Posts with the “beach” tag


Day two and three

It’s safe to say that I brought too many socks to India, which is to say more than a single pair. With the weather regularly over thirty degrees and the footwear of choice being the sandal (or flip flop if you’re a tourist), socks become fairly superfluous to requirement. In that sense, and I am still finding out, many others, I was unprepared for India, or at least Goa.

The first full day I was here I travelled with the friends I was staying with down to Palolem beach, which is noteworthy not just for being a very picturesque Goan beach, but also as the backdrop for many of the beach scenes from the Bourne Supremacy. Regardless, the hour and half journey from where we were staying involved me getting my first lucid experience of the driving in this part of India.

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Anime of the decade: #9

Black Lagoon

The first two episodes of Black Lagoon are a carnival of ridiculousness. The climax of the opening story sees a boat use a ramp to launch torpedoes at a pursuing helicopter while the instigator of the plan flips off the doomed pilot. To say the series is quite silly would be an understatement. Even through two seasons it doesn't ever forget just how absurd a lot of it is, but tempering that craziness is a slick and very poignant look at villainy, existentialism, obligation and trust. What makes this mix so rare - gunfights, car chases and philosophising - is how well they meld together and crucially how entertaining the entire package is.

The duality between childlike abandon and adult seriousness is unique and gifts the series with sentiment that one wouldn't expect it capable of

The series starts atypically enough with a Japanese salaryman, Rock, being kidnapped by a mercenary company, the titular Black Lagoon, and opting to stay with them after his initial ordeal is over. The story follows him through the exploits of the company and his attempts to come to terms with his new life within a city a villains. The narrative is broken up into a collection of stories lasting anywhere from two to five episodes and involve a transport job gone wrong to an overseas gang war and all points in between. As well as the three other members of the Black Lagoon company, Rock collides with an eclectic batch of characters including combat maids, scarred Russian soldiers and pistol toting nuns.

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ef - a tale of memories

Given such an auspicious and confusing opening three episodes, it would have been easy for ef to fall into obscurity and abstraction with deep symbolism and obscured plot; thankfully this is not the case and the series manages to make the absurdly stylistic symbolism part of itself while still a sometimes unique, not wholly original story which ends well at a petite twelve episodes.

the grayscale visions of Hiro, the stained glass technicolour of Chihiro and the sunset beaches for everyone

In between the astounding opening and changing ending are two stories: one about a high school boy trying to find colour in his world while trying to deal with the affections of two girls, one overt and another covert; the other is about a girl whose memory lasts only a scant thirteen hours before events begin slipping away and her relationship with a boy she meets at an abandoned train station. The plot may sound akin to an atypical dating-sim territory but the storytelling is first rate and deftly draws one into the world and its characters. The supernatural elements that nagged the opening episodes are present but downplayed; the ephemeral figure of a long haired woman who imparts advice to all of the central characters and then vanishes is never explained even slightly, the same with the silent, world weary caretaker of the memory-challenged protagonist. The only time these elements are brought to the fore is in the final moments of the series, hinting more at a desire for a second season rather than anything that would affect the first.

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Day 11 - Zeds, Zeal and Zen

Waking up late I busied myself by packing in readiness to leave Trinidad tomorrow as well as shaving. With the morning slipping away and not knowing when he had returned to the casa, I woke Matt up at half past nine for breakfast then we set about trying to organise transport to Havana; something Matt was reluctant to do given how good a time he was having. We found the bus station thanks to a perky, English speaking tour operator but after much debate, decided on a taxi from our Casa at three o'clock tomorrow afternoon giving plenty of time to bid farewell at the beach. With no accommodation booked for Havana (the domineering lady from Holguin had ceased her phone-calls at Sancti Spiritus) we unsuccessfully tried to convince the tour operator to organise us some, pro-bono of course.

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Day 9 - Carnal, Cleaning and Casa

Rising at roughly the same time as yesterday, I roused Matt and went down to breakfast to find out precisely what had happened the night before. It had been eventful to say the least, and he had taken a girl (I would never find out whether she was from the party or elsewhere) down to the beach and had sex with her while a taxi waited nearby with the meter still running. A not unsurprising development but mutterings later in the day about how he might now be a felon gave me the impression that in this instance, the less I knew the better for all concerned. This would be the second and greatest Mattastrophe.

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