“Even if after an intense night of good ol’ skanking and wholesome bubbling,
Thou art so hungry that thou could devour one’s own fist…
Thou shalt not eat moussaka from a restaurant where the flies and other forms of wildlife appear to be the main customers!”
Date: Saturday 19th July 2008.
Location: Some random roadside café, Ksilofagu, Cyprus.
“I swear down Marcia. I s-w-e-a-r down! You really need to get a move on man. We ain’t got time to waste,” Jade bellowed. Despite my woozy state of consciousness, I was pretty certain I just saw the pupils of her angelic green eyes flicker a demonic shade of red.
“Alright, alright, I’m going as fast as I can…damn!”
“Not quick enough. I swear if we miss this plane…”
“Oh my days Jade, give it a rest will yah. No one’s gonna miss any plane…Chillax!”
Sweeeeeet Mary and Joseph! The pain. The agony. In a rush to meet my friend’s callous demands, and judging by the murderous intensity of my squeal, I obviously hadn’t clocked the large pile of rock rubble blatantly lying in front of me. Making the hobbled walk of shame from the café back to the minibus, I tried my hardest to avoid Jade’s toxic glare.
“Oh come on man, this is like the fourth time we’ve stopped now. We’ve only got fifteen minutes left to check in you know,” she growled. Stubbing her half-smoked cigarette out with the heel of her gold gladiator sandal, Jade huffed her way back into the minibus. “Ooooouch,” I yelped as my tortured guts lurched and squelched in tandem. Shielding my eyes from the intense Cypriot sunlight, whilst practicing a quick session of deep hee-hee-hooo styled breaths, I silently pleaded with my large intestine to give me a gawd forsaken break.
“Awww you alright girly? This food poisoning’s really hit you hard. How’re you feeling now?” Johanna asked, patting my flaky shoulder.
“Ooops sorry! I forgot about the sunburn.”
Unbelievable! Even here and now in this sweltering, fly-swatting heat, my best friend still managed to sustain her fashionable feline swagger. Sporting a cream linen playsuit, a red fedora hat and a pair of oversized tortoise shell sunshades, Johanna exuded nothing but high voltage glamour.
“It’s cool Jo-Jo, only half of my big toenail’s missing, so it’s not all bad ahy,” I grimaced.
Oh my days! The coils in this archaic car seat were practically impaled into my backside.
“You a rea’dy?” Stavros, the remarkably hairy driver, impatiently asked over his fuzzy shoulder.
“I hope so.”
“Yeah and we ain’t stopping this time,” Jade scowled, giving me a swift side eye glance.
Muttering something to himself in Greek, Stavros turned the key in the ignition, whilst the van’s elderly engine spluttered into life.
“Remind us to be this sensitive to you next time you’re ill, Jade.” Shauna said while twiddling with a few ends of her dreadlocks.
“Do get the hell over yourself Shauna, I ain’t being insensitive ok, but we’re cutting it fine as it is. If this rust bucket doesn’t hurry up and get us to the airport pronto, we’re gonna be up crap’s creek without a paddle, you get me. If Johanna misses her flight to New York she misses her interview slot with that urban author person. Marcia could miss the train that’s supposed to take her to her work conference thingy-majig in Manchester on Monday; you’ve got home tutoring appointments and I can’t miss Jerome’s birthday. Simple!”
“Aahhh now we’re getting to it. You miss Jerome. Full stop.” Shauna teased.
“Of course I miss him, he’s my man duh,” Jade snapped whilst trying to wedge the sticky car window open with her empty B&H box.
For the love of all things remotely sane, you’d have thought Jade had been away from Jerome for two decades and not two blinding weeks.
“That’s odd Jade, I didn’t see you mourning Jerome the first thirteen days of this holiday,” I said in a matter-of-fact fashion.
“Well why would she? My girl was way too preoccupied raving every second she got,” Shauna added.
Preach Shauna, preach!
“Whatever man! Don’t even act like you weren’t too,” Jade retorted before firmly placing her headphones over her ears.
“I’m not denying it,” Shauna replied as Jade turned up the volume on her iPod.
Judging by the extreme speed at which this ancient vehicle was flying through the traditional town of Ksilofagu, I could have sworn this Stavros geezer was a part time rally driver. The second-hand baseline of Gigg’s gritty ‘Talking the Hardest’ trickled out of Jade’s headphones and echoed around the sweat peppered minibus. To help cushion my tender body against the roller-coaster style driving, I tried moving my carcass of a leg into a slightly more comfortable position.
Given the choice between gouging my eyes out and then shoving my head in a blender, over this runny belly and being accidently roasted to a fine crisp shizzle, there would have been no contest.
“What a dodgy end to a wicked holiday,” I reminisced.
“Tell me about it wow, I’m all danced out. It’s back to reality soon, back to East London. Yiasou Ayia Napa, we’ll miss you.” Johanna sighed.
[Continues Next Week…]