At every school there has always existed the expanse separating the cool kids from the losers. The dividing wall constructed from perfect DNA and wealthy parents, segregating the Rob Lowes and Tom Cruises of the world from the pond scum. I was wedged firmly in the latter camp, with nary a chance of ever migrating to the former.
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.
We continue our ‘Summers of Joel’ series. Some of the other stuff we did, back in the days when men were men… and wanted nothing to do with us:
- Shoot things. Joel had a American Daisy Pellet gun. I had some Brazilian air rifle thing that could kill a man or tiny horse at 100 paces.
Obviously I had no real friends when we first moved to Cochabamba. This predicament lingered for a while, so I spent a lot of time in the school library like a nerd loser. In the first month, I’d read every single Hardy Boys novel they had, sometimes churning through 2 a day.
Most of my early summer days in Cochabamba were spent with Joel, because we both lived on the school grounds and neither of us had any other friends. Joel was an adventurer, and as such had plenty of GI Joes & Micro Machines, a New Zealand Passport and a 70cc raging beast of a Honda Motorbike with a peeling Rolling Stones sticker.