THE DIARIES OF PAUL K LYONS - 1977
After a short visit to Uruguay, I met up in Buenos Aires with my Chilean girlfriend and another friend, and the three of us travelled to Paraguay, first, and then a little around Brazil. One frightening experience saw us jailed for a day in Curitiba. Although I hoped to work my passage back to Europe on a container ship, I was too impatient to wait, and I ended up paying for a ticket on a passenger liner. On board, I fell for a beautiful Argentinian singer. She was starting her travels, I was finishing mine. We didn’t actually get together until a couple of months later, in London, and then we lived as a couple, first in a Chelsea bedsit, and then in a good-sized Kilburn flat I took over from friends. The relationship was doomed, yet, somehow, we remained the very best of non-platonic friends for the rest of her time in Europe.
By dint, I suspect, of my first class degree, I secured a junior executive position with a market research company. Yet, it became clear before long that I was a fish out of water.
Diary 4, which starts in December 1976, is a short one, covering only the last three months (to March 1977) of my travelling period. However, this particular diary also marks the start of a more self-conscious, sometimes flowery, sometimes surreal, style of writing which was to infect my diaries for years to come. (However, I’ve probably cut much of my worst excesses in this regard.) Diary 5 begins in March, a few days after my return to England, and continues through to August that year. Diary 6 begins in August and charts the difficult period of trying to reintegrate into a normal (non-travelling) life.
Paul K. Lyons (September 2007)