TLA Part I: New Country

I was lost in a new country I had just entered but I ended up finding my soul. The walls were covered in graffiti preaching peace and the streets were lit with oil lamps. The cobbled streets and wooden doors decorated with flowering creepers reminded you of little Italian towns.

With my backpack on my back, I strolled thru the dimly lit roads as I passed a few houses and wide open spaces. They may have been fields or grasslands for all I know but the setting sun made it hard to come to conclusions about the land and its people.

The road terminated at a square, the square was one of the most beautiful squares I have ever seen. A large monolithic structure stood at the very centre with water flowing on both sides into a pond filled with fish – a rare kind that was opaque but had this special capability to make the waters sparkle at night.

The square was home to a café called Oh! But that was not what people called it. The locals referred to it as café-on-the-square. It was small and dark with wooden interiors and oil lamps. The old man behind the register seemed not less than 100 years old and the young lady behind the counter seemed not more than 16, but there she was filling a mug of beer for a young man with tanned skin and piercing green eyes.

The square was filled with tables, chairs and couches which looked cozy under the fibre-optic lights that formed a canopy over the square. The music that played in the background reminded me of Spanish guitars. It was loud enough for the lonely soul to feel the melody in his or her veins but soft enough to not drown away his or her thoughts.

I walked up to the counter and was offered Dousche. It was something like a smoothie but tasted healthy and refreshing. I was then served Kawhoa – bread that was baked under the earth. A man next to me said I was now ready to order and so I began by asking for a beer. Without any further specification, I was offered tap beer which tasted so different but so delicious. It felt like some kind of drug had awoken a side of me I had never known existed.

A few beers later I decided to find a place to crash for the night. I jumped off my barstool and proceeded to pay the bill but the 100 year old man said I didn’t have to because I was a guest and the first time was on-the-house. I would have been concerned as to how he knew it was my first time, but the moment seemed too beautiful to ruin and so I said thank you and walked out the door.

My tired eyes looked around for a motel, an inn or even a campground but all that surrounded me seemed to be empty space. I sat by the pond staring into the radiating water. “Beautiful; isn’t it?’ said the green-eyed man with a husky deep voice that reminded me of teenage crushes. “You should come with me. The home I live in will treat you well.”

I was scared but excited and decided to follow him. We got into his car and drove for 15 minutes in silence; not a word from our mouths but probably thousands between our souls. The car came to a stop and his eyes met mine. They looked innocent but filled with history; it was hard to stop looking into his eyes and it was not because I was attracted to him. Maybe I was but it was mostly because there was something about this man that had the power to mesmerize you. He took me by my hand and led me towards the house.