Board shorts are for babes too

By Pam Keevil

Published on 22nd June 2014

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I guessed there was something wrong as soon as I picked up the case. It rattled; like something metal had come loose inside. I pushed the thought from my head and slung it onto a trolley, out past the customs and into the hot night air. It had been a long flight, a very long flight. Seventeen hours in all and now I just wanted my hotel room and to stretch out on a bed and sleep. Not just doze, cramped into a seat designed for a midget, surrounded by other snoring, snuffling people at 30,000 feet.

Here I was at last in Bali and ready for two weeks of yoga, finding myself and who knows who else I might find? I’d read the book, seen the film and now needed to meet the guy and this was going to be my chance. I checked my watch. There were only two hours before the first class. That was just enough time for a shower, snooze and clean clothes. But what does a yoga babe wear?

I lifted my case onto the bed; it was bright pink with purple flowers so I could spot it easily on the luggage carousel. But something odd was going on because my key didn’t fit the lock and the case wasn’t locked either. I flipped it open. There was a jumble of stuff inside; t shirts, board shorts, flip flops and I rifled through more baggy t shirts to find a clue, unearthing board wax and some greying boxers. Either my clothes had undergone some sort of transformation or this was not my case. Underneath the tat though, was a man’s navy suit, neatly encased in plastic with a sparkling white shirt, smart tie and highly polished shoes.

It was such a contrast to the other stuff and as I looked more closely at the suit I could tell this not from a chain store like my boyfriends, or ex-boyfriends, usually wore. This was special, pure cashmere the label said and the tie looked expensive too. I lifted the suit package out carefully and peered at a collection of deodorant, lip balm, hair gel, after shave and face cream that was packed into a neat wash bag.

Trust me to pick up the bag of a captain of industry who was into body beautiful. I rummaged again and found a plastic see through wallet with papers inside. It looked like contracts but, Mr ‘Super organised vanity king’ also had an itinerary printed out for a Mr Jason Fitzpatrick and the name of a hotel.

I pulled on my crumpled travelling clothes, grabbed some money and closed the case. As I lugged it down stairs, I asked Wayan to get me a taxi and whilst I waited I phoned the hotel. They put me through to his room and a sleepy voice answered, ‘Yeah?’
I stammered some sort of explanation about a mix up with the cases and that I’d be there in about ten minutes. I explained I’d leave the case in reception with the Concierge (this was a posh hotel with lots of staff -not like mine where Wayan does everything) and then slammed the phone down.

In the back of the taxi I began to practice an explanation but would he believe me? Could I get prosecuted? What would my family say? I imagined the headlines, ‘English girl in Balinese jail for theft’. And what if he had opened my case? What would he think? But before I could torture myself any more, the taxi pulled up in front of a hotel to die for- all open plan, masses of flowers, trickling water and uniformed staff.
‘Wait for five minutes!’ I shouted to the driver and then dragged the case up the steps, refusing all offers of help. I practically ran to the Reception desk. ‘This is for Jason Fitzpatrick. Tell him I’m sorry about the mix up!’

‘Excuse me, I think this is yours,’ a voice purred behind me. I turned. He was tall with streaked blonde hair and looked out of place in shorts and a t-shirt that advertised some ancient rock band. He should have been on the cover of a magazine advertising designer watches or yachts. ‘I am so sorry but I must have picked up your case by mistake. I was taking a call at the time. I suppose I got distracted.’
‘You took my case?’ I spluttered, feeling my face go hot and knowing I was now resembling a beetroot.

‘Yeah.’ He ran a hand through his hair and smiled, a lop sided smile, ‘Hey, let me apologise properly for the inconvenience…What about dinner? Or a drink if you’re busy?’ I hesitated, even good looking guys can be weirdos but he must have read my thoughts as he added, ‘Well let me buy you a coffee at least?’

‘I’d like a coffee.’ I smiled, that was safe. He nodded to Reception, ‘Look after the lady’s case and pay her taxi. I’ll make sure she gets back. Add it to my bill.’

So that’s how I came to meet Jason Fitzpatrick, importer of silver jewellery (the suit was for business purposes as they’re very formal in Bali) and of course, surf fanatic. And why did a guy have a flowery suitcase, just like mine? It turned out he had borrowed his sister’s because the cat had chosen his case to give birth to her kittens.

As for me, I’ve given up on all that yoga stuff. Yoga is so yesterday. I’m learning to surf instead.

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