more than six feet away. She was scared through years of battle and no doubt had a gamy leg where her hip had been put out during some other in-flight entanglement.

My mouth was dry. I was all alone like a babe split from the heard and there was not a Land Rover or Askari in sight to protect me.

It was a rough thing to sleep the rest of that flight. The jet lag is killing me and it should have been cured by a sleep on that last leg home - damn her!

* ely (n). The first, tiniest inkling you get that something, somewhere, has gone terribly wrong.
(From the meaning of Liff by Douglas Adams)

PS: Kenya is an amazing place. It is probably the safest part of Africa despite what the media have been saying of late.

If you have even the tiniest motivation to go then now is a great time. The tourist numbers are so low that camps are closing or reducing staff in the Masai Mara and some amazing deals are there to be had for the trip of a life time.

Sure it is not the migration season and the mind numbing volumes of animals are not there but they are just about all there in smaller numbers to be seen. A visit now could save you a fortune and having done both a trip during migration and one in the off season, I have to say that the smaller numbers of tourists more than makes up for the smaller numbers of wildlife.

The wildebeest are a dumb as sheep anyhow so do you really need to see 1,000,000 of the idiots?

The big 5 cats are there and are doing their thing. Get a good camera and go!

No I am not a travel agent either - I have just fallen in love with the country, it's people and the animals.

Mar 2, 2008

Point me to the architect please..

What moron designed Dubai airport? Please stand up so I can kick your sorry arse.

It seems that Dubai has a mandatory minimum transit time of about four hours which means that the terminal is packed to the rafters with smelly, grumpy and worn out travellers who only want two things.

1) to get on with their trip as soon as they can.
2) somewhere to sit until number 1 happens.

As a structure it has all the really nice curves and huge glass expanses that make it feel like a sci-fi gold fish bowl. It had free WiFi net access from one end to the other. It also has the most tasteless expanses of imported marble on the floors and walls.

It is the only place where I swear you could by a Porsche duty free. Seriously, who buys cars at the airport!!!!

What it lacks is enough chairs to seat all transient population. What it also lacks is carpet along the walls making it impossible to retreat from the main traffic thorough fares if you want to plant your butt betwixt the wall and floor.

I mean you can, but it is on cold hard marble. Not my first choice in building materials for beds, couches or sun lounges.

Anyhow, maybe I am just worn out and emotional because having just done 14 hours in cattle class on the smallest seat ever (don't let me start on about Emirates as an airline...) the feckers would not let me in the first class lounge for a comfy chair and free beverages.

My advice for what it is worth, go via Singapore every fucking time. That is how you build an airport!

Mar 1, 2008

Eat me...

Ok kids. I'm orf!

I have the mandatory Wilbur Smith novel in hand, my pith hat on my head and I am heading into deepest darkest Africa for a jolly.

As Captain Oats said to Scott - I may be away some time...

Have fun and if I survive I may bore you with a slide show on my return.