Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I know I should update this blog more often, but I don't. There are too many things I wish I could do at a time, but I can't. Not now. A blog, a book, a life. I'm not abandoning you :o) If you're curious to know what's happening with me, click here, I'll devote some time to a monthly newsletter.

Je sais, je devrais mettre à jour ce blog plus souvent, mais je ne le fais pas. Il y a trop de choses que je souhaite mener de front. Je n'y parviens. Pas aujourd'hui. Un blog, un livre, une vie. Je ne vous abandonne pas :o) Vous êtes curieux de savoir ce qu'il m'arrive, cliquez ici, je consacrerai un peu de temps à une newsletter mensuelle.

Monday, April 13, 2009

a kiss to build a dream on

Staying in a guest house has good sides too.
When I got back the other night, there was some kind of a party going on outside by the swimming pool. I didn’t feel like seeing people. I didn’t feel like doing anything. Actually, I was a bit low. I don’t know why but I said hi. And they greeted me with a cup of wine. It was somebody’s birthday. The most handsome guy there. Fernando, alias Fer, was celebrating his 40th birthday. He could only speak Spanish. So I called my brain to summon up the little Spanish that I remembered. With a little help of his friend, Hache, who did the translation, I told himself a quick summary of my story. Oh, God! I can’t help talking. If you ever meet me, stop me before I start*. Then, all of a sudden, Fer said “give me a hug”. Hesitating, I embraced him. “A bigger hug”, he said. Everybody was watching. I had just arrived and, out of the blue, I was in the arms of the guy everyone was drooling at. When the hug was over, they looked at us as casually as possible. I said: “he asked for a hug, I gave him a hug. So what?”
But it was the warmest hug I had had in ages.
A soothing hug.

Later that night, being with Fer and Hache in a disco, I asked Fer "dame un beso". He not only gave me one kiss, but a dozen, a hundred. And enough hugs for the next few weeks. And his smile to build a dream on.

*Yes, I can be an excellent listener. Ask the friends I abandoned…

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

a glass of wine before an early night

If you have read bits and pieces of this blog, you know that I'm Thomas. But I'm not really Thomas. I have to admit I like being anonymous. The French guys who are currently staying in the guest house know my real first name - I can't always think to tell my interlocutors I'm someone else. They wanted to have a bit of a chat with me. They didn't notice that, as I was cooking my dinner, I might have wanted to stay by myself. But never mind. Since I'm polite, I said hi and asked them questions about their day. They asked about mine. And while I was starting to eat my pasta, standing in front of them - the four of them -, one almost had his face on my plate. - You want some? I asked. He reacted by suggesting we'd have a bottle of wine. - Oh, you have some manners, I said.
The one with whom I'm sharing the bathroom looked at the notebook where everyone keeps a record of his drinks: - Thomas... who's Thomas? We missed that one...

I’m Thomas but I decided to keep it for myself.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

a beer and a whale

Coffee on the Rocks, Gansbaai ; tel : 028 3842017, fully licences bistro, open today 10:00 – 17:00 (picture © Thomas Mars)

For the French version, click here

The view is absolutely breathtaking. I’m having lunch overlooking a preserved bay where whales* and dolphins come all year around. I didn’t see any today but the view is good enough for me. Even though we’re in autumn here (remember we’re on the South-Hemisphere here) it’s 33° in the shade. The car is parked just a few meters away. A car I shouldn’t drive, by the way. Because, if you remember what I wrote earlier on, I “lost” my driving license. In a way, yes, I’m a criminal. Firstly because I’m driving around without any license, secondly because I drank 2 beers – drink or drive…
Each time I took the car, I had to tell myself: drive on the left hand side, left hand side! … Oh, here they come: there are seals!!! Kids run down the coffee shop to stand on top of the rocks and see the seals. Silly me! I stay here and sip my beer.
Thank you Vanessa for the company, for the spinach and feta tart and for the lovely bird that came to visit us while we talked. I’ll be back soon.

*The Southern Right Whales come to Walker Bay every year – from July to December – to mate, give birth and play until they depart to the ice cold waters off Antarctica for the rest of the year. Some of them – don’t ask me why, I’m not a specialist – stay throughout the year ; either to keep company to the dolphins or to accomplish their duty regarding local tourism.

Friday, April 3, 2009

me and Tom Hanks

Yesterday night, Gansbaai harbour
for the French version, click here

What do I have in my luggage anyway ? Bermuda shorts, a swimsuit, four pants, three white t-shirts, a blue t-shirt, a polo, two sweaters, a cap, flip-flops, my Camper shoes I had planned to get rid of in Paris, socks, toiletries, books, a camera, a laptop, my passport and a can-opener.

In my darkest and most ludicrous thoughts, I had this film on my mind: Castaway. Tom Hanks played a man who survived a plane crash and landed on a deserted island ; I remember scenes when he got injured because he couldn’t open the cans that had miraculously beached at his feet. This is what I was thinking about when I stole the can-opener in one of the seedy hotels I rented during my Parisian week, not knowing what would ever become of me, not knowing where my ravings would lead me, not knowing if, in a fit of insanity – or lucidity – I would decide to jump over a bridge and put an end to everything. As a response to my letter, C wrote something like “you could have left in a more dignified way”. I answered that my disappearance was, in a way, a failed suicidal. In the sense that I had seriously thought about killing myself but hadn’t had enough courage to do it.

In my luggage, I even have a butcher knife (8’’ blade) – Tiaan saw it and his mouth fell open. I told you (in a previous post) not to tell me it’s dangerous to go around naked. Luckily, Jonathan’s maid didn’t put her nose in my stuff, or she would have been horrified.