The Author by the HIH Pool
On the way home I have tea in a café, choosing noodles and mango juice. The chap who brings the juice is about thirty and sits down. He has noodles but they are his. After a little quiet reflection of the noodles and me, he asks, “Where is your husband, Madam?” “I don’t have one.” A bit of a pause. “You, miss, and me, miss. We will be married.” Never have I been so popular. But I know it is because there is a massive shortage of (European) single women, in the sense that so many single men come here from so many countries.
The waiter brings me a tiny, pink paper serviette in a plastic cup that someone has painted with a yellow and green diamond shape. I love these little gestures. And I get a free glass of Coke since my noodles take an eon to appear but are very tasty. Locals pronounce noodles as ‘nude-less’ (but I never correct them).
When my fiancé goes out the back, I whip down the stairs and out the door. Better to put him off me than swat him with the empty noodle bowl.
Next day in Villingili, I am out for a walk to the good beach. I hear my name. It is the multi-skilled, civic-minded hunks behind a fence doing something with wood. Talking to them I catch a glimpse through the trees of an apartment building that looks like mine.
I investigate. It is mine.
This is how I discover that the best beach is a minute away from the rear of my apartment block. All this time I have been getting to the beach by circumnavigating practically the whole island.