The Sisterhood of the Travelling Angst.


Part I

Here I am sitting in a quiet Balinese warung enjoying a few quiet beers, for a change, when in walk a quartet of pretty young Australian girls and sit directly opposite me like some kind of hyper excitable, reality show judging panel. I honestly kept waiting for them debate my merits amongst themselves…
“Hm, I’m not sure. What do you think?”
“Too odd, too retro. “
“Grunge died 15 years ago. Can’t see you selling, sorry dawg.”
 Or something equally truthful and brutal.

From left to right the roll call went like this:


Jenny, a pretty brunette with porcelain skin who wore her silken hair in a plaited ponytail. She was wearing a long, graceful white dress that wouldn’t look out of place flowing in the wind while running along the beach, or through a meadow, towards a long lost love. I had a vibe that she was the romantic of the group, and it turns out she had just broken up with her boyfriend.

Next up: Blondie. By the way she verbally dominated the conversation she appeared to be the team leader. Her aforementioned blonde hair hung in loose ringlets down to her deeply tanned shoulders. She was casually, yet deliberately, dressed in a white singlet and daisy dukes, complete with super classy exposed black bra straps. Completely lacking in modesty she placed herself almost directly opposite me and sat with her legs splayed asunder displaying all the subtlety of a Penthouse Pet, amongst other things. Interestingly, every time she lit up a cigarette Jenny left to frolic.

Then, Ellie. She’s wearing a overly provocative, low cut/above the knee, little black dress that would be far more suitable in a trendy nightclub. The poor lass is completely unremarkable in almost every way.  Unfortunately, for her, her most remarkable feature is that she’s completely cockeyed. Poor Ellie.

Finally, wearing an incredibly short floral dress; Heather. She has a nice little Rachel Weiz/Miranda Kerr hybrid thing going on and is arguably the most attractive of the group. Her attractiveness works in her favour as she seems to have the least to contribute verbally, and not in the “quiet dignity” way a monk might. Ergo, she seems boring and her good looks draw attention away from that.

After much deliberation about the choosing, then eating, of their meals, Jenny wandered off due to Blondie’s smoking and hadn’t returned from her frolicking (in a meadow full of wildflowers I imagine) for quite some time. The remainder of the collective began openly mocking her, claiming that she’d probably fallen in love again.

I knew it; we romantics can smell our own.

They pay for their, and Jenny’s, lattes and leave. Never to be seen again.

Until…

Part II

I return to my favourite little rustic warung in the early morning a few days later to enjoy a bowl of yellow curry with tofu and a few beers; the breakfast of champions.
I sit in my usual place; up front where I’m able to look out onto the scene outside. 3 mouthfuls of beer in and who do you think enters and plants themselves opposite your humble storyteller? Yep, the sisterhood of the travelling angst.

Two of them at least.

Ellie, the cockeyed, immediately begins writing. I say writing because she’s firmly ensconced on the laptop sitting on her, um, lap. For all I know she’s on facebook, or looking at porn, but the romantic in me likes to imagine she’s writing something profound,  or the next Eat Pray Love.

Sitting a spatially appropriate distance away, and playing on her phone, is Jenny, who seems to have become my favourite for some vague reason. Jenny states to Ellie that she’s just received a message from home telling her she was behind in her rent, a power bill had just arrived and she needed to pay her internet account immediately.
Her lackadaisical response to the offending financial mire was to shrug her shoulders and state “They’ll still be there when I get home.
Such apathy towards financial strain! This further cements Jenny as my favourite.

Not long after this ever so enthralling discussion Blondie and Heather saunter in, all bubbly and sparkly.

Daisy dukes, white singlets and cigarettes seem to be Blondie’s uniform. She starts smoking, Jenny promptly disappears and the remaining members of the sisterhood fall into hushed whispers. For the same unidentified reasons governing my favouritism towards Jenny, I decide Blondie is my least favourite.

Abruptly Jenny returns out of nowhere and exclaims “Now that I know that I can’t afford that painting I want it even more! I wonder why it’s so expensive?”  Complete with upward inflection on the last word, essentially making it a question.
Good old Jenny. I deduce that she’d been hunting through the myriad of stalls/shops that sell cheap paintings and accidentally wandered into a real gallery.
No one responds to Jenny’s query and for several minutes uncomfortableness hangs in the air, until Blondie begins talking about her bra. Blondie again sits as if she’s unabashedly preparing for her next gyno appointment. Needless to say I don’t think she’ll be winning any deportment contests any time soon.

After Blondie’s thoroughly self absorbed soliloquy concludes the four fall into exactly the kind of conversation you would expect four girls in their early 20’s on their first big journey away from home to be about; clothes, sunglasses, coffee… though, perhaps surprisingly, no boy talk. They then discuss Eat Pray Love. (My thoughts…) That’s what’s brought them here to Bali I smugly decide. (I take any opportunity to deride that book/film, I mean, who wants to hear about other people’s experiences while travelling. Oh, wait…)

I look up and now Heather is pointing her vagina at me too. Quite a display I can tell you! I internally debate as to whether or not these young nymphettes are aware of their provocative display. Is this some kind of penis-fly trap like display, designed to lure me in so they can feast on my fleshy insides, or can it simply be attributed to the carefree, nonchalance of youth?
I reach no conclusion other than I need another beer.

The majority of the sisterhood depart leaving Heather, and her vagina, to their own devices. Shortly thereafter, I leave too.

Part III

I’m eating dinner a few days later at a completely different rustic Balinese warung when I see these young vagabonds pass by. They’re wandering, seemingly aimlessly, down any random Balinese street in single file.

Perhaps to hide their numbers.

Jenny is out in front, leading the rest. She’s followed, somewhat closely, by Ellie the cockeyed. Straggling along behind are Blondie and Heather, with a new addition to the group – Guy Smiley.

An actual visual representation.

Somewhere along the line the travelling quartet had found exactly what they’d left the comfort of their standard lives for. What they’d left their friends/family/bills and flown halfway around the world to find: a typically ordinary, find in any corner store, average Australian lad.

I’m starting to feel slightly “David Attenborough” about documenting my observation of the sisterhood but inspiration is becoming hard to find so I hope you are bearing with me…

Part IV

Two days after the last sighting of the flock and their new follower, while I wander around aimlessly through the rickety Balinese streets, I spot my muses. This time the tribe was structured entirely differently to any other time I’d witnessed thus far. The group now seems to have splintered entirely.

Firstly I see Jenny. Alone. With Guy Smiley. As they walk by I hear him filling her head with useless information about his boring ass mundane life and Jenny, walking slightly ahead, was trying to force this jetstream of monotony into her Eat/Pray/Love expectations. And, by the way her attention was firmly focused on her phone, was visibly failing.

Two minutes later Ellie the cockeyed walks past on the other side of the street. Completely alone, taking in the splendour of her surrounds in stereoscopic cock-eye 3D. For the first time it strikes me that she’s actually a very attractive girl. I’m reasonably sure that in this modern age of surgery by satellite and ultafast broadband intercourse they have procedures to correct, somewhat minor, defects like that. Alternatively, she could sport an eye-patch. Pirates arrr cool.

Thirty minutes of aimless wandering later and I was beginning to ponder about the fate of the two lost girls, when, out of nowhere, Blondie the untamed saunters by your humble narrator with an entirely fresh harem of girls. She had, at least, ten new playmates and all were bronze skinned and blonde.

Just don’t feed them after midnight.

Though she didn’t look to be leading this pack Blondie Prime had certainly assimilated into her new herd.

Heather and her vagina were nowhere to be seen.

Epilogue.

A few hours later while continuing to traverse half the village on foot in the ever oppressive Balinese heat, I need some kind of cold wet liquid to quench my parched throat. (Overwriting much!?!) I make my way into one of the numerous convenience stores that are popping up all over the island, purchase a bottle of Pocari Sweat (it’s more delicious than it sounds) and make my way out of this air conditioned refuge back into the stifling heat.
As I walk out I hold the door for an attractive girl with blonde ringlets down to her bronzed shoulders. Blondie. She thanks me for my courtesy and a flash of recognition passes between us. She smiles at the acknowledgement and we share a moment before parting ways forever.

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