Sunday, 21 December 2008

Hostel Characters With Affection (2)

Freddie (and the Girls), 22, Swedish – Cautious but ultimately friendly. Came to Punta Del Diablo the year previous and managed to land a job on reception this year. Is highly organized in that casual way that seems to be the exclusive preserve of Swedish natives. (Maybe this is why they write killer pop songs - they analyse the form like a scientist but are then creative and relaxed enough to casually knock off a melody that seems as if it has been around forever...and sticks in your head forever....I don't know; I find myself generalising again). Anyway, given his organisational skills I am surprised to find him adverse to the workings of computers. We bond over these shared frustrations and then more so as we are filling buckets to put out a fire on the terrace of a restaurant. (Perhaps I need another entry for this). I resist his attempts to convert me to Jose Gonzalez on the basis that the said record is being playing in every bar in the world on a Sunday afternoon (and so a conversion as such is not necessary).  He cannily navigates any potential friction with regard to the 'chicken shack' by moving to a remote forest cabin  with three exceptionally attractive Uruguayian girls who work at the restaurant. I consider the point at  which I leave him is probably the beginning of the best summer of his life.

The Irish Guy. Male, 6’ 4”  Irish, mid twenties I guess. I know nothing about this guy save for the fact that having embarked on a heady fusion of booze cruise and horseride he sat himself next to me and opened the conversation with the following:

Him: ‘Now you might be a good looking Scottish guy and you know and that would probably pan out ok but since youre not where does that leave you…?

Long pause. Some laughter. I open my mouth to speak..

Him: ‘I don’t know, it’s a shame, I think you can fuck off, but where do you stand with it?’.

I fidget a little. I’m confused because I'm laughing and feel genuinely offended at the same time.  A crowd of eight people are watching this impromptu monologue. I feel like I have just encountered the reincarnation of James Joyce as a paraletic Rugby player.

Me: Its fair to say I am not at all sure where that leaves me.

He slaps me very hard on the back. I fidget a little more.

Him: What are you going to do with your legs now? What about the knees? Eh? What about the angle? What do you think that could mean….?

Me: What?

Him: The angle, the fucking angle man.

I forget the rest. Eventually he gave up on me. I think I have some footage on my phone of some of the most surreal insults I've ever received. I do remember him turning his attention to a group of girls who I have been sat with, playing scrabble as it happens. He indirectly dismisses one by telling them that two of them are quite attractive and then proceeds to ask a girl called Cecilia if her breasts are real or fake. She replies, with the kind of retort you usually only think of after the event, that they are as fake as he is charming and his whole patter seems to dissolve into the ether. I never spoke to him again but I did see him the following morning. I never saw a man look so sheepish over his muesli. Strangely though, if one can put the misogony and general offence to one side, I thought him quite exceptional in many respects. 


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