Sunday, 17 May 2009

Settling In

Coron grows on you very quickly, and I see why plenty of people extend their stays. Or maybe I'm just blinded by Wreck Lust. Probably the latter. Either way, I'm glad I chose to do the DM course here. The people are very friendly, and it's nice to have the same people shouting Hello as I walk to "work" at the shop. The cheeky kids in the street, playing games with stones, broken toys and bottle-tops; "Hello, hello...give me money" they greet me, with their hands outstretched...and they laugh when I return "Hello, hello...give me beer" and proffer my own. It's also nice to have a bit of routine for a while. The old lady at the fruit stall holds up mangoes and gives me a quizzical look as I pass each morning, knowing full well I'm stopping by for some.

One of the youths at the local gas station always shouted Hello and then said something in Tagalog, which his friends all laughed at. The same thing happened every day, until I decided to play him at his own game...shouting back "Good Morning, Squeaky" in mockery of his pre-pubescent voice "got any hairs on those cohones yet?" The boys erupted. He didn't look amused. I don't know if his mates understood the last bit, but they definitely got the first. When I walk past the garage now, they point at him and say "Squeaky" in a high-pitched voice.

I had to move accommodation. Another week at Sea Breeze, and my nostrils couldn't take the low-tide stench any longer. Plus, the local guy playing shit R&B full-blast at 6am wasn't really doing it for me. I'd changed rooms once, and the owner had been bemused as to why until I beckoned her into my room, the temporary early-morning disco. The clientele was a little questionable, too. I knew it was time to move when I heard a couple in discussion on the landing one night. The key sentence being him asking "I'm a little short, I think. How much is it just for a blowjob?"

I'd been told Crystal Lodge was a nice place to stay, frequented by many working divers. It's a family-run place, and so friendly. All wood and bamboo, built a little bit further out over the sea and away from the din of central Coron. A basic room, but a very nice communal area with a TV and English Tea all included. It's dominated by Swedes: two dive instructors named Anders and Bjorn and a grizzled Viking of a man named Peter. Pete's adopted the family's dog; they were going to give it away because the spoilt brat of a kid, Borgy, teased it until it barked at him. He cried like a girl, and the dog's fate was almost sealed until Peter stepped in. Borgy's dad is working in Singapore, so Uncle Ray is bringing him up. A nice enough kid most of the time, but a pain in the arse when he's not getting his own way. All in all though, Crystal's a great place to be...so I'm settling in for 4-6 weeks.

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