And so I have left. I have left my beloved BA!
I also left The Man behind. I cried. What a knob. I stood hugging him at Retiro bus station and howled. He is quite good at managing my outbursts though and he just hugged me in a nice fashion, not giving too much credence to my emotional excesses.
More about him in a bit.
So here I am, at the beginning of my big long trip, sitting on a balcony overlooking a beach in Brazil. I am with my little sister who is the best travel partner one could imagine: no-one else swears as much as I do apart from her, no-one else loves beach dogs as much as I do apart from her and no-one else turns into a human pizza so soon after encountering a bunch of mosquitos as much as I do… apart from her. In fact she fares even worse than me on this front. Currently her face is like a football and she has a third tit so badly has she swollen up.
(We had an impromptu hike up – and then down – a mountain yesterday. It was not ideal – neither of us were prepared and were thus carrying Heavy Things that only girls can carry when they’re on holiday, plus she was wearing espadrilles I was wearing my favourite Khao San Road flip flops in cream, size 39-40. Those bad boys have lasted me years. But now they are in a state of decay, as are my legs, after – as I mentioned earlier – an unexpected hardcore mountain hike. We suffered rage, exhaustion, fear of death (for no reason other than that we were in a bit of discomfort) but most of all we suffered from mosquito attacks. I currently have 17 on the back of my right thigh alone. This is no exaggeration. I have a photo and am considering whether or not to upload it to this blog, although I probably won’t. I don’t have the best relationship with my thighs as it is; opening a close-up out to the viewing public is probably a little beyond my means.)
Anyway, pizza legs aside, we are in heaven. (Oh actually that’s a lie. There’s also been the shits and sunburn and communication issues to contend with. Have you ever thought you’d be ok in a Portuguese-speaking country just because you speak Spanish? Yes? Me too. Seriously! WTF is everyone saying?! It might as well be Cantonese!)
But back to our current location. It’s stunning. Fishing village, white sand, sunsets, mountains, awesome beach dogs, enough seafood on this beach alone to feed the whole of the UK and a handful of lovely chilled out people who smile and breeze out greetings like ‘Oi!’ which apparently means ‘alright mate.’
Needless to say I have been reflecting on The Man. By the time we parted company our thing had been going on for about three months so it goes without saying that it has become quite a fixture.
Actually it doesn’t go without saying. You know hardly anything about what’s going on between us. I was thinking that on the beach earlier. I thought: My readers have bugger-all idea what’s going on with me and him. That’s bad. (See? I think about you even when I’m on holiday, my friends. I worry. I want to make you happy.)
It’s hard to write about it though. I’m having a blogging crisis. As I’ve said many times, I don’t feel at liberty to discuss the ins and outs of our romance. (Shut it, those of you at the back.) He knows about the blog now – and has promised not to read back to my vintage blogs from the internet dating days – and I do believe him – so it’s not like I’m betraying his trust by writing about him but still, I want to give this thing (dare I say relationship?) the respect it deserves.
Which is pretty uninteresting for you.
But I will say a few things. Firstly, I miss him already. Pathetic but true. As you may have guessed, our romance has not been very conventional, given that he moved into my apartment on the day he returned to Buenos Aires. Granted he moved out again but we really have done things in the wrong order. Met each others’ families, spent Christmas together, gone on holiday together, lived together… erm…
Secondly, he misses me. We skype most mornings and we smile and goon quite a lot. Seeing his face immediately drags me out of any sort of any sort of morning funk. I was in a right old egg this morning because of mosquito carnage, sweatiness, a lost wallet and a to-do list that has no place on a beach holiday. But as soon as I spoke to him I was silly grin girl again. Oh god. I am human mush. Help me.
Thirdly, with regard to our SCAF, matters are as yet unresolved. Of course. How could they be anything else when we’ve only just met each other? But the bottom line is that we want to make this thing work. On that we are both firm.
However. I am now a bummy traveller until late May, at which point I will return to the UK for a month only to return to South America in late June to recommence being a bummy traveller. I do not plan to return to the UK properly until Christmas, ready for the GRAND LAUNCH of my first ever novel. So it’s a whole year, really, till I’m back in London where he (and technically I) live.
Neither of us are sure how to approach this. It is early. But we like each other. Am I prepared to ditch my travel plans and go home earlier? No. I am writing my second book now. Why on earth would I write it in London, where I have lived for nearly ten years? I may not get another book deal after novel two. I am grabbing this work-n-travel opportunity by the balls I tell you. I once put off travel plans for a man and it brought me nothing but heartache.
Is he prepared to come out to travel with me? Maybe. But when? When is too soon, when is too late? Should I feel bad about my inflexibility about returning to England? Not that he’s asked me to, mind. He is a bummy traveller himself and is always up for a bit of bummy. He’s travelled more than anyone I know. (Our mutual friend – the one what introduced us – said that when he asked The Man where he wanted to travel next, The Man said “I’ve been thinking about travelling the ‘Stans.” Only someone who’s been just about everywhere says things like that.)
So it’s a bit of a conundrum. Neither of us want to put pressure on this nice thing that’s going on between us; neither of us want to let it just drift away.
We are a work in progress. More soon.
Right now I have a date with a big bowl-o-prawns so I shall leave it there.
Sending Brazilian beach vibes to you all.