Tag Archives: England

Circumnavigating Part 1: Paris and London Plus Board

The Inertia kindly published part one of Circumnavigating a few months ago. In case you didn’t see it, here it is. If you did (and enjoyed), look for part two tomorrow.

Against all logic and airline stipulations, my board and I traveled from New York to Paris, to Metz, back to Paris, to London, and to Sydney (via Bangkok) without paying a single baggage fee. Unless you count needing a bigger-than-standard taxi in Paris. And actually, the board got me some free first-class Chunnel seats.

Friends at home kept suggesting that I just ship the Penguin straight to Australia and forget about dragging it around with me, for the sake of expediency and cash flow. I insisted that taking it with me would be a “funny” thing to do—and would probably be cheaper. To those friends, I say… “Wait a second, I was right?” Okay, only half right, maybe.

The guy who checks me in at the Iceland Air counter gingerly presses a “Fragile” sticker onto the bag and says it is light enough to fly for free. The very image of hospitality. Nevermind that I will shiver through the entire flight, there will be no food served, and Icelandic sounds like a mash-up language.

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“That man behind you is naked.”


I’m laying on the beach in Seaside Park. Katy doesn’t appear to be fucking with me, so I prop myself on an elbow and peer south: Penis. Of the middle-aged persuasion.

Then Speedo. Never thought I’d be so grateful for a Speedo.

As we’re recovering from the shock of such flagrant nudity on a non-nude beach, the guy begins walking determinedly in our direction, sunscreen in hand. No. We strategically avert our eyes and act as if we haven’t noticed. Until he is upon us, glaring sun behind his aged back, in all his Speedoed glory.

He quickly utters lots of German words that probably translate, most nearly, to “Will you please rub this sunblock on my back? I can’t reach. I’m German.”

I find myself speechlessly shaking my head with a dazed and horrified look in my eyes. Jackie glances from him to me and back, amused. Katy grudgingly says, “I’ll do it,” and stands up.

For the entire 30 seconds that she’s applying cream to the nude dude’s back, her expression is one of absolute disgust. Like a vegan confronted with freshly hacked pig flesh. Disgust to the nth degree.

“GermanGermanGermanIndecipherableGermanDankeGermanDanke.” This is obviously the reason he’s unaware that it’s not okay to expose your d at F Street. Fair. Maybe.

He returns to his blanket and lays down. On his back. Katy is bewildered.

She is also from England, visiting our fine shoals for the first time. Welcome to the Land of Enchantment (Jersey totally deserves it more than NuMex).

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