It's always nice to be reminded that one is getting older and slowly, but inevitably, becoming less cool. And it's especially nice to get a double hit of this delightful feeling.
Everyone knows that, when in a restaurant with a Specials board, it is someone's job to go and stand in front of it, memorise it (ideally in less than a minute) and then return to the table and reel-off said list, with all the customary guess-work, ad libs and mis-rememberings:
"I think it came with veggies or rice… or maybe something else. Oh and there was definitely a pasta thingy… and there was one more… which sounded quite good actually…"
Well no, if you are nodding sympathetically at that last paragraph, then I am sorry to be the one tell you – but you are old. That is not the thing to do at all. If you are a young hipster, you simply stand in front of the board and take a photo of it with your camera phone. Of course you do, obvious isn't it? (only, it would never have occurred to me to do that).
But even hipsters get out-hipped on occasion. "Oh no sir" said the waiter "there's really no need!" He placed reassuring fingertips on the young man's sleeve and with a Dickensian smile, that managed to be both cap-doffingly subservient and supremely condescending, he said: "It's really not necessary to do that! Not at all! The Specials are all online! Simply swipe the code" and he pointed, in turn, to several strategically placed squares, hidden discreetly amongst depressingly similar abstract art prints. "Just swipe the code and the entire menu, along with the Specials, is all there!"
The young hipster returned to his seat suitably chastised, and I made a mental note to never, ever stand up to look at a Specials board, ever again.
Habitual nomad finding a home. In more than 14 years of haphazard wandering I've visited 28 countries on five continents. I've climbed five volcanoes - they smell awful. I've dived with sharks - they're beautiful. I have never seen a badger. I've lived and worked in Australia, Canada, the US, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and the Philippines. I once spent four months at sea working on a fishing boat. I have successfully bribed a customs official. I can't sing in tune. I have witnessed an animal sacrifice. I have seen a bear shit in the woods. I am a stranger in my own country. I am an atheist. I don’t believe a civilised society should be tolerant of ignorance. I like people who can spell. Dark chocolate makes me weak. Crowds make me nervous. I have principles. I am a Graphic Designer. I am a Yoga Teacher. I am a Dive Instructor. I loiter without intent. I can, quite happily, watch paint dry.
"And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." — T. S. Eliot
"Don’t go off sightseeing. The real journey is right here. The great excursion starts from exactly where you are. You are the world. You have everything you need. You are the secret. You are the wide opened. Don’t look for the remedy for your troubles outside yourself. You are the medicine. You are the cure for your own sorrow." — Rumi
"It is to be remarked that a good many people are born curiously unfitted for the fate waiting them on this earth." — Joseph Conrad
"You don't get reformed - you just run out of wind." — Carlito's Way