Sequel to 'Chasing the Sun'
|"I remember Godmor in her rocking chair. It was painted blue," Jan said, dragging his suitcase to the car. "Same colour as the ocean off Point Cook."
"Ya, Mor was always rocking, and knitting," Aksel remembered. "I cannot believe she is gone."
"Are you sure we're doing the right thing?" Halina questioned, just as she had three years ago.
"What's your problem, Mum. It's not like we're going back there to stay. We go to the old girl's funeral, then we hop back to Oz. At least there's no spiders in the dunny over there." Jan had become a fair dinkum Ausie since they landed in Melbourne. His hair was always fair but had been bleached almost white by the sun and the salt air. When he wasn't in Uni he was riding the waves or hooning around with his muckas.
"Did you pack your black suit?" Halina asked.
"If you mean my black jeans and navy shirt, ye."
"You need a suit. And a tie. We buy in Dubai. We are there for a day."
"I ain't spending my wonga on no suit. If I remember rightly I'm gonna be wrapped up in goose feathers anyway."
"Not in the Kirke. There you wear a suit." Halina was adamant.
"How long is the flight to Dubai?" Halina asked, clutching the arms of her seat.
"Just over fourteen hours. What's your problem, Mum? I didn't think you was scared o' flying." Jan had already set up to play an online game with his mates back home. "Pick a movie, have a drink and chill."
Aksel took his wife's hand. "It is OK. The boy has done much flying. He is young, he knows no fear. Did you take the pills?" Halina nodded. "We sleep now. When we wake we will be in Dubai."
"Jeez, anyone would think you don't wanna go back to Norway." Jan was only going for his parents' sake. He remembered when he was a kid and used to chase the sun. He had no desire to go back to the Darklands.
"Strewth, glad I kept my sunnies handy. It's hotter than a snag on the barbie." Jan looked up at all the skyscrapers. "Where we gonna buy this suit then Mum?"
Halina felt uncomfortable seeing all the well dressed women dripping with expensive jewelry. "Maybe a suit in Dubai would be too expensive."
"Ya don't say. I ain't got this sort of wonga." He looked in a shop window at the Armani suit for five grand. "Is that US or AUS?"
"Pounds Stirling," Aksel said. "That's about a year's salary. Halina, the boy can wear what he has."
"If we ain't shopping, what we doin' for the day?" Jan was already bored. "Don't s'pose this place has good surf?"
"What we do we do indoors. This heat too much," Halina said, mopping her brow.
"You guys do your own thing. I'm goin' exploring. See ya back at the hotel."
Jan headed for the beach. "Wow, kite surfing, who knew." He looked at his watch, he looked at the queue. "Not today, I guess." He found a space and flopped down onto the hot sand. "Strewth, my arse is burning. I thought the sand back home was hot."
The heat caused him to nod off. It was an electronic rendition of 'Waltzing Mathilda' that roused him. "Where are you?" It was Halina. Jan looked at his watch. He should have been back at the hotel an hour ago.
"Sorry, Mum. Dozed off. I'm on me way." As he struggled to get up he realised his skin was bright red. "Ouch!" He got onto the roadway and looked around for a cab. A cream and red vehicle screeched to a halt beside him.
"You want taxi?" Jan climbed in carefully and gave the name of the hotel. Within minutes they pulled up outside. It was surprisingly cheap.
"What have you done to yourself?" Halina looked at Jan's bright red skin.
"I didn't think to bring sunblock for where we're goin'. There's no sun."
"But you knew we stop at Dubai." Aksel was angry with his idiot son. "You will be in pain for days."
"Well it ain't gonna get no worse in the Darklands."
"I wish you would not give that name to our homeland."
"It may be yours but it ain't mine. I'm Australian. Jus' cos I had the accident to be born in that hell hole don't mean it's home."
"You don't want to go home?"
"I'm goin' for Godmor, not the scenery. I'll stay for the funeral but then I'm chasing the sun."