December 27th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1
The Cascade

Back to work today, but really not a terribly satisfying day.  I seem to have hit one of those periodic slumps which affect my career as general do-it-all at Twin Pines.  With so many people in the camp, a lot of the jobs which kept me busy in the past just aren’t possible.  In addition, not only is Joe about doing roughly the same work as me, but many others as well.  Little girls picking up rubbish, 2 boys painting the rec hall, other odd bods on errands.  Still, somehow I managed to find things to do to last out the day till about 3.  This wasn’t too bad, since we’d arranged to have our very own Christmas dinner, followed, since I’d also arranged to have the night off at the Cascade, by a film at the Waitangi Hotel.  We had chicken + sausages cooked out on the barbecue, plus taters, carrots, peas + stuffing.  We didn’t have any cranberry sauce, so I had boysenberry jam instead.  Somehow, it wasn’t quite the same.  And then Christmas pud + cream for dessert.  All eaten out on the picnic tables in the sunshine.  I had a few beers, + Val had a few brown cows, + then we hitched into town.

I noticed that the Hotel was having a “funny-money” casino next week, so I offered my services as a croupier.  It would be good fun, + we might be able to wangle a meal out of them.  They sounded mildly keen, + said they’d get back to me.  We arrived for the film just after the lights went down, which was excellent timing, since there was no-one there to take any money.  This was a real piece of luck, as the film was rubbish.  It was called “White Lightning”, + we’d been attracted to it because it starred Richard Pryor.  Unfortunately, it must have been a very early film of his, since it wasn’t at all good.

When we left, I managed to leave my diary behind.  I dashed back 10 mins later, as soon as I discovered the loss (+ when we were 10 mins towards home) but it had completely disappeared.  However, as you’re reading it now, you can guess that it had a happy ending.  It had been handed in to reception, + they were ringing round all the likely places.  Nice of them.

This doesn’t actually record how we got the diary back, but clearly it happened, so there you go. It does seem as though we were destined to see some pretty poor films, but I have to be careful with my snap reviews, not so much that, as in this case, I (rightly) pan the rubbish, aqs that I shall declare something a masterpiece when time has not dealt too kindly with it.

  1. Pamela Blair

    I remember flocking to see movies wherever I could as I traveled. In Benghazi, Libya, the fellow I was staying with (Sudanese, a law student) took me to see a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western–The Good, the Bad and the Ugly–originally in Italian, with dubbed Arabic; I didn’t understand much at all. I was one of two women in the theater. In Baghdad, I saw a movie on Christmas) where Van Johnson played the president who went to Dallas, Texas after the Civil War and was assassinated there. It was a pretty terrible movie, but soon we heard Iraqi boys (the only ones in the theater) whispering to each other, wondering if it was JFK. It demonstrated how little Iraqis understood about what it was like in the States! When I got to Beirut, I really took in films, most very forgettable, but one Woody Allen film that I enjoyed (of course, I’ve forgotten what it was by now). Films were like gold. Rare but irresistible.

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