Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Cold Drinks & Clean Sheets

"I get knocked down, but I get up again. You're never gonna keep me down." - Tubthumping / Chumbawamba

I asked for a 3 month extension on my visa. They gave me 2. Everyone gets 3. Why do I get 2? O how I hate the bureaucracy. Now I have to go through this whole process again. I had my exit timed to miss it. Damnit!

"Children I wanna warn ya, Cuz I've been to California." - Do You Wanna Hold Me / Bow Wow Wow

When asked where I'm from, if I respond with "Estados Unidos", I get a radically different response then when I answer, "California". USA is seen as political. CA is only “fun fun fun”. The Red Hots were so correct when they coined the phrase, "Californication". I think the world views it as a separate entity from the USA. It's been the flavor of the month for 50 years. Let it ride, and please buy the hype.

"I eat more chicken than any man ever seen" - Back Door Man / John Lee Hooker

Sam Shepard wrote in his play, "True West", "I come in through the window, but I go out through the front door." Well, I am a back door man. I can't blend. I just can't. I can't assimilate, and my old credo of, "Look straight and infiltrate", doesn't serve me here. I am the ultimate outsider. I went from the Mayor of Mission Beach with my custom long bike and quiver of boards to the Freak of the Causeway with my folding bike and my quiver of boards (None of the locals or my fellow cruisers surf). You can only be a local in exactly one place. Everywhere else you are an outsider.

"Somehow I stayed thin, while the other guys got fat." - Rush / Big Audio Dynamite

My uncle Bill is a physician and he helped me repeatedly when I severed a tendon sheath in my finger while shucking oysters (it still doesn't work right. I think this is as good as it's going to get). I must now ask how in the world anyone can eat this much fried food and live past 55? This is worse than Glasgow. I might have a slight genetic head start but I've got to believe I'm going to lose if I don't get out of here. I'll be a fat corpse right? Fat and starch. Starch and fat. Pass the salt.

"Everybody hates a tourist. Especially one who thinks it's all such a laugh." - Common People / Pulp

I like the tourists. They speak good English and laugh at sarcasm, which is something I think only English speaking cultures understand. Can you disprove this?

"I wish that I was both young and stupid." - You Could Make a Killing / Aimee Mann

It's impossible to be friends with the natives. Here's why: Relative to us, they have nothing. Ultimately it always ends with them hitting you up for money. That wrecks everything. You can be friendly, but real friends, nah - not when we hold what looks to them as a massive pile of acorns in the middle of their winter. I wish this hadn't been proved to me over and over. Idealistic ignorance is bliss.

"There's a port on a western bay, and it serves a hundred ships a day. Lonely sailors pass the time away, talking about their homes." Brandy / Looking Glass

Cruisers. What a concept. Here's what I've learned: These are some of the best people I've ever met in my life. As good, and in some ways better, than bike shop owners. However, once you dig a little deeper, you find alcoholism, drug abuse, broken romances, violence, bankrupt companies, and hatred towards the countries they served. Every time I spot it in someone else I have to ask myself what others must find in me. I'm a cruiser. Am I the only normal one? Not likely. As Blintz would point out - I'm Peter Pan. I'm Captain-Run-Away. I have to ask myself, "why did my brother and I essentially choose the most isolated lives we could find?" And I'm a very gregarious man! It doesn't make sense, even to me. I constantly scratch my head on that one.

"Johnny, we worry. Won't you come on home." Johnny Come Home / Fine Young Cannibals

My friends on Blue Dolphin finally emailed me. They made it to the Galapagos. Just a slow boat with mechanical issues. It took them 31 days and they averaged 1.25 nautical miles per hour. That's extremely slow. Greg defected and he's not going to continue to the Marquesas. Now they are a slow boat with mechanical issues AND shorthanded. Fun.

It isn't all bad. After rereading this, things sound bleak, and they aren't. Bottom line: I got a new dinghy, I got the little outboard to run (Colin - completely removed the leaking valve. Bypassed it with a new fuel line), the rainy season is ending, I have friends and know how much the non-gouge price is. I can't be beat, cuz I won't quit. That's the bottom line. That, and don't forget, I have cold drinks and clean sheets.

"Thank you disillusionment. Thank you frailty. Thank you consequence. Thank you silence. Thank you clarity." Thank U / Alanis Morissette

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