I have to say that on waking up I wasn’t in the best mood. Half of my shoulders was layed around me in my bed and I knew that moisturiser just couldn’t be applied on the go. With no bike, I walked to the rowing area, to catch the pickup truck. Rain spat down on my head as I went through the “this is familiar motions”. Being in the pickup truck was actually very fun, until the big bag of rice spilt right into my lap and I, yet again, became the object of mirth. I lobbed handfuls of rice at the smirking faces to serve them right. Serves them right again that some of their lunch had been between my toes.
Then we arrived at the bridge. HQ became the disused old police building which was full of graffiti, with “flip off” being a popular tag amongst the artists. I decided that my skin should have some albeit limited exposure to the sun, because after all, I want that golden tan instead of big red patches for skin. But it turns out I had no trouble limiting the time my uncouthly shoulders had exposed. Maldivian children have the amazing ability to insult you repeatedly with no regard for your opinion. “Plucked chicken” became the overriding choice of insult thrown my way, and one mother even used her fancy shmancy iPhone camera, not to take photos of the paradisiacal panoramas, but of my peeling back. She showed me the photos as if I was not fully aware of what I looked like and I had to nod and smile and say “yes, that is a photo of my back.”
But I had an umbrella this time. UVB would not prove my conqueror once more as I assumed the role of a Japanese woman in a heatwave. No step was taken without my orange TNT umbrella, and it actually proved popular with the others once the sun got into its stride and started pounding them senseless. I started offering a public service to those who wanted it, I proudly, but shortsightedly marketed myself “Melanoma Man”, before I realised that superheroes aren’t named after the evil things which they fight; I’m grateful the kids couldn’t translate Melanoma into Dhivehi. Anyway, have a look at Melanoma warding the UVB off some of his grateful public.
Another thing which delighted me was the fish on offer. I really do love fish now. Especially since most of it has been caught only a few hours before I’ve eaten it. This one was a big fudge-off Jack fish which probably weighed about 5kg. The expert mothers cooked it by first basting it in a simple sauce of garlic, onion and chili and then cooking it on a wood fire until it was charred brown. Juicy, succulent, fantasmic are all words that could describe this fish. And apparently it only cost 50 rufiyaa, that’s about 2 pounds. Again, suck on that Kerry Katona. (That last sentence should be “Suck on that, Kerry Katona”, but I think it’s funnier if you leave it as it is.)
All in all, I would deem the second picnic a success. Mainly because I am not sunburnt and none of my stuff is soaked.
I have noticed that my blog has veered away from rowing a bit. Fear not, this can only be good news! We are plodding through the repetitive motions of rowing day in day out and we are currently preparing for the Regatta on the 14th December. Teams are going to be announced tomorrow. Swag.