Fuck-Ups & Looking in Oranjestad: Arrival
I haven't posted anything in a while because I've been in Aruba and just got my internet connection up and running yesterday. Posts should be fairly regular for a while now.
In these times of ours, times plagued with war, famine, racial & religious persecution, the re-emerging threat of nuclear clashes… one news story has grabbed my attention. There's a blonde girl from the South that decided it would be a good idea to get trashed in a foreign country and wander off with some horny strangers. And now, she's missing.
I spoke with my editors at the Los Angeles Ext.Sub. Press and they agreed I could cover the story from Aruba. So we sold the computer belonging to one of my fellow writers (who the editors and I call "dicknose" behind his back), bought a ticket to Aruba and I sailed off… er, uh… whatever… to cover the (no hyperbole intended) most important American news story since the discovery of Africa.
Here's the first installment:
As I step off the plane in Oranjestad, Aruba I am smacked in the face (and more importantly: in the hair) by one adjective for this "tropical paradise": windy.
I thank God that I decided to pack all five of my baseball caps.
I take a taxi to my hotel: the Marriott Resort & Casino. News crews crawl all over the lobby. I nod "whatsup" to Greta Van Susteren, she shoots me with her fingers. I check in, head up to my room, unpack and check my watch: 3:30pm, time for a cocktail.
I go to grab a drink at Carlos 'N Charlie's. I step inside, survey the terrain and then quickly grab a passing busboy by the arm. I ask him if there's a bar on this island that doesn't gobble the shit that tumbles out of my ex-wife's ass.
He stares at me, blankly.
I rephrase: "Is there a bar around here that doesn't suck, doesn't have all the touristy shit going on?"
He suggests a place a few blocks away called Jurgen's.
"Jergen's, like the lotion?" I ask.
I ask him "Few blocks in which direction?" I follow his point and a few minutes later step into Jurgen’s Tavern (turns out it's not spelled like the lotion, the first of many discoveries I'll have while in Aruba).
It's dark, despite the large windows up front, and non-windy. My eyes adjust after a moment and see that everything is wood, dark, polished wood, the place even smells like wood. Gentle wafts of breeze eddy from the barely rotating fans overhead. I already like it more than my hotel room and decide I'll spend most of my downtime here.
I take a stool, order a whiskey and wait.
The whiskey bares an uncanny resemblance to rum, but I drink it anyway. A man in a uniform steps in from the windy brightness outside and saddles up at the end of the bar. He orders a Mint Julep.
Ah, the colonial lifestyle.
I look over his gilded, white uniform and figure he must be a bus driver or perhaps campus security.
He glances over at me: "American?"
He shakes his head and mutters something in Dutch as he tips his drink.
He looks me over for a moment before asking: "Journalist?"
I tell him yes.
He shakes his head and Dutches something to the bartender while pointing at me. He takes another tilt off his drink and looks back in my direction.
"You don’t have something bigger for your Americans to reading?" he asks.
I tell him we do, but they want to "reading" about this. I tell him that I'm covering the story in hopes that when they find her body they discover that she's suffered unfathomable brutalities. I also let him know that, in my opinion, her stupidity warranted whatever's happened to her.
The uniformed gent gets off his stool, walks over and eyes me up close. Finally, he extends his right hand, "Gerold Dompig, Deputy Police Commissioner.”
I shake his hand with "Your name's really 'Dumb Pig'?"
He nods a "Yah, why?"
I advise him not to become a cop in the States.
I finish my rumiskey and tell Gerold I'm going to shove off and start trolling the island for something to get me writing.
"Why for?" he asks. "Have another drink with me. That bitch is still being missing in the morning."
So I re-saddle, order another rumiskey and fall into a conversation with Gerold Dompig, my new best friend. And he was right, Natalee Holloway is still missing the next morning when he and I sloshily saunter out of Jurgen's.
Originally Printed on 7/1/05
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