A Date On The Dunes

It’s the kind of date that most people dread or don’t talk about. Symptoms like nervous heart beating, dehydration, sweaty palms, and possible spewing on the side all point to the usual disappointment and regret.

For me, it was one of the best dates that I’ve had in a while! Granted that my expectations are not the highest and wildly inconsistent, I look back on this day fondly. What started off as a random stop on the highway (H saw a road sign) quickly turned into a desert mirage along with a couple of raised eyebrows. In the distance, I saw some hills of sand, but wasn’t quite sure just how far or big the dunes got. And so he wanted to take me there.

Not in the perkiest of moods, I sulked leaving the air-conditioned car and might have sulked a bit more while dragging my flip-flopped feet across the blistering sand. Up ahead, there was a bright yellow bus renting out sandboards for $20…”sure, why not?” he said ever so eagerly.

The view from below seemed pretty enough but the climb to get up meant busting my humps. At the top, seeing Harold the size of an ant waving eagerly for me to fly headfirst down a steep sand slope… why that tricksy, scheming manipul….#!*$)*(@$*!


And boy was it brilliant. wheeee is the best word that I can think of for the sheer, stupid joy that rushed out of nowhere. He raced up, he crashed down. I went up, I rolled down. Repeat a dozen times. If Jack and Jill took a break from their storybook to hang out with us, let’s just say there’d be no bucket intact.

Then Jill came in, and she did grin,
To see Jack’s paper plaster;
Her mother whipt her, across her knee,
For laughing at Jack’s disaster.

Covered from head to toe in hooded sweaters and pajama pants, Harold and I then wandered the vast sand dunes of Te Paki and got a real taste for nomadic life. Hearing the ocean from afar, we walked and kept heading toward the sound of the waves but didn’t end up reaching any water. As the ground felt like hot lava, I especially liked it when we had to scooch close together on the sandboard to stay off the sand. Lying there without saying a word for nearly twenty minutes, we watched the sky puff out little marshmallows shaped like newborn farm animals. Dozing in and out occasionally, a few soft breezes reminded me of the late afternoon and a sleepy sun. It was a happy day.

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