Seven weeks into the trip, Paolo was having to face a very inconvenient truth. He’d been spending weeks avoiding this, and had almost managed to totally dismiss it. But the evidence was there. The damned evidence.
Paolo wasn’t losing weight. In fact, he may even possibly, just slightly, only by a tiny little bit, have put weight on. This seemed to Paolo scientifically impossible. Paolo was eating less than ever before, healthier than before (save for a severe lack of vegetables) and was still running 20 miles a week. He’d had dysentery to the stage that would have killed a rhinoceros (or at least reduced it to the size of a mouse). Yet there was no getting around it. Paolo still carried “a few” extra pounds. Was this the judgement of a superior being for having mercilessly and consistently taken the piss out of Aidy? Was it the God of Brahma Brewery saying “Yes, the beers’s cheap old boy, but you’ll pay for it in other ways”? Paolo was both bemused and in despair. What more could he do? Surely he wasn’t being asked to give up his beloved beer was he? Paolo considered all this while sat with his third litre of Quilmes.
The other recent “enlightenment” that had flashed into Paolo’s dim mind was that smoking was going to kill him. But no, not in the normal way. Most of Paolo’s cigarettes were taken on his balcony, which was also the military base for the 5th Squadron of Combined Forces of Mosquitoes, Ants and Other Flying Bastard Winged Things That Bite. Therefore, Paolo was going to smoke himself to an advanced stage of malaria. This is not particularly common.
Another factor that had been gradually progressing for both Paolo and Carlotta after seven weeks away from the Homeland was cravings. Food cravings. For hours, if not days, Paolo and Carlotta would discuss the history of the greatest of Britain’s culinary offerings. Currently, the chosen menu would read as follows –
Starter – bacon and egg sandwich, egg broken on the bacon, lashed in Heinz ketchup
Main – full English breakfast. With black pudding. And white pudding. And chips. And a layer of broccoli on top. And smothered in Heinz baked beans. With thick crusty toast. And full fat butter
Desert – Pork sausages from Weetons (posh Harrogate shop for you West Yorkshire people), with mashed potato, carrot and swede mash, lovingly covered in onion gravy, and maybe as a little treat some Savoy cabbage on the side
All washed down with 36 pints of Guinness……..
But instead Paolo and Carlotta would have to make do with sirloin steak after sirloin steak…..
Paolo and Carlotta had been out on another day’s sight seeing today. Passing through MaLabia, Paolo commented that that seemed a nice place to go. Carlotta wasn’t impressed.
After two weeks in their lovely apartment, Paolo and Carlotta had finally found a way to overcome the inferno-like temperatures and 12000% humidity in the bedroom – they’d moved the mattress into the splendidly air conditioned lounge. Once again, all was well, and Paolo managed at least 30 minutes sweat-free each night. However, Carlotta likened it to the “grandparents bed” in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. A fair point really.
Tomorrow is to be the last day in Buenos Aires for Paolo and Carlotta this week (they’re back again next weekend for a couple of nights in transitory mode) and so a leisurely day has been planned. This means steak and beer. Fortunately it’s forecast to be a bit cooler tomorrow at 29 degrees. They have a favourite bar, where the wonderful bar maid always greats them with “Paolo! Carlotta! Good to see you again today! A litre of Quilmes?”.
Life is tough here in SouthAmerica. And not even the Fantasy Menu could persuade them home!