Monday, July 18, 2011


WHO: Eugene from Korea.
WHEN: 25/4/11
WHERE: Los Arcos Municipal Albergue, Spain.

SLEEPING PATTERN: His slight snoring was barely noticeable amongst the nighttime symphony of older gents on the camino.

EUGENE strolled up behind me with his professional hiking poles flashing by his sides, and began to chat to me as we trudged through increasing mud, up one of the highest peaks of the Camino. It was my first day, and within a kilometre Eugene had earnestly confided in me that he had recently lost his job and then his girlfriend, due to his career shortcomings. His uncurbed misery, which he shared so openly and so quickly with me - a stranger - made it inappropriate to tell him that he sounded like a country song. He was on a journey to forgive and accept his fate. He could very much play the joker; posing for photos by jumping way into the air, or sticking food out of his mouth & teasing our other Korean friend for her crush on a French guy. But when he was serious, he possessed a very upfront and unchecked sentimentality, which came out most sweetly at the times he had to farewell new Camino friends as he or they moved on. Often searching his belongings for a gift to bestow on people, he would become silent and then teary as he tried to express his goodbyes.

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