Happy New Year

Saturday 31 December

Here we go then, it’s finally at an end.  This time last year I called my mum and told her 2011 would be a better year.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Dare I go out on a limb and say 2012 will be a significant improvement?

The hostel is alive with activity, the town is buzzing.  Walking through the streets, you can get a real sense that they know how to celebrate here.  Outside homes, they play music through speakers, while colourful stuffed dummy’s are propped up in a chair by the door.  After making some inquiries, I discover that they burn these effigies at midnight, and then throw them in the sea.  It’s a similar tradition to our ‘penny for the guy’.  Just when you thought they didn’t need anymore litter problems in this country.

It seems like Nicaragua has descended on the coast.  People flood the roads, kids everywhere, vehicles squeezing down narrow streets.  At least this side of midnight, it appears to be a wholesome family affair.  The debauchery begins when the kids are tucked up in bed.

…and begin it does.  In earnest.  The relatively small establishment we’re at spills over with people, scattered out onto the beach.  Everyone is wearing white, bouncing to the two DJ’s and going crazy.  As if they needed an excuse to party, San Juan Del Sur has decided to go off for New Years.  So long as I’m alive to write this, I’ll be happy.  Obviously I survived.  I wonder if anyone didn’t.

So it wouldn’t be New Years without a kiss at the bells would it?  For some reason there is no countdown.  While standing talking to a friend, everyone starts cheering, kissing and hugging.  I guess that’s it. 2011 finally over.  Hello 2012.  I do the rounds, wishing everyone a prosperous new year, trying not to fall on my face in the sand, but in doing so I manage to remove myself from any possible situation where I might have kissed a girl.  Therefore I don’t.  For the third year running, I fail to get a kiss at twelve midnight.  I think I’m putting to much emphasis on this date.  I think everyone does.  I’ve certainly come to not enjoy New Years Eve and much as I do Christmas.

But wait?!  What’s this?!  A pretty young lady talking to me!  She’s actually talking to me!  She asks if I want to go back to hers?!  Really?!  Perhaps it won’t be a bad end to the night after all!  She leads me away down the beach.  A long way.  Over the bridge.  Still walking.  Ever farther.  The sun peaks over the hills and the fallout from the evening is illuminated.  Carnage.  Total carnage.  A rubbish bomb has detonated across the beach.  Bodies and bottles everywhere.  I shuffle on, but now I just want to go to bed, crash out and let sleep heal what I’ve done to my system at the bar.  At least I might have some company.  Finally we arrive at her door.

“Thank you for walking me home…goodnight.”

Happy New Year eh?

No seriously; Happy New Year all.  I hope this is a better one than last year.  We left some special people behind.  All the very best for 2012.  I’m away to nurse myself back the the shadow of the man I previously was the shadow of.

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Impatience

Friday 30 December

Today was pretty much all about getting it over with.  There is an electricity in the air that suggests tomorrow is going to really go off.  There is a large amount of party options, including an exclusive beach event costing $120.  To be honest I’m writing this after New Year and consequently I’m a few days behind.  I can’t be bothered to write more than this.  Nothing much happened.  Tomorrow I’m sure something will.

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The hour approaches

Thursday 29 December

This morning I’m feeling a little better.  Generally speaking.  My liver is not feeling very good at all.  I’m looking forward to the New Year so I can implement this self help, clean living period of my travels.  Currently my system is screaming like a wailing banshee from the depths of hell to stop going out at night.  Meh.  Maybe I’ll listen to it soon.

It’s nice to hang out with friends again.  Although I’ve returned to a place that will go down in infamy, there is a strange sense of feeling at home.  I know these streets now.  I know what it’s capable of.  For the few negative things that have happened to me here, there has been significantly more positives.  I’ve met some great friends, had some fun times, and I’m hoping that the next couple of days will continue to move in that direction.  New year promises much.

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Back to the scene of the crime(s)

Wednesday 28 December

Sweating, hungover, feeling miserable for myself and staring into someones armpit.  I find myself with a big question mark hanging over my head, a guitar squeezed between my knees and worry across my brow.  I’m on a chicken bus.  For the first time since I arrived in the States all those days ago, I’m traveling alone, shoehorned into a vehicle that surely can’t take any more passengers.  I could probably lift myself off the floor and not touch the ground.  It’s not a good experience at the best of times, but it’s a damn site worse when you’ve got rum rattling behind your eyes.

After a heated exchange of words with my former friend, I depart the hostel in a sticky daze, the booze seeping out my pores and that lone drip tickling down the spine.  I struggle to the bus station with my two bags, a guitar and a large bottle of water.  I might as well paint a target on my head, or have a sticker on my back saying ‘rob me’.  She was right about that.

The guitar always attracts people.  They shout from across the street, lunge forward into my face, strum the air and make comments I don’t understand.  Except when they say ‘musica!’  I figured that one out for myself.  I do find it a little intimidating, as I can only smile, shrug and look like a total eejit. AHhahahaha…si, si, si…??

Traveling alone turns out to not be the scary, daunting, clueless experience I anticipated.  I get on a bus, I get off the bus, I get on another bus, I reach my destination.  If only it was that quick.  Chicken buses are very cheap, but you rarely have any space to yourself, and always need to be mindful of your belongings.  They put large back packs on the roof where they have a tendency to go ‘missing’.  I’m wedged between a tiny, middle aged Nica woman, her boobs brushing my left bum cheek, a chicken bus employee’s breath on my chin, and my nose in a Swiss-German girls armpit.  It’s an eclectic mix of human bodies and it’s not fun at all.

I suppose I should tell you I’m back in San Juan Del Sur.

Yes I know.

No, really.

I get it.

However my friends are all down here and I didn’t really want to be heading to a place where I didn’t know anyone for New Years.  My glasses are not ready until the 6th, and I’ve decided as best I can not to retrace my steps on this trip.  Errrrr.  Apart from now.  Plus I have the added advantage of staying at my friends hostel for mates rates.  I’m here.  Deal with it.  Seriously though, I can’t wait to get out of Nicaragua and check out the crime rate in Costa Rica.

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The shit girls say

Tuesday 27 December

So it looks like I haven’t learned my lesson. I find myself with a ‘bad liver and a broken heart’, only a few days after meeting someone I thought was…unbelievable.

There we were, falling asleep in hammocks, watching The Snowman cuddled over a laptop, laughing, playing pool on a shitty table, meeting a parent, playing chess, making plans. A memorable Christmas Eve kiss that I will never forget.  A beautiful Aphrodite that stole my affections in a lot less time than it usually takes.  Maybe by a day or so.

“You’re falling in luuuurve” my friend Beth drawls at the front desk of the hostel.  “I am not!” came the firm reply, betrayed only by the grin on my face and a sparkle in my eye.  I wasn’t falling, but for a few days, it might have felt like I was.  I couldn’t be could I?  How can I?  I’ve known her less than 72 hours.  Yet there it was, residing somewhere in the depths of my stomach, that funny little feeling that if nurtured, could certainly grow into something wonderful and yet equally heartbreaking.  Ahhhhh…once again dear readers, it is the latter.  Hey, if it was anything else, it just wouldn’t be me would it?

“As the hippie w commitment issues I want to travel alone. I evaluated my recent plans and realized I was only traveling to CR because I felt bad that you don’t speak Spanish. But I have a feeling that’s why you went to San Juan in the first place.
I may stay in Granada and head to San Juan w the group from last night for new yrs. I may stay in Granada for new yrs.
I don’t want to go to Montezuma at all. It reminds me of my ex. I may just take bus all the way to jaco.
I don’t know. But I do know that I’m single and hanging w you it feels I have obligations to entertain you and translate.
I want to just do as I planned and wing it alone. And honestly I’d feel safer alone.
Nothing personal but you look like a perfect target for a robbery and alone I’d feel less like a target.
Plus, again, commitment issues. I can’t make plans and stick to them for someone else. This is my trip and I want to be free to go where I want when I want and w/o explaining why. It’s why I’m single and I haven’t felt like that w you.

Translation; I’m going to stay in Granada because I want to fuck the owner of this bar, and I like him more than you.  The passing comment about me looking like an easy target for robbery was unnecessary; I take that as a kick in the teeth.

Regardless of how true it is.

I had a dream last night. I dreamed that Hay-Lee went off with five different guys, all of whom had their faces on playing cards.  It was one of those dreams you swear is real, and you question yourself when you wake.  It just so happened that I was involved in a drinking game the previous night, with cards, with the owner of this bar (who incidentally was only at my table because of my two very attractive Norwegian friends).  I left early, because he was flirting outrageously with the girls, I wasn’t getting a word in, and Hay-lee had disappeared earlier anyway.

Whether he got with the two girls is a moot point.  He certainly had the girl I was falling for.  He’s a 6 foot something Dutchman, blond, well built with that winning smile. He owns and operates the most exclusive bar in Granada.  Every ‘girlfriend’ I’ve been in the company of at this place has fallen for his charm. I don’t joke or fabricate when I say he has literally taken them away from me.  I can’t compete with that.

It makes you wonder why I keep going back doesn’t it?

I had booked a private room in a hostel in San Juan Del Sur;at her suggestion, as it was easy to get over the border to Costa Rica.  Yes I know it’s San Juan Del Sur, but it was one night…ONE night I tell you.  Laying low, watching films from the comfort of our room.  With someone who appeared to be pretty special.  It wasn’t going to be the same experience as before.

Oh.  It suddenly dawns.  THAT’S why she wanted to go back out last night.  Feeling feverish, Walked her home after we called briefly at the bar.  I wondered why she wanted to come back with me after we arrived at the hostel?  It was because of the owner.  Wow.  The penny drops.   And it lands pretty hard.

“I might meet Erik for lunch today.”

I see.

“Because I like him.”

And there was I, beaten, with no cards left to play.

My friends departed  this morning, the hostel fumigates the rooms again, I sit in an opticians waiting for another botched eye exam, and write on my laptop.  A prime target for robbery…

I get it.  I really do.  She’s not interested.  She’s flighty.  She’s ‘enjoying being single’.  She’s wanting to fuck around with a better looking filthy rich guy.  It’s just instead of a snowflake on my arm, I have a heart on my sleeve; and this morning; it’s feeling a little broken.

I wonder what Charles Bukowski would do…?

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