Below is another small excerpt from the book I am currently working on which tells the tale of a 20-something year old girl overseas.
I was hungover, hungry and tired. Any negative emotion you can think of; I was feeling it. (Yes, I know, incredibly self-indulgent for someone privileged enough to be in the middle of Croatia surrounded by the sparkling Mediterranean Sea). A few months back, when I was delivering medicine to Retirement Villages that smelt like broccoli, it was this picture perfect image that I was longing for. Yet, what hadn’t been part of the picture were the hundreds of tandoori skinned Australian Ken and Barbie dolls covered in Southern Cross tattoos, shouting “AUSSIE! AUSSIE! AUSSIE! OI! OI! OI!” Straight away, I knew this was going to be a real problem.
“Go over there to sign in!” a fair haired, tanned, extremely attractive Hitler Youth-esq boy shouted, pointing to a crowd that huddled around another good looking Aryan who carried a clipboard and ordered people around in a very German-like fashion. I looked over at El, her arms awkwardly swinging side to side. Me? I had my arms folded so tight over my chest and a look that said ‘approach at your own risk.’ We were imitating the insecure 15 year old girls we once were, and during Yacht Week there would be PLENTY of throwback 2007 moments. This was just the first.
“Name?” the second, hot German asked.
“Burke”, I said.
He flicked the papers over and continued to scroll his finger down the page, his face breaking into confusion. Yes, I dreamed. They’ve stuffed up our booking and now I am not registered. I’ve spent $2000 that I’ll never get back which amounts to about 100 hours of free work… but that’s fine. Just get me the fuck out of here.
“My name’s not there?” I asked, a little too excitedly.
“Oh yes… I see.”
Eugh. Maybe not.
He looked at me and smiled, “go over to Boat 22 and get ready for THE BEST WEEK OF YOUR LIFE.”
Over at Boat 22 were four guys ranging from 21 to 35. And yep, in case you were wondering, they were all from Australia. These were our bunk buddies for the week.
“Ohhh, we DO have some CHICKS!” one of the older guys yelled as El and I walked the plank, “I was beginning to think we were on a LAD’S TOUR!”
“Hello, I’m Victoria.” I said, rather stand-offishly. Back away, I thought; I haven’t decided what I think of you and your people yet. I scanned their bodies to see if I could spot those five little stars.
“How ya going? I’m Antony.” Clearly, not getting the ‘don’t ask, don’t speak, don’t come near me’ hint he continued, “the bloody skipper hasn’t arrived and I’m keen to get the party started!!!”
“Where is he?” El asked. The first words I’d heard her say in approximately two hours.
“Apparently on a flight back from Munich,” one of the younger guys named Elliot said, his lips pursed like a cat’s arsehole.
“Munich? Munich in… in Germany?” I asked.
“Yes, love” one of the other older guys sniggered, “Munich’s in Germany. I’m Kurt by the way.”
Right, so Kurt’s the smart-arse of the group, I thought.
I sighed and took a seat down next to El and we waited.
As the other yachts sailed away into the sunset, music (albeit, horrific) blasting, bottles tinkling, laugher erupting, already starting the best week of their lives, we continued to wait.
Hours passed and we waited some more. And some more, until we were the only boat left on the dock.
Clearly, I was not yearning to get onto the boat and start the week, but I was also getting incredibly bored sitting on the dock with random dudes who I’d already decided I hated.
Finally, the skipper arrived.
A tall, gangly guy with big lips and an awkward limp came shuffling towards us. He had three big duffle bags hanging off his arms and a cigarette drooping from his mouth.
“I am Luca – your skipper!”
Myself, El and the four guys just stood there and stared or in my case, glared.
But this would be Boat 22 bonding moment #1: Fuck you, skipper. You’re five hours late. You were in a different bloody country an hour ago. An apology would be nice.
The boat was tiny, smaller than I’d imagined. The photographer had done a good job at lying. As someone who suffers from claustrophobia, anxiety and sea sickness, this week was becoming more hell like.
“We’ve already baggsed this room”, Pursed Lips Elliot said, pointing to the one that was slightly larger and a little more spacious. Baggsed? What was this? Year 8 camp?
“You guys are over there” he gestured to a room that was the shape of a triangle in the corner of the boat. Once El and I walked in there and dumped our bags we were literally stuck in the room with nowhere to move. Breathing was even occupying space. I could feel my face heating up and my hands becoming clammy. Deep breaths I told myself. In and out, in and out.
This was going to be a long week.
 Southern Cross Tattoos are highly popular in Australia. They represent what some would describe as, “Aussie Pride”. However, those that sport them are a particular type of breed. They’re usually the ones who you see shouting AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE! OI! OI! OI! While they scull their beer. I’m sorry if you are currently sporting one and I have majorly generalised, I guess I am just going off my knowledge. Apologies, if I have caused offence.
 The Southern Cross Tattoo.
 After the tenth time of seeing Elliot pull this face, El and I came to the conclusion that this was simply his face and he couldn’t help it, so maybe it was best if we quit giggling about it. Very juvenile I know, but grim days were ahead and so, the only joy we got was unfortunately, at the expense of this South Australian sod.