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    • America Is About To Feel Like A 3rd World Nation
      I spent a good chunk of my childhood in third world countries. Most of it was in Bangladesh, then arguably the poorest country in the world, but I visited or lived in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Nepal and India, among others. There’s a feel to the third world one becomes familiar with: beggars, infrastructure that doesn’t […]
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Teka, Devon, Cena, Inez… and me

My friend Devon used to invite me to the beach in Hawaii where her family rented a cabin. We were 10 or 11. She had three sisters all within a few years in age that she could have body surfed with but she invited me.

Teka was a couple years older. She tried to teach me to surf on a long board. Cena was a year younger but had that cool factor that neither Devon nor I possessed. Inez was a few years younger. Too young to be body surfing with us.

We got up shortly after dawn and followed the tracks of the crabs from the sand to the sea. Then we’d haul our boogie boards into the ocean and shoot curls all morning. The waves were probably too much for us. These days, you’d have to be nuts to let a kid that age be tossed around like laundry in a washing machine, dragged under and spit out.

Most days were sunny. Devon’s mom would call us in at 11am for lunch and a nap. We’d spread our sleeping bags out on the bare floor and let the warmth of the sun through the shutters soak into our tired arms and legs.

At 2pm, we’d hit the beach again and surf until we could barely stand. Our hair was full of sand, our torsos covered by fine abrasions. We’d pull the boards out of the water, have a quick dinner and fall asleep early.

Not every day was sunny. Sometimes, the sky was a flat leaden cover on the sun. The sea was gray. The wind was strong. The waves rushed at us all frothy and fast. It was still good surfing.

Today was like that. There’s a tropical storm parked off the outer banks. Monday and Tuesday, it was too rainy to go out. The wind was strong and sand blasted the brave on the beach. Today, it was calmer and I saw a few patches of blue sky before they disappeared by noon. But I was out there anyway. The water was warmer than it was on Sunday and the waves churned the bottom of the beach into sandy curls.

I didn’t go in. Voluntarily. I don’t know this beach well enough. No one was swimming and I don’t know where the tide surges. But I queued up some music and ran along the foamy rush of water. Ran too fast. In the wrong direction. Got caught by a wave and went under.

It was amazing.

iPhone survived. Earbuds are sketchy.

I think the mistake I made as an adult was to assume that laying on the sand is enough. It isn’t. You need to run and jump in. Your body will thank you for it later.

It never gets old.

Here’s the music that distracted me. It’s a day at the beach with Teka, Devon, Cena and Inez.