An unlikely artist
Trip Start Apr 04, 2004
34Trip End Jun 07, 2004
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15th April 2004
When the red metal louvre-doors are hinged closed, the Space Café becomes invisible. I walk backwards and forwards past it so many times that I am attracting curious looks. Then I remember the bike I had with me when I last visited. I put it in a passageway, didn't I ? I spot the smooth faced iron swing gates in a narrow alley and I am sure I have found it. Rosie welcomes me in. I smile through the rain and frustration and tell her she needs a sign outside for people to see. And thus it becomes my job to create one.
After testing out my ideas in the yard using some templates, I find myself creating a big Space Café logo on the front aspect of the building
We don't get many visitors. Least of all Chinese. The guestrooms are aimed squarely at foreign travellers. And contain only one such person which is me. Rosie sleeps in the bar. Turns out this young man is the local policeman's younger brother. It's a surveillance operation. He's here to observe and report on my connection with Rosie.
What's to report ? Rosie and I lark about in the yard, but not in public view. My artistic skills are now focused on rendering giant dragons onto the compound walls using red paint. Perhaps I am over-stepping the mark a little with regards to my ' tourist visa.'
Next, I find myself agreeing to help in the kitchen by doing the cooking. In return I can sleep here for free. I begin to make fresh burgers by hand. Blending minced beef with onion, egg and spices. I have never done this before and merrily make it up as I go along. I fetch the bread rolls from a local supplier. And potatoes for the chips. At the end of the day, my Space-burger meal is top notch. If only we had some customers. We spend our evenings together watching movies and daytimes are spent in the yard. Congenial is the word for it, not much more.
Then, one day, there is a brief argument - after I write my own drinks bill and pay it. What's wrong with that ? Surely if anyone knows what I've had to drink it must be me. According to her, It's called being presumptuous. She is the boss. And then trots off to the market, with her wicker basket attached to her back, as is customary. I am locked in the yard like a scolded dog.
Sometimes I will go to the market myself with some basic instructions. It's a challenge to come back with the right things. Another day the challenge saps my energy a little too much. I think I am asked to search out a set of curtains for the bar and lounge. I need a holiday.
Next ; The piss artist