The kumara never talks about how sweet it is.

Maori Proverb


The bookbinder unlocked the door to his little workshop down in the victorian district and quickly closed it behind to keep the neverending stream of tourists from entering. Not that he minded them particularly (somebody had to pay him for his work. The locals would only barter), but he didn't want anyone to witness the impending shouting match. With a face that resembled someone who just ingested a large amount of red wine vinegar he answered the call and prepared for the worst.

'What do you want?' There was no necessity for niceties between him and Bente, as for polite conversation or chit-chat the divorce had been to acrimonious. He owed her no money and she certainly earned enough to live a comfortable life, so he was pretty sure this call social only. He had no idea why she continued to call after 5 years, but he always felt worse afterwards.

"Can't I call the man I lived with for 10 years from time to time?" The slight dutch accent and the way she pronounced 'years' still annoyed him after 5 years of separation. Some things you couldn't get out of your system. 

"Well, I prefer to not have my day ruined with one of your diatribes. What is it this time?". At least she didn't yell at him after ten seconds.

"Darling, you always sound like my voice grates something in your innards. I must really piss you off. Anyway, just trying to distract myself from some weird seismic data that's been coming in. Can't make heads or tails of it, so I thought I have a little chat with you to spread my moderately foul mood around the globe. How is your beloved little victorian hide-away? Have you had more sad hippies arriving to make an honest living with their hands and without electricity? I do admire such idealism".

He was not going to be the lightning rod for one of Bente's foul moods. Not at 9 am in the morning on such a beautiful day. "Bente, is there any point to your call apart from the fact that you are having a brain fart? If not, why don't you be a good girl and hang up and play with one of your science serfs?". He felt his mood souring already. 15 seconds. Boy, was she efficient. 

"No, nothing at all. Just wanted to hear the sound of your voice and that funny Kiwi accent of yours. I'm already feeling much better. Tot ziens". And with that she hang up. There were a few 'B' and 'C' words he called her in the privacy of his thoughts, but there were already some tourists looking through the windows, waving at him, as as he promised his dad to bring him a few botles of Belgian Kriek for the role playing night, he had no choice but to play the charming curmudgeon and sell some books. Bente and her seismic anomalities on the other side of the world could kiss his large victorian arse.


Qaqortoq: Chapter V | Qaqortoq: Chapter VI | Qaqortoq: Chapter VII

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