Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Dykes

South Africa

I have been accused - and not without reason - of coming on too strong when meeting new people. Probably the most frequent manifestation of this behavior is my tendency to declare hopeless infatuation with but the slightest provocation. I have had torrid one-hour affairs with hundreds of waitresses and fallen madly in love repeatedly for no more than the period of an elevator ride. More noticeable is the related tendency to cut through traditional small talk and go right for more familiar topics like the state of my butt or my fantasy about girls in lab coats. I figure its faster to convert stranger into comrade or anonymously adored vixen into lady friend if you just dive in. Not everyone reacts favorable to this approach. For that reason, I have lately been holding back when making first impressions.

When we met Anouk and Mignon for the first time, I made a conscious effort to forestall the reciting of epic romantic poetry and the penis-related anecdotes in favor of more conventional small talk. This required no small effort, as I was nearly smitten to death. The objects of my readily-dispensed affection were tall/blonde/blue-eyed sisters from Amsterdam sporting fashionable (and flatteringly tight) outfits and charming Northern European accents. We met in the little town of Underberg at the start of our trip into Lesotho and would be trapped together in trucks and on horses for most of three days. I thought it prudent to delay any proposals of marriage or interjections of poopie-humor for at least an hour so as not to overpower our new companions. In the meantime, the conversation could focus on the weather, mid-century artistic movements, knitting, and other similarly safe topics.

My restraint was completely unwarranted. We were not halfway up Sani Pass before the fart jokes were coming fast and thick, and for once it wasn't me or Jason that started it. I can not remember a time when the OC hit it off so well and so quickly with some fellow travelers. Not that it needed breaking, but the real ice smasher came when (over tea and without precedent) Mignon told us about how she once shit in a bag and brought it to school for "Something Special" - the equivalent of "Show And Tell". After that revealing tale, everything was fair game. Anouk explained that homosexual men in Holland are sometimes called "intestinal tourists". One thing lead to another, and it was not long before we coined the new term "intestinaut" as a rough simile. The sisters also explained that in Holland a well-endowed woman is said to have "a lot of wood stacked up in front of the house". Jason scored a point for the yanks in his creation of the as yet theoretical soap opera entitled "The Bodacious and Beleaguered".

I managed to keep my romantic instincts in check for awhile, but once the girls started singing classic country tunes, there was really no holding back. I have no power to resist beautiful, intelligent women with a dirty sense of humor that can harmonize their way through "Nine to Five" with no apparent effort. I blurted out a declaration of undying love sometime during the second day. Alas, it was not to be. Anouk was devoted to her man - a surfing lothario of no small stature - and Mignon was equally loyal to her girlfriend. Oh well. I agreed to settle for purely Platonic relations and moved the discussion along quickly to a lengthy discussion of the whiteness of my butt - it having been partially (and quite accidentally) exposed during the previous day. The high spirits continued throughout our time in Lesotho, down the pass to Underberg, and all the way along the road to Durban where we finally parted company after a brain-numbingly drunken night on the town.

The girls hopped a flight for Cape Town and the OC reluctantly boarded the bus for the Wild Coast. I was unhappy. Saying goodbye before I have really said hello is getting real old, and in this case I had particularly large amount of greeting left undone. The Baz Bus might be comfortable and convenient, but I greatly prefer to be wedged into a crowded mini taxi where I can watch local people reacting with confusion to the yodeling Dutch duet way in the back (as happened on the way to Durban). Being around Anouk and Mignon made me feel full of the life and energy that comes with new friendship. It is no surprise that our short stay at Cinsa seemed very boring and lonely in comparison. I was more than a little pleased to make our way to Cape Town and the possibility of reunion.

And reunion we had. Anouk, Mignon, and Mignon's lady friend Alice picked us up in a rental car on Sunday night and we headed down to the beach to celebrate. Early in the evening, Anouk said the nicest thing. She said that once or twice during our separation she and her sister had agreed that whatever they were doing would be a lot more fun if Jason and I were there. It was a complement that I did not hesitate to return. We passed the evening eating pizza, getting drunk, and shaking our booties first at the beach and later at a very gay club near the city center. We said goodbye for the second time in the early morn after a thorough hugging and the obligatory photograph. Although I could easily stand to spend more time with Anouk and Mignon, this parting was a happy one. Something about the second meeting felt like a completely realized unit of friendship, rather than the frantic meet, greet, and beat feet so much more characteristic of the OC. For once, I got out enough hello to feel good saying goodbye.


Post a Comment

<< Home