October 12, 2017
Sometimes it irritates me, sometimes it makes me smile, depending on how much of an arsehole I am that day.
Mostly it irritates me
I have travelled thousands of miles in a matter of weeks, mastering the carrying of my load independently, with consideration, precision and adequate balance.
I have appeared on so many corners like the Ma Bacon of Hermit Crab world.
I have puffed up flights of stairs as though a seasoned hod carrier.
I am every part the bruiser having only neglected an anchor tattoo and a taste for ale.
But these last 10 hotel-tiled yards regularly turn me into a delicate lady, apparently
Honestly. I can manage.
These fucking rolling cases are my walker.
Steal them and my knuckles will drag the ground.
It will be a kindness to let me be.
Neither do I like being shown the room to have plain sight objects pointed out to me.
This is the television.
A television? Ah, yes.
I have heard talk of these things.
It’s really beautiful.
Arrived at our Wellington hotel my cases are eyed and approached, but I make quick my assurances that I am fine and am delighted to be immediately taken at my word.
Get in, then.
Says the manager, jovially.
He then seeks to confirm with us that the van isn’t going to be left cluttering his drive.
This is all done with a cheeky twinkle in his eye, and I am relaxed immediately.
Someone, yesterday, when I highlighted the glut of
‘How are yous?’ in Australia, suggested the correct reply was ‘Good, thanks’.
That, the quickest way to end the exchange.
If you had lived with my mother.
If you looked into the reasons for my writing ‘The English U’, you would know that, at home,
‘I’m good’ would have elicited a
‘Really? What are you good at?’
My mother, a shy woman, had once been labelled the most sarcastic girl at school.
I never reply ‘I am good’
I reply ‘I am well, thank you’.
A shop keeper was taken aback by that.
After a confused pause she stuttered and said that she was glad that I was well.
It’s all very odd, enforced social dancing.
Why would she give a fuck.
She has to say it a thousand times a day.
Pattern patron courtesy dues are stable mates of disinterest and loathing.
We all know it.
Care to waltz ?
Ok, if we must, but let’s make it quick.
It is late. 1am or more by the time I am in my room.
It has a microwave and a hob.
I shall have hot snacks.
Me and Sandwich can be on a break for a couple of days.
I never really loved her.
I locate all my dirty washing, and rinse it in the tub with travel detergent.
I wring it out and then hang it in the bathroom, black like Halloween bunting.
I sit in bed but it is gone 4am before sleep closes my eyes.
Awake at 8.
No. Not now.
Awake at 12:30.
I appear not to be moving.
I should get coffee.
It is 2pm before I am dressed and I head out, but not before I discover that my room has a washer/dryer.
I wandered out in the direction of where I imagine I would put a high street, and I guessed well.
The hotel had provided us with a little road map but try as I might I could not locate myself on it.
I am wearing my coat though I didn’t really need it,
but the air is much brisker now.
I note how clean the streets are here in Wellington, and as it was in Australia, with no obvious proliferation of dustbins.
People just seem to respect their environment.
In the USA, at least in the places I have been, bar Washington. In the UK, at home, in my town, the littered refuse is appalling.
In Brighton we have many, many huge bins provided on our streets. All reached by the shortest of walks.
Still I see people drop, and throw and even leave sacks of rotting food waste next to the empty bins that they can’t even be bothered to open, knowing full well that our
bare-faced gulls will drag the contents to every corner and down every road within minutes.
We can all talk patriotism, but when we shit on our own doorsteps it’s a veritable nonsense.
That’s no love of country.
Forget getting outraged about people taking the knee.
Have a word with the arseholes, trousers down, squatting in our own back yards.
That’s shit, mate.
I am tempted by a pie in the pub, but push myself on.
I am tempted in to a super market of sorts.
More of a snack convenience store.
I pick up milk and some washing powder.
Upstairs there is a food hall mostly selling Asian cuisine.
It is bright and clean and I select a chicken Pad Thai from the outlet which seems to cook with less MSG.
I find a comfortable booth and eat.
I wander back and notice my toes aren’t hurting.
I believe I can say good in that context.
In my room, I front load my washing and add the powdered detergent I bought earlier.
There are no instructions.
I try to select a few, but neither will the temperature show nor the cycle.
It starts up suddenly, and though I can hear water move, it’s not going into the drum.
Now it won’t stop.
My clothes are being flung round ruthlessly, dandruffed with washing powder, and dry as an old farmer
Seams are going to be sorely
I sit in my pants looking up instruction manuals on my iPhone.
They read simply.
They’re fucking liars.
Maybe I will meet the others later.
I doubt I’ll have anything to wear.