Here, the Stars are So Dense You Can Stargaze Alone

I took a surf lesson yesterday with the nephew of my hostel owners’ neighbor. I was dying for company and an activity with a clear goal. He greeted me by the lifeguard stand with a smile and his whole face white with zinc and after the lesson he told me I could pay by getting a beer with him.

At night, I got a beer with him. He picked me up in his mom’s car but told me about his car, an old Beetle. He told me about a rescue he had to make once when the lifeguards were off duty. He told me about how, in the winter here, they don’t even bother to turn the streetlights on.

We walked around the town and he smoked a (legal) joint. Then he told me how last summer, in Punta del Este, he had seen a UFO.