ingerland 04: day 7

in the morning i take a walk, i watch older people shuffle down the boardwalk with a flamboyance rarely seen. there are surfers in the water. they look great from far away. but not at all, when they come to shore. sort of like inbred country hicks disguising in semi-cool surfer gear. and i am being soooo unfair here. somebody should shut me up. am i bitter?

okay, lets say something positive. quick. upon leaving paignton i come up with the perfect claim for this wonderful town: feel the pain in pai(g)nton. thats beautiful, no?

but i mean it. the good thing about being utterly miserable is that its a great lesson. facing the pain adds depth to life. in the book i am reading (amy hempel: tumble home) i read this sentence that humbles me: “where is the consolation in this? it is in humiliation, which brings the softness of heart that allows you to listen to god.” okay. i am all soft now, can we turn the page?

so here i am back on the road to totnes where i will catch my train. perfect timing again. the train just left and i have almost two hours to kill before the next train goes. time for some cream tea? visiting totnes and not having cream tea is like, say, travelling to italy and never eating pasta. but i am so not hungry after the excellent english breakfast i just had at the b&b.

english breakfast: check! cream tea: still to do!

i mope around posh, ex-hippie tourist trap trying to find internet access thats not a total rip off. no such luck. then i finally catch my train to newton abbot. then teighmouth. then dawlin. these next few towns it will always be the same routine. hop off train, try to find tourist center, get disgusted and/or dissappointed, decide to split, hop back onto train. and so on. this is not working very nicely by train. travelling in the countryside screams for a car.

excursion: why are tourist centers in english tourist towns always so far away from the train station? is this the supermarket principle where they place all the essential foods like bread and milk on the back walls forcing you to walk through aisles with other foods to tempt you? well its not working, guys. after walking through these ugly towns i am usually so disgusted/depressed/irritated that i want to mosey on outta there asap.

actually not so in teighmouth. this is quite a nice place. if totnes said tourist trap for posh ex-hippies all over it and paignton was white trash tourist trap, this would be tourist trap but actually quite nice – if it wasnt for the mostly older crowd taking their swollen prostatas and/or menopausal bodies for a slooooow walk.

i decide to look for accomdation here, but its impossible to find any. even after i increase my acceptable price range it turns out there are not even any single rooms available. so i end up having my cream tea (check!) at a place called naughty but nice (so me!) and fuck on outta there. after doing the same routine (- cream tea) in dawlin i give up. its back to london with me. at least there i can go see matinees and have internet acces for a non-astronomical price.

no hard feelings. lets just say, the english coast and i are just not a match made in heaven and leave it at that. bye devon. bye cream tea (check!). bye rough sea spiting out inbred surfers. back to the urban world. where i belong.

when i finally (21:00) arrive back at “my” hotel i find out one of the advantages of always going to the very same hotel over the years. they give me a room with two beds and a bathroom for the price of a single room without facilities. ahhhh choices… which bed should i use? considering the fact that this usually quiet residential street has now a traffic diversion running through it, i spend a relatively quiet night. the room next door houses that weird american couple i know from staying here before: she a bit thick and slowed down (try not to get behind her in the breakfast buffet line), he with this penetrating, nasal voice that sends shivers through the room. next door. walls made of paper. the usual.

i eat dinner at the great sudanese restaurant mandola. again. while eating it occurs to me, that eating sudanese food has a slightly cynical edge to it these days with the famine raging there. at least it gives the phrase we often heard as kids new meaning: finish your food. think of the starving children in africa. i totally do. i so clean off that plate. and i leave a generous donation for the starving children. actually its not half-generous enough. i still fret over it… mental note: must go back there to donate more money.

About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.