My cousin’s a man who won’t take no for an answer. Maybe that’s what makes him a good salesman. He insists you haven’t lived, or won’t know about life if you haven’t been to Asia. He insists I should go to Indonesia. Says it’s part of me and I need to know. Never mind I’m not interested. Never mind I couldn’t care less.

He idealises his world as much as I’m aware of the complacency of mine. He’d be persuasive if I didn’t have that family streak that hates to be told what to do. Honestly, any suggestion of ‘must’ and I rebel.

If I had plenty of dosh I suppose I would go. But never mind the disinterest, I’m also bound by a thousand what-if’s. For the last 15 years my life’s been dictated by music: “What if so and so tours, I need to be ready.” And I’ve lived by it, flying off to Dublin or London, or going to Germany, Belgium, France, at a drop of a hat. That’s where I get my happy.

Am I wrong to hold on to that, the trusted, sure-fire instant fix and forego the sweaty discovery of my so-called roots in the tropics?

{ The photo features myself, my aunt and two cousins in Indonesia, 1975. Eating, natch. }