Remember when you’re a kid, and there’s always some older guys at your school that you look up to? Not just because you were 2ft nothing. But you know the ones. The embodiment of everything you wanted to be? Purveyors of coolness and suave-erity?* Despite appearances, being fully aware of the amazing mullet, John and Walter, sadly, were not those guys.
While we were back in Australia on furlough, most of my free time was spent either talking on the phone to my girlfriend for hours, or talking to random strangers online for hours. It’s possible neither activity was actually helping my non-existent social life. This was before all this new fang-dangled stuff you kids have, like Facebook.
The one thing you have to realize as an MK: You will never fit in. Ever. You get punted into a culture that isn’t yours, only to return to your own culture… That isn’t yours. In Bolivia I was never going to fit in because Mum & Dad wouldn’t wouldn’t shell out for the massive amounts of tanning lotion required for the Enrique Iglesias look.
A bare brick, ramshackle building with a tin roof held on with stones from the nearby river. A Willow tree behind. Windows only recently installed. Blue curtains made from sheets. Boys in their sunday best enjoying the sun. Ladies in broad brimmed hats, multi-coloured blankets draped on their backs; babies nestled inside.
Sam & Johnny were friends from school who were better than me at just about everything. By the time we were thirteen Sam was at least twice as fast as I was on the track, and he could dunk before I could too. It was amazing we stayed friends for as long as we did.