The man didn’t speak any English but thought if he repeated things loudly in Spanish that I would understand him. The van smelled like blonde tobacco and hair oil. In the back a couple of stale bread loaves were sliding around. It was a bread delivery truck, apparently.
I left my things in the corner of the spare bedroom, which had three roll-up mattresses on the floor and was full of backpacks, and introduced myself to the other couchsurfers.
Before we got a chance to eat a storm blew in and we had to run to a nearby village for cover, to a little two-room shack owned by Janesh’s relatives, where a family of some 15 people lived. All of them were asleep outside under a thatched pavilion.
“How long do you have left?” I asked, handing the vodka over, unsure of whether it was an invasive question.
From the moment we crawled into Iskender’s truck I was unsure if we could trust him.
By our 18th birthday this was the bet:
whoever sleeps with Todd’s mom wins.
Wins what? Everything, basically…
Sometimes I would go as far as to appear interested in what people had to say, and then take out my notebook and write things in a non-existent and incomprehensible alphabet, and show it to them, and then appear frustrated and angry at my poor condition of non-intelligibility.