The story of Monkey, Popeye's HIGHLY Unofficial Mascot ...
When we were in Thailand, about to embark on our grand adventure bringing Popeye back to Australia, Craig commented that he would like a piece of artwork to fill the blank wall above the salon table.
|That big, blank wall needs something ...|
"What a fine idea," we thought and immediately embarked on finding the perfect piece of art. We had a few criteria for this search: it needed to fill the space, it needed to be as hideous as possible and it could not cost more than $10!
We came across stunning sunsets painted in gaudy colours on black velvet but were unable to negotiate prices much below USD 50. (seriously!) And the same with the water colours and those stunners on banana leaves. Yet we persevered!
It was in Bali on a visit to the Gitgit Falls.
On the walkway down to the falls, we had to 'run the gauntlet' of vendors with the warning not to take interest in anything or the vendors will swoop. It was then Sean saw him. Monkey. Or more specifically, Monkey in a Boat! He was perfect, perfect size, perfect colours... But when asked the price, we were told USD 200. So Sean offered USD 5. The negotiations continued until we were the proud owners of Monkey for USD 10!
|Nyoman (our driver) and our newly-purchased artwork|
And he made us laugh. We laughed as we transported him back in the dinghy. We laughed as we hung him on that blank wall above the salon table. We laughed when we thought of Craig's reaction when he first came aboard in Saumlaki.
Monkey proved a perfect crew member. His eyes would track you and we could see him from the helm. He kept us company on those late night solo watches. He was always calm. Even when the Trade Winds blew up the seas and we were crashing and bashing and exhausted, Monkey stayed calm. He never dropped his oar and clung to the side of his boat no matter what the weather threw at us. Indeed, he was such a part of the crew that we had forgotten that he was a joke when Craig finally met us.
And Craig's roar of horror was well worth the effort!
Roll forward to today. We arrived in Sydney yesterday and brought to a hotel to quarantine for 14 days. Craig kindly dropped us off a package filled with champagne, chocolate, books and... a framed photo of Monkey!
We are so enjoying having Monkey in quarantine with us. He reminds us of our past adventures and the ones we will have in the future when we, once again, have the freedom to travel.