The crab is slowly waddling its way across the sand. This lad is a fraud. The reason it is taking him so long for him to labour across this stretch of beach is because he disguises himself as a shell. This means he spends all of his life carrying his multi-coloured shell on his back just so he can trick the other creatures who hang out here into thinking he’s something he’s not. Pretending to be something you are not. We’ve all done it at some time or other but there are plenty of punters who spend almost their entire lives living a lie. And then you see this crab and you realise that those people and this tiny crustacean have quite a lot in common when it comes down to it. Strange the things you learn when you are hung over and lying on the beach.
I have this terrible habit of having my heaviest nights when I am leaving a place the next morning. This inevitably leads to a day of travel made fairly intolerable by me having to nurse a shocking hangover. For once though I have the luxury of getting up for breakfast, having a few minutes watching said crab on the beach and going straight back to bed afterwards. I’m not budging from here today.
In the midst of a lie low I spot Sarah Maverick who has booked in at Mango Bay. She’s had it with Fiji apparently. A bed bug feasted on her last night and she also experienced some unwanted attention from a local Fijian bloke the other night which got a little out of hand. Sarah is also booked on to the Fijee Experience rather than travelling independently as I am. They asked us on the bus to tell everybody our age and whether we are single or not. I’ve got no problem telling people I’m 43, but why do I have to announce to everybody whether I’m up for a shag or not?
Three hours later...
Now we present a traditional Samoan dance. Oh, God. Save me. I know this routine:
Bunch of young muscular black blokes showing off their ripped bodies in the name of culture. I know what’s coming. Yeah, twenty-something girls dragged out of the audience to dance with the lads. A little bit of sexual tension. Sarah and I frown at each other and roar aloud. It’s all gone a bit holiday camp. I feel like I’m on an 18-30 holiday in the Med.
I know what’s coming next Sarah. Yep, love juice.
I bloody knew it. I’ve seen this gig a million times. The muscular cultural dancers and the male staff of the Fijee experience have magically acquired huge jugs of rum&coke, which they are doling out for free to all the young girls. You know the score. They’ll be drunk in no time and peeling a banana on the beach in an hour’s time. If you can’t beat them, join them (I’m referring to the free alcohol not the banana peeling). I’m going to have a cheap night now. A free glass of your finest rum and coke love juice please sir.
Wow. A day of sun, the beer, wine, rum&coke has mixed with the Kava and the Love Juice and I’m away with the fairies. I mean I haven’t been this properly drunk in public for a very long time. The shutters have gone down. I think I have my first real shot on goal of the whole trip with the a Swiss girl. I vaguely remember slurring to her that I’ve really liked her for the two days since I first set eyes on her. FFS, I can’t help myself. I also vaguely recall asking Sarah to find me a hammock to lie in on the beach. I hope I didn’t have a shot at goal on her. She’s my friend for God’s sake. I don’t know. The shutters have gone down. I couldn’t be trusted to tie my own shoe laces to be honest. The shutters have…