The motorbike skidded along the pot-holed road, took a sharp turn and launched itself across the river. It landed heavily and continued its accelerated journey across the uneven terrain.
Strapped securely into my seat, I could feel the nausea slowly creeping up on me; I wasn’t sure how much longer I could contain it.
I staggered outside as soon as the ride was over only to be assaulted by a scorching sun and swarms of Japanese students enthusiastically shouting “hello” in English.
It probably wasn’t the best day to be on a simulator ride at a theme park after a long night of drinking sake.
“What! Only three hours?” my Japanese students hollered in protest.
“Surely that’s enough time,” I replied. “Why on earth would you want to spend more time at the plaza?”
I hate shopping. The only thing I hate more is waiting around while others do their shopping.
Whack. “Speak English!”
Whack. “Shush…please listen when someone else is talking.”
Whack. “Hurry up.”
Whack. It was the most effective way to get the students’ attention.
If only I’d discovered the leather fly swatter a week earlier.
“Err… don’t you have any warmer clothes?”
The pair of tourists looked at me in confusion.
“It’s freezing outside,” I said, indicating my coat, boots, scarf and gloves.
“But we only brought summer clothes.”
“Rural life still good?”
“Rural? You mean beach life?” I responded during a recent online chat. “It’s very laid back.”
Life in Coolum Beach (approx population: 7200) is still leisurely, despite the installation of a third set of traffic lights in town - I’m still getting used to our relatively new roundabout on the main street.
“Excuse me,” I said, leaning over to the young man at the next table. “What does that sign say?”
“There’s a free yoga class here tonight from 6pm,” he translated for me. “You’re welcome to come along.”
Perfect timing, I thought. It’s just what I need to clear the jet lag after arriving in Lima, Peru earlier that day following a 17-hour flight.
Yoga in Spanish; now there’s a new experience.
“That fish,” Bea grabbed my arm, “it’s still… breathing!”
I spluttered as my gaze rested on the platter where the freshly gutted fish was taking its last gasps of air.
It was skewered to our sashimi plate, head attached to the bones and tail. A decorative array of thinly sliced fish pieces surrounded it on the wooden boat platter.
New Zealand 2008
New Zealand 2006
United Kingdom 2004
Athens Olympics 2004
Beijing to Athens 1994
I acknowledge the traditional Custodians of the land on which I work and live, the Gubbi Gubbi / Kabi Kabi and Joondoburri people, and recognise their continuing connection to land, the waters and sky. I pay my respect to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.
© 2023 HARI KOTROTSIOS