Young At Last

11 February 2013

‘Maybe later?’ Gita said to the passing girls.

You’re never really sure what it means when you say maybe back. Offense is taken if you do say maybe and you don’t take the rickshaw or go back to the shop, but when neither of you have change, ‘come back later’ actually means ‘see you and your five rupees never ever again.’

The funny thing is that the passing girls did actually come back, but only after the shop was beginning to close. They asked if I was Australian, whilst looking a little nervously at the ground, and waited for me to suggest something to do. We walked all the way to what I guessed was Patnem. It was so dark and quiet we could have been anywhere. Accidentally kicking coconuts and running in to free roaming cows did cut the possibilities down though.

It wasn’t just me telling stories after a couple of drinks. Zoe just finished a month’s volunteering in a village in Goa somewhere, and Ellie was travelling indefinitely until the money ran out. Zoe was a doer and Ellie seemed to like the sound of her saying she was travelling indefinitely and I was the idiot who proposed we should sleep and wake up in a few hours for breakfast.

We could barely keep our eyes open for the tiredness, and we just had to eat at the ‘cute’ little cafĂ© where we sat on tiny stools on dusty gravel. The burning rubbish right next to us didn’t help keeping our eyes open either.

Luckily we got onto some kayaks soon after. Indians cheered and waved from the boats, then pointed to us, then pointed to the water. A dolphin’s tail flicked high out of the water and glided back in. We got within twenty metres and they poked their fins out more often. I gripped my paddle a little tighter because we were just little bags of bones on plastic biscuits compared to them.

Ellie gave in and paddled back. Zoe and I paddled up to and around the island. We decided to climb on the rocks on the island, so I threw they kayaks up on the rocks and we burnt our feet.

Apparently Goa wasn’t what it used to be. It’s difficult to imagine what it could have been like before, then! There was one fishing boat on the whole sea and the green water sat still in the coves going north. Up from the coves were the red mountains populated with rich green trees below a bright blue sky. Yes, it’s a shame what happened to Goa.

Zoe started on the personal stories and sat close to me in the shade. There will always be a connection between doers. We swam back pushing the kayaks.

It was time for another curry on the beach. We met Martin and Robert from the UK. They had met that day and had been drinking late into the afternoon. Robert was an amazing twenty year juggling man. Martin, quite simply, is a guy who many must have written about in their notebooks before, just like right now.

Later we went to ‘Titanic’ for some live music. There was a guitar, bass, sax and a guy without a shirt on croaking away while we all sang along. Martin had many sotires and it’s clear that his voice must have been horse for many decades prior, too. He crashed for six months at Keith Moon’s dealer’s place, and also cycled from France to Morocco, he told me. At the Titanic bar we both drank smuggled Honeybee and coke in plastic bottles. The French couple were loud and passionate. Robert the juggler was keeping calm speaking to the Swedish girls, and Martin and I spoke about his threesomes and all my petty near misses with girls that I felt for.

‘Don’t work’ ke kept saying. He knew I was actually thinking about it. ‘Go for all the beautiful women.’ And I thought about that too. ‘Sometimes she has a big dong, and sometimes you just let it happen like I did in Thailand.’ I laughed and he laughed too.

You know that with these mini rockstars you’ll only see them once in your life, but his life is to man an impression in a short time. Somehow we jumped into the water. We started to speak shit for the sake of it. I don’t remember how we got there, and I don’t know why anyone was listening and participating in more shit speaking until four in the morning.