surfing archetypes – the raaf & the Indo expat bastards
We all know that they are there, up there, up there in Indonesia. Been there for years. The Expat.
We are talking about men (mostly) who don’t own shoes that lace up, or socks, or shirts with a top button. Older men who in another place would be retired senior citizens who change their underpants every day. Men too old for golf and about ready for lawn-bowls. Too old for over 55 apartment acommodation. Men who know where all the chairs are in department stores, where they can sit while the little woman shops and shops.
Grandpa in a bucket hat (thank you Karen).
History has it that back in WW2 when our Japanese brothers were streaming south and east, devilishly intent on either killing and/or enslaving everybody in their path, they took to the islands and rivers of the Javanese Archipelago in large barges. Barges big enough to carry anti-aircraft guns, tanks and hundreds of men.
Australia and America of course took great offense at this base opportunism and bombed, straffed and machine-gunned them all the way back to Nippon. This is common knowledge, and you may be wondering where we are going with this.
I’m glad you asked.
In many instances Allied aircraft were shot down by the Japanese and the survivors had to make their way to open water so they could be sighted and eventually picked up by rescue craft, usually Catalinas, and sometimes after a few fraught days alone on the coast being hunted by the Japanese.
Alone on the coast, on some deserted beach ^ up there with nothing but the sea, the mosquitoes and some fabulous reef-break funneling its lonely path down the hundreds of empty yards. Understandably the surf didn’t rate much of a mention in their de-briefings and war diaries, despite that many of the airmen came from Australian surfing beaches.
This I know for a fact as my father served up there for two years and I transcribed his diaries; not a bloody mention of surf in them and he came from Coogee. Perhaps not so surprising.
However that was then, and this < is now.
We should all be about 55+ and firing up a Marlboro prior to slipping out at some Indo point. We should all be lean and brown and supple enough to squat like a Dayak. We should all have a yellow Indo gun with dimples from 10 years of G’Land troubles.
> Wife and children committed to memory, Australia a vague proposition for some future day far too distant to contemplate. Just a half-hour wait for the tide and then another three hour session. Later tonight a little ping-pong with the lads and maybe a visit from that Japanese backpacker who giggles when you speak. How’s the irony .. ?
However there is a base envy here isn’t there, and we can nitpick this image like a ragpicker over his greasy mound of old clothes.
He smokes, ergo cancer later in life.
He has no UV skin protection, ^ as per above.
He wears a watch? …. not so lost in time then is he.
His board is far too old to be effective, it’s got to be a wallower.
No sunnies, ergo pterygium.
– Almost a fair trade.