16. Bicycle Graveyard


One thing you learn early on the island is that while you can play ‘chase me, chase me’ with local folk and tourists after you’ve swerved around nervous ankles or leapt over cowering heads like Evel Knievel, once your beloved bike is stationary it becomes less blurry and so far more recognisable and thereby vulnerable to attack. Furthermore, if you leave it parked illegally outside a certain restaurant (or deign to suggest that their cheesy fish balls could have done with a bit more frying time) you may find that Big Wan is summoned from the recesses of the darkened kitchen – where he’s been busy cleaving whole pigs into mini hotdog sausages – and asked to hurl your two-wheeler into the bicycle graveyard clearly visible from our Malecon at low tide.

Bicycle graveyard 1/2

Now I’ve never actually seen Big Wan (it’s even possible that – like Big Juan out in Mexico – he’s a figment of my ravaged imagination) but I picture him as a kind of huge, hypersensitive Orc with dinner plates for hands, ejaculating tears whenever he recalls how his immense bulk through childhood led to the inadvertent destruction of at least a dozen shiny red tricycles. So remember (1) Do not aggravate Big Wan with your careless parking or facile food complaints and (2) if you inadvertently prang your pimped-up island racer into Big Wan as he’s shuffling home after a 12-hour shift, you better hope he’s got his hands full or it could be Davy Jones’ locker for you too…

Bicycle graveyard 2/2



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