Dearest Ellen,

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Just got into a huge fight with Joanie. My god, she can be so unreasonable, so infuriatingly irrational! I'd like to give her a good flogging. This is one of the worst crises in our friendship, and at the moment I'm not sure I ever wish to speak to her again.

Rafa lost, at Wimbledon. You probably already know this - I was quite crushed, personally, but you know I don't like to focus on dark feelings, so I daresay I would have dealt with it bravely. But when I talked to Joanie to get a little consolation, a little milk of human kindness, that wretched girl said she thought Nadal's opponent, one Lukas Rosol or something, won deservedly. Not only that, but she said that Nadal had been unsporting when he bumped Rosol during the change-over.

 I saw the bump. The two had to walk past each other, and Nadal sort of stuck out his elbow and the Czech walked into it.

 How is that Nadal's fault? It's perfectly possible the guy hurt Nadal's magnificent elbow, which I should deeply resent. Also, even if Nadal had been to blame for the incident (but in my point of view, the Czech was out to hurt Nadal's magnificent body out of jealousy), wouldn't he have had a good reason to do so? 

Apparently, not according to Joanie. I told her that the Rosol lad may have scowled, or walked in an irritating manner (you know how much Peter used to infuriate me, with his effeminate scuttle), and Nadal was understandably annoyed. And that, as the higher ranked player, he had a right to pass before lesser man, anyway.

 She maintained that Rafa had been "unsporting" and said Rosol was a lovely young man with a modest personality. Whatever! I find him much less attractive than Nadal, and culpably so since it is clear he doesn't work on developing his physique, and as tennis is a spectator sport, the most georgeous man deserves, if not to win, than certainly to push the homelier ones about a bit. Anyone who takes Nadal's side in this matter is probably a latent lesbian. I think Joanie should sort her sexuality out, before exasperating me with her belligerent opinions.

 I've quite lost my appetite for the day.


Dearest Joanie,

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

It's a disgrace! Soon, international travel will be entirely impossible for me. Except in Burke's 20 mph Westfalia camper, I suppose.
I was at the airport, today - leaving Schiphol (Amsterdam) for Macedonia. It's absurd enough to make me go through the metal detector - one look at me should suffice to realize I'm not the terrorist type, even for those customs fools. There should be more profiling. Positive profiling, I'd like to call it. Where people like me simply wouldn't have to do any passport control and could just wait in a pleasant lounge, with a drink, to be taken straight into the airplane. And off again right past customs in the country of destination.

I gracefully went through the metal detector - both in terms of my rather sophisticated clothes and walk (you would be horrified to see what most travellers wear! Track suits and slip on shoes, and yet they don't get profiled) and of my not making a scene. "These people are only doing their jobs," I said to myself, smiling through gritted teeth.

And then this horrible type, some uniformed customs wench, began to touch my body after the very shortest of introductions. She felt me up all over, concentrating mainly on my breasts, which she visited several times. I was appalled. I believe this is called "gate rape". I had an impulse to slap her face, but managed to restrain myself. All I said, with supernatural calm, was: "I would like this procedure to be performed by a man. I believe that is within my rights."

She said nothing, and I was released. I suppose she realized I meant business. A woman should be patted down by a male officer, and vice versa. That's standard regulations. What happened here was outrageous, and Schiphol will have to answer for it. I am going to raise media awareness about this issue.

And now for a large drink.


Dear Joanie,

Thursday, 12 April 2012

What is it with these hot countries? I remember Ada telling me, when she was back from Southern Europe, that Spanish men were jacking off in public all over the place. Of course I didn't believe her. You know what she's like. Practically frigid. She's so afraid of men that in her feverish mind, they're standing around her, at the Alhambra in Granada, the Alcazar in Seville, and inside the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, pleasuring themselves while looking at her hungrily.

But what do you think? This morning I walked past a car blocking the driveway to our hotel (I was getting sick of campings), and I saw that the driver was "enjoying his own company", as I once heard it described. Noticing that I'd noticed it, he seemed pleased. I walked on in disgust. He followed me for around 50 meters, honking his horn. That's not another euphemism for masturbation, by the way. He just honked his horn. Whether by accident, I don't know.

Which reminds me of when Petr went to Ethopia at the time of the terrible famine there. I was impressed with him, by the way - hadn't expected him to care. And of course he didn't; he was actually going to sell second hand cars, at a maximum profit. Now, at the Algerian border, he walked into the customs office, and saw a customs officer seated at a table, masturbating.

"I guess it's a question of local mores, " Burke says. "Like blowing your nose. People from Japan are probably all "I walked past the hotel and someone was blowing his nose!"

Still, I can't imagine people would look pleased and proud if they blew their noses and you saw it. But tell me, dear - why is the fervent public tossing off only a feature in Southern Europe and North-Africa? Why not Florida, or Texas?

Or do Texans service themselves a lot in public? Who can tell me this?



Dear Andrea,

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Yes, we are in Andalusia. We travelled all the way to the Cabo de Gata Nature Park, in the very South of Spain, in order to hear Spanish families scream at each other and play loud, inferior music over their stereos (usually placed outside.)

Such is life at a camping site. Mostly, we stay in the wild, in Burke's little Westfalia motor home, but sometimes I cannot take the extreme lack of luxury anymore, and need proper bathing facilities, as well as washing machines, dryers and nanny services for Barnaby. 

Burke driving his Westfalia in Biarritz

I keep having to go to Recepción, in order to get help with the internet, or buy coins for the washer. The girl at the counter has a huge, balloon like belly which she supports with both hands as she rises, with great difficulty, whenever I report to her desk. I would love to say "My dear girl, you are pregnant - don't get up!" but under no circumstances will I do that. The risk of error is too great. I have erred at least a dozen times, in my life. Because apparently, even if a woman looks like she is 9 months pregnant with a baby elephant, she is just out of shape in a weird way, and will react with great indignation if I ask her when the little one is due.

It's not my fault. I have always had a perfect figure, and I can't be expected to distinguish between balloon shaped body fat, accumulating entirely in the lower abdomen, and gestation. An elephant is pregnant for 2 years, did you know that? 

The Westfalia getting towed in San Sebastian

Oh drat, my internet connection is very slow...Shall have to report back to Recepción. I almost feel guilty, when that whale of a girl gets up, with such obvious exhausted misery, to tend to my internet problems. Instead of saying "when's the baby due?" I think I will just advise her to lay off the deep fried octopus. Will have to look that up in my Berlitz Spanish for Travellers booklet, as well as "for goodness' sake, you almost look as if you are pregnant."



Dear Joanie,

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Moving dr. Veltman, and taking driving lessons. I don't know where to start - all this has taken quite a toll on me.
The Floozy (dr. Veltman's girlfriend) has decided he must move closer to her. I don't know why. She says it's because he is old, and starting to become a little infirm. (Starting...?! The man was infirm at 35. How poorly does this creature know him.) She "wants to be close so that she can help when he needs it". 

I resent this. Helping dr. Veltman is my task, isn't it? And I take it seriously. I remember 20 years back he ran for a bus - it was the first time he had run, or walked briskly, since his high school days (when the unfortunate event occurred in which he knocked out a girl while throwing to the ground his bat in a game of softball - he cleared a full home run before he realized everybody else had stopped playing, to gather around the poor girl), and he of course broke his foot, the metatarsus to be precise. He didn't tell me about it for a week but when I found out I went all the way to the Bijlmermeer area with a pan of soup - not an easy trip! Usually dr. Veltman drives me everywhere, but for the first time in my life I had to take the subway. Can you imagine it? Me in those filthy carriages? But I did it, when there was no floozy around to pretend to care about him. Someone had to step up to the plate.

Haven't I always been there for him, Joanie? I can't count the number of times I've offered to buy him oranges when he had the flu. Of course dr. Veltman always has the flu. You know what he's like, such a drama queen. He won't eat fruit for the life of him, so there was never any point in my going, but I'd have gone to the Bijlmermeer on the bus and then the subway just to give him those oranges. Because I care.

And now suddenly, after decades, this Floozy steps in and pretends to know what's good for him. He has to live close to her! Which of course means she's simply too lazy to take her ass to the Bijlmer. Some people want to have everything in life handed to them. Sorry to be so rude, my dear - the floozy's very existence has a coarsening effect on me. Even my hands seem to feel less smooth, these days.

Well, I won't make a scene. That's just not me. I suspect she is in it strictly for the money. My, will she have a rude awakening when she inherits all of 350 Euros. All he possesses in the world that's of any value is his collection of Märklin miniature trains. And which child wants those, in this computer age? I'd love to see the look on her face, oh, Joanie, it will be hysterical!!


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