Friday, October 31, 2008

A cast of characters

I think someone should make a film about the characters that are at the Green Tortoise hostel. There are apparently people who've lived here for 4 months, I'm not sure who they are, but I guess it's not the worst place in the world to live. Free dinner 3 nights a week, free internet, a huge collection of books and videos, and of course, a never ending supply of fresh people to interact with. Here are just a few of the interesting folk I've come to know over the past 5 days...

Mark from Arkansas, who's been up working on a boat in Alaska for the past few months. He's a bit of cowboy, always traveling with 2 enormous hats, and likes to tell stories that emphasise what a salt of the earth fella he is, like how he didn't eat fast enough when I lady friend took him home to meet her parents in England. Sure, he's a bit rough, but when he noticed I had a cold he immediately pulled out a brand new packet of vitamin C and put 5 individually wrapped lollies on the table for me. He then checked every day how I was feeling.

Then there's Bob, from parts unknown, who's just come back from Australia. "Oh, I love Australia. I want to live the rest of my life in Australia! The people there are so nice, they got no guns there, I never saw no fightin the whole time I was there. Yerp, I love Australia. They did hurt me though, they hurt me real bad..." I asked Bob who'd hurt him. Turns out he overstayed his visa by 4 days and went into the immigration office in Darwin to admit his mistake. Well, they put him in jail for 10 hours, and then transferred him to a detention facility for 10 days, sent 2 guards on a plane to Sydney with him and deported him. He had to pay for the guards' flights and wages, and now owes the Government of Australia $5000. He also thinks that at the ripe old age of 26, I should definitely not be single, and that I should just scoop myself up a husband before I turn into a spinster like his 29 year old, helicopter pilot daughter. Who he also thinks is a lesbian. And a bitch. Ah, he's an old softy!

Mikael and Christian - zee Germans. They like their Rammshtein (a heavy metal band) loud, their joints fat, and I think have pyromaniac aspirations.

Allen, yet another Alaskan fisherman, who invited me to join a game of Spades. A much easier card game than 500, but there was all this talk about 'bags' and how they'd send you back in points, but he couldn't quite explain what a 'bag' was. Well, it was 2pm and he'd been drinking since about 10am...

Andre, I mentioned in my last post. Yesterday, he told me that I'm "as cute as a barbie doll, and honey, where did I learn to dress so sweet?" He did the whole gay "mmm mmm mmmm" thing and thoroughly approved of my cardigan and pink shirt. He's a classical musician, composing a ballet at the moment...I guess it's not going so well if he's cleaning toilets at the Tortoise...

Colleen, a lovely Canadian lady who's in my room. Last night, when all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and read myself to sleep, she got right into a story about her children, and grandchildren, and then the photos came out (cute grandkids). And then the story about how her husband had left her 10 years ago for another woman, but at least he waited till she recovered from her partial frontal lobotomy. Lo-bot-o-my. I didn't think they still did that, but apparently they do. She now enjoys tutoring little kids with learning disabilities and told me all about some of her students. I didn't get into bed for over an hour.

There have been other characters that have come and gone, and at 5 days in, I feel like an old timer. It's a nice feeling of community here, but I wouldn't stay 4 months.

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