One of the most wonderful things about living in a Mediterranean city is the amazing weather. Warm nine months of the year, beach going is possible until the end of October.
A recent lazy Saturday afternoon called for a few hours of beach time as the fall began to rear its chilly head. Living a precisely 5 minute walk from the beach, I met up with friends to bask in the sun and possibly judge people’s beach bodies (hey, there’s not much else to do on the beach if you don’t play matkot).
One of our friends headed into the water for a dip as me and another stayed behind on our beach beds. A half hour passed as we joked that she probably met a man and drifted into conversationally deeper waters.
A half hour quickly turned into an hour and a half with still no sign of our friend. We knew she was horrible at keeping track of time, but this seemed a little excessive, even for her. As the two hour mark struck, we decided to notify someone.
A group of five men stood around the lifeguard station as they watched over the crowds bobbing up and down in the wonderfully calm ocean. Being a lifeguard is not a bad profession. They work summer months only, make decent money, and get to watch beautiful tourists in truly Brazilian bikini bottoms run around on the beach all day. Needless to say, it is a strictly male dominated profession.
I climbed the stairs to the nearby lifeguard station and told them that our friend had gone into the water two hours earlier and had yet to emerge. And I thought only wildly irresponsible parents got themselves into these kind of situations. But here I was, standing on a lifeguard station, ready to fill out a missing person’s report.
“Ok, ok, calm down” said one of the younger lifeguards in a rather serious tone. “Let me just get some information. First, what is her name? Second, what are you doing tonight?”.
After closing my jaw, I decided I wanted to knee him where the Mediterranean sun don’t shine then give him my number mildly impressed by his sheer audacity. Instead, I summoned my best annoyed face, a face I usually save for when people start sentences with “Can you do me a favor?”
After calling her name on the PA system, our previously MIA friend came happily running out of the water profusely apologizing for losing track of time. I believe the words “water shiatsu” were uttered at some point in her explanation.
If only I had been wearing a ridiculously high-cut red one-piece bathing suit and chilled with David Hasselhoff, I could have sworn this was a real life episode of Baywatch.
Thoroughly annoyed, I turned to make my exit. That afternoon, I did a slow-motion run off the beach, not on purpose, just because it’s really hard to run on sand.