Thursday, March 17, 2011. Jesus my back, Jesus my bladder! I thought as I woke up today. My back felt ill treated and my bladder was very nearly about to burst. After relieving myself I reviewed the night. It was uncomfortable and I had that feeling of a poor quality snooze, I had slept in a very poor establishment in the land of nod, it was on the outskirts and in a damp rough area of town.
There was a grumbling tension today with Sarah, she was clearly unhappy with the place we were staying “it’s like sleeping on a train” she moaned. I was thankful when Esther called and asked if we wanted to go to the beach. Sarah and I were both very grateful to get out and about. Fan picked us up in his car and we all drove to the beach. The weather was boiling hot and the heat from the pavement shimmered. We say the shad less beach from the car and after a short conversation which made clear we were all on the same wavelength we turned around and went to the fish and chips shop just out from the town.
After a huge stodgy amount of fish and chips in a supposedly famous shop we got back into the car and drove away from the beach. Next we went to kiwi 360, a tourist centre which had a big shop and a tour of the kiwi farms, I questioned myself as to how much fun a kiwi fruit attraction could be, not much I supposed.
Sarah and I brought everyone kiwi ice cream and a big bottle of kiwi juice. We all sat in the shade by the huge statue of a cut kiwi. It must have been 40 meters around, golden on one side and green on the other. We took silly photos and lounged in the shade.
Later Sarah and I went to find new places to stay; we went to a big house with a steep slopping garden, full of orange and grape fruit trees. “Are you two married?” Jan the elderly owner of the house asked Sarah and I. On finding out we were she sounded pleased. “Because if you’re not married you shouldn’t be sleeping in the same bed, we don’t allow it here” she said. We were given a full tour around the garden, given a full history of when things were planted, who planted them (mainly her husband and son) and all the plans she had for the garden. I was exhausted at the end of it all. She never stopped talking the whole time and seeing that the rent was 40 dollars a week more than most places we have been and that the room was small and bare we decided not to stay there. There is something completely exasperating about having a conversation (if you can call it that) with someone who never stops talking; you have to wait like a car at a busy junction for your moment to dart out, to be able to speak.
To get a word in edge ways (what a fitting saying that is)
We took some house notices from a few supermarkets and after ringing them all up and going to see a few more we came away without a new place to stay. It’s back to the caravan then. Sarah’s spirits are very low today and although I am not in such a bad mind about the caravan as I was in the morning I am none the less feeling the general vibe at the moment. One thing I find agreeable about the caravan sight is the big kitchen and living room, we have met so many people from China, Malaysia, Japan, the Philippines and Canada. It’s a colourful well light place with comfy sofas. I enjoy sitting reading and chatting with anyone who comes in. I have almost got through half of Moby dick now. It’s proving to be a most riveting read. The descriptions of Queequeg the cannibal are so real and exciting, all the characters although somehow larger than life are realistic and full, none of this two dimensional stereo types.
Sometimes, especially when Ishmael goes into the Chapel in New Bedford and Father Mapple begins a wordy sermon about the fall of Jonah trying to disbelieve and run away from god I get confused. The Fathers sermon goes on and in so much depth that I quite forgot I was reading Moby Dick and thought I was reading the bible, it was a shock when the narration went back to that of Ishmael. Aside from a few passages were I had to strain the bean to keep up with the old style words and sayings I have found it a book which is pleasantly being fed to me without me trying to force it down.
Life is richer with a book on the go; it’s like living two lives at once. Books colour life and visa versa.