When the days were slow [North Island, 22.01.-28.01.2020]

We sit in a coffee shop. I have just read the introduction of David Sedaris‘ „Theft by Finding“. A fly crawls up and down my forearm. My flat white with oat milk rests on the table in front. The barista has a painted picture of himself as an icon with a latte art halo behind him. The couch is so comfy. 

This morning Bridget came back from the public restrooms – the once at the campground were always occupied for such a long time that we didn’t bother waiting but just headed to the public ones at the beach – and said „I wish I could have texted you before you prepared breakfast to tell you to have breakfast at the beach. It’s so nice there.“ So we ate our Porridge a bit too fast, packed everything up and drove the van to the beach before the coffee in the mugs Bridget held onto while driving got too cold. 

The sun was warm but not burning yet when we sipped from these hilariously orange mugs that came with the camper. Mine says „Not all those who wander are lost“, Bridget’s „Life is better in Jendals“. Jendals is the Kiwi‘s term for Flipflops. The Australians say Thongs. 

„We should take a swim to that floating platform over there. It’s calm enough.“ We took our shirts off, locked the van and went to the water. The short distance to swim to the pontoon was long enough to give me thoughts about how deep the water was beneath me, if there were any large fish here, if there were sharks that just waited for some random morning swimmers on the way to the pontoon. 

We have seen different beaches during the last days. Some have the shop and street front like here in Paihia. Some have restrooms, an ice cream food truck, a great wave and life guards on duty. And some are almost empty the whole day because they don’t offer any amenities. Empty meaning that along a 400 meter beach there have been about 10-20 people. It is great we have Elton, our tiny camper van, with us. During the hot midday hours we flee inside with the big sliding door open and a nice breeze going through.

„How do you call a jump butt first into the water?“ I asked Bridge. „We say cannonball.“ „Nice. We call it Arschbombe – ass bomb.“ We decided to shout Geronimo when we ran and jumped into to the water before heading back to the beach. „The Third Wheel Coffee Co. is a new cafe in Paihia“ Google told me while Bridge dried off and got dressed. „Let’s go there for coffee and maybe a second breakfast.“ 

We still sit at the café. It’s 11:30 am. The fly still sits on my arm and licks the dried salt off from it. The couch is a way too comfy couch at this typical third wave coffee shop. „What was the second wave?“ Bridge asks. I shrug my shoulders. „Maybe Starbucks and so?“ we wonder but don’t google it.

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