hot... I definitely understand what too cold
means but I´m not sure I really understand the concept of too hot
... it suits me just fine!
The arrangement had been for Sergio to meet me at the airport here , armed with pick axe and hairdyer to free me from the ice cube I was expected to arrive in, but of course, en-route, I had had two days in sunny BA and a blood-boiling encounter with a psycho scissor maniac, which ensured that I was no longer frozen for the flight north. And so I stepped out of the aiport into that sultry, tropical night air, watched the faint breeze ruffle the palm trees, and relaxed into that heat-induced contentment that I remember so well from when I lived here.
I´ve had a blissfully lazy, easy week... waking early as that soul-uplifting, bright sunlight hits my eyelids... walking on the palm-fringed beach at 6.30 a.m. with Sergio and Piaba, the hyperactive hound, ending with a swim in the perfect warm waves... back home for breakfast of tropical fruit and
coffee... back to the beach to laze on the sand , happily sweating in the muscle- easing heat, too stupefied by the sun to even read my book... drinking fresh coconut water for refreshment... home for Concessao´s ( the lovely long-time housekeeper) excellent lunch, with mash included for me every day!... a siesta in the shade... a walk along the beach as the sun sinks... an evening beer in one of the barracas along the seafront... home for dinner and to
catch Sergio and Dani after work... making Gabriel my slave, on account of him having to do anything I want if he wants to come and stay with me in Aus! (check out the new profile picture he did for me, under this arrangement!)... being driven off to a gorgeous
beach at Ipioca for a very alcoholic lunch with Janet´s friend Regis, to advise him on a forthcoming trip to Ireland... having dinner with Regis and Rose and my
fabulous colleague of many years ago, Teresa, who greeted me with my old end-of-the-working-day expression: ´´I can feel a penguin coming on...´´ beers with Dani and her friend Patricia in Lopana followed by a surprise birthday party for her at a gorgeous beach house out near Frances, at which I did my too-many-late-nights trick and fell asleep by the pool... It´s been just one good day rolling into another.
But the best evening had to be dinner in my favourite restaurant, Divina Gula, scene of many wild nights and funny episodes 16 years ago... it´s expanded hugely since then but still retains its charm and its great food. Janet, my good friend, flatmate,and drinking and misbehaving partner of old (currently very much out of her element in Brunei for 3 years, and sorely missed by me and all her other mates here) had sent Sergio some money to treat us all to dinner at Divina, and we had a brilliant night. Of course we had to order garlic bread, in memory of
a certain waiter, and I had to comment, while eating it, that it was not as tasty as its namesake...; in fact, I noticed that the standard of talent on the waiting staff in general had deteriorated, but maybe that´s an age thing...!; we ordered beers to toast Janet in her absence; we remembered the revenge on Garlic Bread episode (Janet, remember the plan to land his cuecas on his head, hand back the stolen wall hanging and sit canoodling with that other guy? Soooo much fun!); we ate more yummy food; we laughed about the night I met Mr Balcony,
and Janet and I analysed the moral of the tale as being that you should never get off with a fella who you´re sitting beside as you only get a side
view... and sometimes the front
view is not so good...!; we ordered caipiroskas to toast Janet again; we laughed at the memory of Shaggy and his peculiar habit, which I won´t print here, but you know what I mean, Janet!; we thought about Nigel the fusca and his years of service; we reminisced about my Divina leaving do where we wore the t shirts and aprons and wandered around with serving plates; we talked about the night I
lost the head with the guy upstairs and threw his watch down the stairwell, nearly getting myself murdered; we discussed the current Maceio scandal (I´ll mail that separately, Janet!); we tried to run through the whole ´case´ vocabulary...remember the ´open and shut case´, the ´brief case´ (most of them!), the ´vanity case´ (Ted?), the ´nut case´ , the ´worst case scenario´ (Shaggy?), the ´case officer´ (but neither of us did men in uniforms!) and how hard it was to find a ´suitcase´...; we looked at the beer chart and chuckled at the alternative use we put ours
to; we remembered me juggling Big Lou and Mr Plastic Bag; we thought of the time Biggsy turned up rattling the gates and fuming after you had called Edijani, Janet; ...ahh, it was just like the old days, except that, alas, you weren´t with us, Janet!
Mick hit the beach with us,
and was impressed with the
heat after Antarctica... much more like Aus, he reckons! He caused quite a stir, choosing coconuts, relaxing on a beach chair, riding a jangada and getting kitted up for a snorkel... he didn´t go down too well with Piaba the dog, though, who still shrank from the sight of him even after he had been harmlessly occupying a stool in the living room for a whole week!
From the first notions I had of making this trip, when I was sitting in Susan´s office in Oman, looking at the world map, the route always began in Sligo and ended in Maceio... and here I am, in Maceio, which means my trip is almost over... but I can´t complain: a year has turned into nearly two years, and I still have visits to London and France to make before I finally head home. But the exotic element is done, just for now: Thankyou Sergio, Dani and Gabriel for a wonderful week, and I will be back, hopefully in the not too distant future, to soak up more sun, to drink more penguin brew and to check out your new beach house, Janet!
(Sorry about all the obscure references, but this entry is primarily for Janet, who will know exactly
what I´m talking about!)
After becoming acquainted with penguins of the Gentoo, Chinstrap, Macaroni and Adelie species on the southern ice, just a couple of weeks ago, I am now spending time with my favourite penguin variety of all: the iced, Brasilian, bottled and tinned type... Ah, Maceio... it´s good to be back! The locals are complaining that it´s the steamiest April they´ve known, that it´s just