Posted by: cwsching | May 3, 2010

‘The Risen Cock’

21-27 July

Lagos, Portugal.

‘The Risen Cock’

* * * * *

Following are some excerpts from my entries of the whirlwind week in Lagos, a backpacker mecca governed strongly by the beach-booze duopoly. This was all written after-the-fact, as it’s physically and mentally impossible to maintain a journal in that town. Memory failing me, I had to stray from my daily entries and summarise events in sections. I’ve included them here because I laughed at myself when I read back over them! Perhaps unwisely, I’ve left it unedited, so excuse some of the unpolished descriptions and the frankness of some observations!

* * * * *

It is perhaps best to tackle this recount, given that I have limited recollection of what happened and when, by describing some of the people we met and some of the notable things we did. The chronology of the events, in my opinion, is unimportant. Lagos is a drunken stupor of a Groundhog Day, so it is sufficient to know that events and people happened. Order is unimportant, as the day recycled itself and at the very most, slightly different people did slightly different things.

Danchester

Dan was from Manchester, so for convenience’s sake, by combining both his name and his hometown, Charlie coined him Danchester. A symmetrical face with boyish features, his curly blond locks and five o’clock shadow (also blond) were always an instant hit with the ladies. Further to this, he had blue eyes, but not of the Nordic variety, and that slight English accent that never goes completely astray. He was a constant throughout our week; a good drinking partner and also useful for idle chat.

Danchester’s pulling power was evident on the first night at The Rising Cock, at only ten o’clock mind you, when Emma* sat next to him and within ten minutes (honestly, no less) they were open-mouth snogging, whilst those around them poured their second drink for the night. To qualify his power, though, it must be noted that Emma was a drunken coquette who had a penchant for targeting a guy who took her fancy, and a propensity for getting it on with a stranger, on a nightly basis.

Danchester introduced us to some fun terminology, particularly a code for identifying and judging a nearby chick. Based on Indian cuisine, the name of a curry and its associated degree of spice was used to scale the hotness of the chick. The time of the meal was used to identify the location of the chick, so that the listener could either agree or repudiate the initial judgement. For example, an average-looking girl directly to our right would be identified thusly: ‘How do you guys feel about a Lamb Rogan Josh for dinner at nine tonight?’** At which point, the rest of us would surreptitiously turn our heads to the right to check her out. The proposal may then be acknowledged, agreeable with an ‘Mmm hmm’, or altered, perhaps with, ‘Actually, I think we should have a Chicken Korma tonight’. In this case the respondent considers the girl to have been initially overvalued. In fact, we didn’t use the terminology much at all, but it was an interesting way to be sexist, and at the very least encouraged a bit of thought and banter.

All in all, Danchester was a champion of a bloke and definitely would be a mate if he were back home with us.

*Not her real name (…not that she lied to us and I found out, rather that I changed it.)

** As Kimber astutely observed, ’9′ on a clock-face is actually to the left. So it should be ‘a late lunch at 3 o’clock’. Must’ve been drunk at the time of penning…

[...]

Dave

Dave became the butt of many of our jokes. A loser in his early 30s, Dave was an Italian from somewhere in Melbourne and told us that he had a lot of money to spend on his trip this time around, as he had ‘made a motzah’ (somewhere in the millions) back home. The apparent loophole in his story was that he was staying in a backpacker hostel for early 20-year-olds and partying like a brat. He defended his position by arguing he wanted to ‘get loose’ and didn’t ‘see the point in living the high life’.  He became attached to the group of obnoxious Australians at the hostel, often parading shirtless, and taking much pride in his (self-appointed) ownership of the communal punch on the evening terrace.

Personally, I got along with him fine, one-on-one, but can see why we found the things he said cheesy and comical. We joked that he was pretty much The Man by his own reckoning. He became overtly confident as he became more comfortable with the crowd. One night, he boasted to Danchester that he had bedded over two hundred chicks in the previous year, which we chose not to believe a single bar of. A classic image of Dave is him in his army cap, face dripping with sweat, his whopper schnozz (sic) glistening, in a singlet, and busting out to some finger-pointing dance moves. By himself.

We’ve since referred to each other as Dave quite a bit.

Debbie and Esther

Lagos, apart from its long stretch of sand that bends around a crescent front, has a few smaller but infinitely more enchanting beaches, tucked away between caves and alcoves, on the town side of the canal. On our final day, I went down to one of the beaches with Danchester and a couple of English birds that’d just flown in that morning. When Dean came back and joined us on the beach, we went for an exploration of the bays. Dean was a twenty-one-year-old from Perth and pretty much looked like the half goat (fawn?) character from Narnia – Mr. Tumness (sic), I believe.

After wading and swimming across a couple of beaches – which were isolated and breathtaking for their rocky frames, natural caves, islands and cliffs – we  came across a couple of girls struggling to beach their hired yellow kayak. They accepted our offers of assistance, but protested when we tried to push them out to sea, imploring that they had indeed intended to beach themselves. After introductions were made, chat led to them being a pair of sisters from Sao Paolo. Debbie, twenty-two, had dropped out of school and talked as if she was a tad looney. Esther, her sixteen-year-old sister, had amazing skin (dark and rich like a Colombian…except Brasilian) and an enchanting pair of marble-white eyes, sat a cute nose away from a full smile. Having studied in the States for a while, her slight American accent, when mixed with her Portuguese, was sexy and alluring, and filled me with a guilty passion, given her youth.

Esther dreamed to be a writer, with which I empathised, and told me of her blog and writings (twibella on livejournal). I’d since been to the blog and didn’t find her think-pieces particularly thoughtful, as philosophical musings on life and love. Oddly enough, she was reading Breath by Tim Winton, which she’d randomly picked off the airport shelf for its cover, and the book that I’d recently taken on loan from Kimber (the style of writing, I might add, was similar to mine, and gave me hope that I could one day – and hopefully soon – be able to have a book published of my own).

Debbie tells us that she stopped us on purpose, and played the card of Damsels in Distress, because she had in her possession some hash, and wished to smoke with us. Danchester and I obliged, and smoked a long doobie in the alcove of a beach. Meanwhile, Tumness chatted with Esther whilst thrusting and swirling his goat groin in her face, and stretching and flexing his (human-half) torso. Debbie then took Danchester on the kayak, and they were gone for nearly an hour, during which time Tumness, Esther and I swam around to the next beach, and I walked back to the original beach via the road.

When Danchester returned, he told us that he and Debbie had smoked a further three joints, and had sex on a secluded beach. It was only four o’clock! Turned out that Debbie wasn’t only naturally loopy, but had been tripping on acid since the morning. Sat in a cafe, Danchester was keen to ditch the Portuguese sisters and not to see them again. Tumness, however, was keen to chase the jailbait (sic), so told them the address and a meeting time for The Rising Cock, much to Danchester’s deadly stares. Esther was incredibly mature for a sixteen-year-old, and worldly at that, and I surmise it was because she’s had to age before her time, in part to look out for her dropkick of a sister. The girls said they’ll be at the hostel at eight-ish, after catching a cab from their nearby town where they were staying.

On the terrace at nine-ish, the receptionist informed us that there were a couple of girls in the lobby asking after ‘a Dan’. Danchester sent the message that we were currently out of the hostel, via the receptionist cum messenger. They returned later, with Debbie leaving a smitten note to Danchester.

Bella and Annie

Two Brits turned up at the hostel on our final day, after Charlie and I had seen Kimber off (which was a sad moment, for I loved his company and was sympathetic to his lack of motivation to return home to joblessness and the uncertainty of the future). Danchester and I took the Brits to the beach, and I felt my chat was particularly on-the-ball that day*. By the time I had returned, slightly cotton-mouthed, from the surreal soiree with Debbie and Esther, the Brits had retreated back to the hostel, where they proceeded to sleep until about ten-ish. Joining us out on the town, they each attempted beer bongs, were difficult to tune, and largely unresponsive. So it remained until much later in the night, at the final destination of Joe’s Garage, where I managed to sneak a kiss with Annie on the dancefloor. She was gaunt and thin of features, the narrowness of her face exaggerated by her high-rise hairstyle, which was brushed upwards as much as it was backwards, and stood a few inches higher than it ought to have, perplexing me as to where its height actually came from.

She was a terrible hook-up. Her only rewarding feature wasn’t even of her own doing: She was the first drop of rain in my travel drought. Kissing Annie was like macking a mannequin (I’d imagine). Sticky from her post-shower coating of moisturiser (which she had explained and was quite conscious of), her thin body stood stiffly within my arms like a Madame Tussaud’s waxwork. My play with her hands was unrequited. Instead, they were waxy, her fingers insensitive and her arms rigid like Barbie’s. The kissing itself was uninspiring. Her lips were thin and permanently pursed, with no emotion to be found on upper or lower, and certainly no passion in the brief encounters beyond them.

Walking and searching for a spot on the beach, Danchester and Bella paired off (I was disappointed with my choice and jealous of his), whilst I lay with Annie and noticed the sand stick to her Sellotape skin. Her battery waning, we returned to the hostel, to find my entire dorm awake and rendering a fool-around impossible (Charlie: ‘Ahh, G’day Chinga! Guess you were hoping for an empty dorm? Tough luck buddy. Oh, guess what?! I hooked up tonight!’). Annie retired to bed, and I chatted with Charlie, who made me jealous with his recount of hooking up one of the twenty-year-old Aussies that we’d ventured out with on the previous night. I was a tad distraught to hear that the attractive nineteen-year-old blonde from Castlecrag (The Crag) ended up getting amongst it and, according to Charlie, that they were all ‘drunk and up for it’ by the end of the night. The good that came from The Crag, inadvertently, was her recommendation to read a series of novels by Stieg Larrson (sic), one of which I subsequently bought at WH Smith in LHR and have since thoroughly enjoyed (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

In the morning, Charlie and I – having not slept – gathered our bags and sneaked out the fire exit of our dorm (The Hard Cock Cafe) which fell onto Travessa de Forno, and made our way to the bus station. The clock read 5.30am. In doing so, we’d evaded Reception and waived the eighty or so Euros we each owed them in accommodation. At the station, the lone security guard cursed me and threatened to kill my family, for my attempts to sleep at his bus station; invectives kindly translated by some locals who were waiting beside us. At 7am, Charlie realised his bus wasn’t even running that day, and in vintage Charlie fashion, settled for a €100 cab to Faro instead.

*I am an absolute twat.


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