This has to be the most beautiful beach in China. Eight hundred meters of fine, white sand and clear, bright, green water. I’ve been going to this beach for almost forty years now. My parents used to take me when I was a little girl. I would build sandcastles, collect shells and bury my legs beneath the hot sand. The beach has always been very popular, not only for the locals, but European tourists enjoy it too. Today, the beach has filled up extremely fast and it is hard to spot a single white spot that can fit a parasol or a towel. The sun is burning, but thanks to an event some years ago I have all the protection I need.
I was sitting under my parasol wearing all my usual protection; sunglasses, sun hat, long sleeve gloves, socks and a sarong to cover up my body when I saw a woman coming out of the water. What caught my attention was a neon-green mask wrapped around her head. I could not help but stare at her thinking ‘I have to get one those’ as I immediately understood why she was wearing it. When I got home that day I turned on the computer and opened the Internet browser, but as I was about to start typing my search it hit me that I had no idea what these masks were actually called. After a few failed attempts on guessing their name I had to search the shops. I went to all kinds of swimwear shops, clothing stores, even pharmacies, but I was unable to find a single one. I soon learned that shop owners kept them out of sight due to some ridiculous government policy. I still do not understand what the issue was, but the shop owners just refused to sell them or even tell me where I could buy one. I remember the feeling of being desperate and frustrated. I hate not getting what I want. From there I decided that I had to find this woman. I went to the beach everyday in the hopes of finding her. In the meantime I had to wear an extra scarf to cover my mouth and cheeks, like those bandits in American westerns. Unfortunately, this woman was not a regular visitor of this particular beach. It took me a whole season before I saw her again. The masks are not at all that difficult to get a hold of now, I think I have about eight of them. When I finally found this woman she told me it was her sister who made it for her, and she said that if I paid her she would have one made for me. This is the mask I am wearing today; silver sequins. Because of the circumstances of getting this mask it has a sentimental value; I believe it is my favourite.
Many people in this area use them. Not only for the beach, but regular outdoor activities such as tennis and golfing. People around here that don’t use them are so used to seeing them that they no longer stare. It is easy tell who the tourists are. Does it look like I care what they think? Who wants wrinkles? I can’t believe I’ve never thought about it before! I remember something my mother used to say ‘A woman should always have fair skin. Otherwise people will think you’re a peasant’. At the age of fifty-eight she had fairer skin the most twenty year olds could ever dream of. When I was younger she used to tell me stories about the traditional Chinese beauties; my favourite was Xi Shi – who was so fair that she made the fish sink. I could stare at drawings of her and dream about how life would be if I looked like her. In the pictures she always had beautiful, white, pale skin, straight black hair down to her knees and dangerously red lips. Looking back of all the things my mother taught me; she would be the first to get a hold of this mask. She would love it!
I LOVE THIS CITY!
I’ve only been here two weeks, but so far everything is looking really good. I found a small apartment by the harbour with an amazing view! He likes to play the guitar with nothing but boxers on. Did I mention how hot his booty is? On top of that I got a job bartending at a pub a few nights a week and a part time job at a crop shop. OK, maybe not the best options out there but it pays for the bills. I have a couple of new friends too! And I haven’t had any time to think about Mother or X, which is even more awesome!
Today I have a date with my new friends; they’re taking me on the ferry to one of the Islands. I am so exited!
Good afternoon. The bus driver is always in a good mood. He happily stops the bus for whenever the people decide to hop on and hop off. It pleases him when they show gratitude. Thank you! He smiles and nods into the mirror.
Two girls on board the bus laughing as they try to find two available seats. As they sit down there is an awkward silence. It only last a few seconds until the blond finally break the silence. I just feel so sorry for her, you know. The brunette is quick to grab the opportunity to make conversation. She asked me how I survived, and I just literary spent the whole study break in bed just eating and watching movies. The blond nods in agreement. She worries if she’ll ever get over it. Like, you just wake up one day not crying and after that it gets better. That’s what I told her. I mean, I feel for her. The blond throws her long hair over her shoulder. Yeah, I know. Me too.
An elderly man sitting in the seat behind the girls starts coughing. The coughing gets gradually louder until one of them turns around. The man quickly stands up and points his finger at her. If you can’t handle your hair maybe you should see a hairdresser! The bus stops and the man gets off the bus. The brunette burst into laughter.
We’re the next stop, sweetie. A little girl reaches for the stop button. She is a tad too short to reach while sitting. She decides to stand up in the seat. Before her mother is able to grab her, she takes a tumble as the bus suddenly stops. Oh, no. Sweetie. Everything ok? Is she all right? Hey you! The driver turns his head towards the girl who is struggling to hold her tears back. He sounds unhappy, but he cannot help to show some empathy. Are you okay? Her mother lifts her up. Thanks driver! As soon as they are off the bus, the girl bursts into tears.
How many stages to the hospital? $3.60, thanks. A younger couple finds a seat at the back of the bus. What a lovely day to have a baby! The woman is smiling and her cheeks are glowing. Let’s not get carried away, dear. We’ll see how well they cope before making any decision. Two under two’s sounds very tiring if you ask me.
Last stop Britomart! The remaining passengers steps off the bus to enjoy their afternoon in the city. The driver walks down the aisle to see if all the seats are in good order and to make sure the bus is tidy. Then he realise his not alone. A homeless is sleeping in the back row of the bus. How did you get here? The driver tries to wake him up shaking him and lightly hitting him all over. The homeless person is not showing any signs of waking up.
The new me
I have never made a new year resolution before but having a new year resolution is actually part of my resolution. My new year resolution is to have a resolution. Not sure how that works… forget about that.
I have spend some hours on the computer trying to find a new place to live. I have decided that I am moving into the city. I need to get away from here. I need new friends. I would like a new set of parents too but I’m not sure if you can adopt that way around. I should probably get a job first though…
Happy Ever After
Last time I was single I wasn’t even drinking. Or partying! New Year’s Eve were spent home with my parents, eating turkey and leftover Christmas cookies. Celebrating the new year alone sucks! However, I can only blame myself. I did actually get as many as three invitations for the day. I chose to decline all. One invitation was from the X. How rude! Of course I wasn’t going to accept that. The second invitation I received was from cousin. Fearing whatever he is up to I said no to that too. My kind parents said I was most welcome to hang around at home, but I rather not. After my mother’s comments about X I find it most depressing being in her company. Today, all I want to do is forget about this Christmas and the last few weeks. I know drinking isn’t going to do me any good, but I’m going to anyway. Cheers.