August 13th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Val with letters to post, Chris looking much skinnier

After breakfast today, the 3 of us lay in our tents writing letters – it’s taken us some time to get around to replying to the letters we’ve received, but we’ve finally taken the matter in hand.  And then all 4 of the Anglos headed into town – the nurse had told me yesterday that I did not need to visit the infirmary again till Monday, but both Val + Dave had decided to pay the doctor a call – they are both in pretty poor shape, with a variety of sores on different parts of their body.  Tho’ to my mind their interest + absorption in such is excessive – a typical first greeting is “Morning.  How are your sores?”  Anyway, as it turned out, by the time we arrived, the Doctor had finished with his patients + gone home.  Fair enough, I suppose, except on the door of the infirmary it says, “Hours of surgery, 11.30 – 2.  Dave, Paul + I went over to the Yacht Club then, leaving Val behind in town.  We walked most of the way, Paul regaling us with his hind leg off a donkey stuff, but got a lift the last few hundred yards with the owner of the Yacht Club, Paul wanting to change some books + check on boats returning to Papeete.  I wanted to see if our note had attracted any response, + to read the Yacht Book – Val had told me there was a picture of Linda, our Australian friend off Deliverance, topless in it, + Dave, I think, came along because he had nothing better to do.  Paul achieved both his aims; as for me, our note remained unmarked, + I had to wait for ages for someone to finish with the book.  Still, I would say the wait was worth it. 

In any case, we had to sit in the yacht club to wait out a heavy shower.  It was a pleasant place, far more cosy + comfortable than any other I’ve seen.  The others have been more or less bars – this was more a family living-room, with comfortable chairs + games.

We got a ride back to town easily enough, with the same lady going back.  Picked up Val, then hitched back, after making some futile attempts to buy some bread.  It seems it is only readily available in the morning.  We’d arrived in the afternoon, so were out of luck, tho’ noticeably the local people were still popping in + getting it.  We all got a lift in the same truck, even tho’ Dave was a mile or so further on, having walked ahead to try another store.  The girls in the truck were very nice, stopped + reversed back towards him when they heard he was our friend.  Needless to say, he was very grateful.

By now it was just about time to cook dinner – excellent it was too, rice + ratatouille.  Afterwards we lay + chat for a while, Paul telling us of life in (or with?) Sydney.  Then Val kept me awake for large parts of the night with her snores.

Illness does become a preoccupation when travelling, partly because the way of life tends to lead to various ailments, partly because it is one of those things which can seriously derail your plans. Apologies (again) for my adolescent obsession with breasts… except that I wasn’t an adolescent, but a grown man. I blame single-sex education, not having sisters, general immaturity…

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