Tourists

Published: Monday, 26 October 2009 Written by Siobhan M. Pascal

 Tourists

 

It was one of those days, like in those fancy Hollywood movies, that Danny had seen over and over.

 

              The smouldering heat of the sun beat down on the board walk and the asphalt at the time seemed to be melting under the sun’s fierce gaze. The indigo blue sea appeared even cooler and inviting, it looked too cool, too inviting, and too good to be true in the hot sun.

 

              Fishermen grinned at each other as they set off for another day of fishing, and in the hot sun. Vendors meanwhile were arranging and rearranging their stock, trying to find a way to best attract the tourist. If you asked Danny, it was time wasted. You could take something from the dump, and slap 'made in ***' on it, they would buy it for one-hundred U.S.

 

Danny, a young boy with the knowledge and appearance of a hardened man, idled along the market. He loved going down to the market on a Saturday to run errands for his mother. He would always linger around for the sites and smells. When you ignored the smell of the homeless and drunk, you could always smell the delicious smells if you stuck your head close enough. His father had often told Danny he had a wine tasters nose, because he could always smell what others couldn’t.  But most of all he loved the colours the women wore, they had more than the rainbow. It was beautiful.

 

Today he didn’t plan to linger around much, a cruise ship was in port, and there was one thing he hated most,  tourists. They looked completely ridiculous, in their khaki shorts, and bright print shirts. Their noses always covered in some white goo, and they smelled like cheap cologne and nasty bug spray. Danny was planning to high tail it and fast because they…. the tourists I mean had begun to file out in every colour from neon green to dark jade, it was absolutely pitiful. Had they no sense of style or fashion?

 

He of course could not help stopping to stare at the beautiful sea, and watching it pull back and forth, the rhythm hypnotizing. He thought the sea was the best musician, its simple tempo never missed a beat, an unbroken tempo.

 

Of course Danny he knew he should never take such a wondrous entity for granted, but he still couldn’t help snorting, as he was quickly reminded about why he needed to make an escape. Tourists…..yet another English anthropologist was praising the sea. He wondered if it ever got tired of hearing admiring words from these pallid and black people. He wondered if the sea ever wanted to just cover its ears like he wished to. Maybe the sea was narcissistic and never got tired of this.

 

He quickly headed for the bus stop almost running into a man standing in the middle of the road. He blinked and looked at Danny like he hadn’t seen this young man almost run him down. “ESCUSE ME YOUNG MAN I WOULD LIKE DIRECTIONS TO AN EATERY.” He shouted in his face as if he was deaf, while making ridiculous hand signs. “Or as you islanders say it…..” he paused to take out a book entitled ‘Dialect for Dummies’  “A place to go ‘n’aam fu mi food and dem.” Danny raised his hand to his face in the act of slapping it, but he stopped and shook his head. He raised his head to the sky and asked God for patience. He finally pointed the man in the right direction.

 

“Tourists!” he spat out the word like he was spitting out a cherry pit. He turned around to buy a mango, and strode out of the market towards the bus stop. “Tourists.” He said again as he spat out the sour mango seed and climbed on to the bus.

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