My East Borneo Diary – Meet the Fockers


The first full day in my new home in Eastbourne and nary a stitch of food in the house. So, off to the centre of town, in search of a thank you card for the woman who sold me the apartment – no greater vendor ever vended – and a spot of nosh for the inner man.

In my previous abode in London, I had lived within 100 yards of five superb, bijou bakeries. A range of breads was available that matched anything Paris might have to offer. Where I now live, not so much.

Round the corner from my new humble home is a bakery, so in I toddled. Among what was on display, I couldn’t immediately see anything a sane person might want to eat. “What can I do for you, my darling?” asked a woman I’d never met. “Something sticky,” I said, and something sticky she produced. It might have been called a Danish, but no greater insult could be laid on the Danes. It was revolting.

That meant a walk down to the centre of town. Here endeth the lesson about sticky foodstuffs and we move on to a different issue.

It is no longer permitted to point out that a person is fat or gay or stupid or anything else. In the name of equality, we live in an era when, to quote the song, everyone is beautiful, in their own way. At the risk of imprisonment, I feel I must say that some of the specimens I saw wandering round the shopping centre of East Borneo would have counted among the lesser of God’s creations, had they been God’s creations.

If you doubt that, consider this. If we are made in God’s image, he is a scrawny, tattooed, drunk, crew-cut, ugly, mannerless dolt, which, of course, he may be for all I know. East Borneo apparently attracts, among the regular crowd, a sub-set of horrids, the very sight of which is enough to make a brave man quail.

I’ve lived in tourist destinations more or less continuously since 1975. It was not the visitorial nature of visitors from which I shrank, but, in this case, the extent to which they have deliberately rendered themselves sub-human, on purpose, so as to frighten the children and horses.

Mercifully, there were only a few dozen of them, and they wouldn’t enter the shopping centre, where security is employed. So I popped in there and had a fine time.

Play the hand you’re dealt, I always say. If you are dealt the Visigoth card, play the rear way out card.

What threw me was why these charlies would choose East Boring to visit in the first place. There is a large number of seaside hellholes within an hour’s drive: Brighton, Hastings, etc. Only the especially perverse, one imagines, visits Eastbourne, the Empress of the Watering Holes, the better to outrage people like me.

Job done, lads.

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