Past the paddy fields, through the palm grove, down onto the beach, through the fishing village, skirt the sleeping fisherman by the boat, up onto the path, down past the nets, across the beach, up the hill, underneath the eagles, dodge the rabid puppy, avoid the yogis with their rolled up mat sabres, quietly past the lotus sitting meditator, down the path, over the rubble, up some steps, headbutt the hanging curtain of walkers crisps. And after all that, they only have full fat coke.
John has brought me to the middle of nowhere. A place so remote diet coke hasn’t penetrated it. I am a character in Heart of Darkness. John wanted authenticity and to be close to nature. I ask him if termites in the bed is close enough for him. I like my nature at a distance. Usually a celluloid distance. I thought we were ok, that I could manage, because I could see the giant towers of a mega hotel just fifteen minutes walk down the beach. But then John told me it was actually a mosque. I had been dreaming of a mosaic bottomed turquoise infinity pool and a mojito waiter service. My fantasy is undone.
Our neighbours are a preying mantice and a meercat. The chef here ran away yesterday. The termites have hatched their eggs. The water has just gone off whilst I am half covered in sand and half in soap. There are two lizards, a mummy and a daddy as Lula points out, scurrying across the ceiling. Still John insists it’s just what he was imagining and hoping for. I don’t say anything.
And yes. That does take a large amount of willpower on my part.