You can spot them a mile off, the penultimate dreamers, they always have that annoyed look because they’re not somewhere else, and whenever they pass a travel agent they always stop and mentally audit their bank accounts to see whether they can afford a trip to Kuala Lumpur. I see them quite regularly these days because someone’s opened a travel agent next door to me, so it’s not an uncommon sight to see a half dozen people scattered on the path staring at the window, children stamping at their mother’s feet: Tangeirs, Tunis, Marrakesh, Alexandria, the travel agent’s window is luring them all that way.
I went down, before I knew what the shop was, to see what it was that made people stop and vacantly stare, and I was grabbed by the elbow by an old, cloth-capped, man. “Would you look at the craftsmanship of that sign”, he said to me, “Fine work. Beautiful”.
I agreed with him although the nature of this assent was a fairly non-commital grunt.
He grabbed me tighter and pulled me closer to him, as if to tell me an epiphanous secret, “It was easy to put up too: you can see it, only six screws”, he let go and laughed, slapping me on the back, “Only SIX screws!”.
You can spot the ultimate dreamers even farther off, because they will slow down and stop outside of grocery shops, and think, out loud sometimes: “Wow. Bananas !”.