A note about Portree. We took to driving around that sleepy town with loud hip hop playing. We’d enter cranking California Love or Ghetto Gospel or some other absurdly gangsta rap song, then Yuri would pump the car so it jerked up the road. We’d accelerate for about a half metre then come to a lurching deceleration. In this way we stuttered all through Portree, me and Yuri trying not to laugh, trying to look serious and bopping. Ben beamed from the back with thumbs pointing enthusiastically up.
This is really all about reactions and isn’t worth doing in a town predominately peopled by the working class. Nor is it worth doing in an expensive car. That’d seem like showing off. This isn’t about displaying status. Something as ridiculous as this can only work with the right mix of shitty vehicle and banging tunes. In part it’s about caricaturing expectations.
One man, on his way to the pub, grinned and laughed and sent us a nod of appreciation. Asian tourists, kitted out with maps and bum-bags, watched us with vague shock and bemusement. An elder woman with her husband, both dressed finely, her in conservative evening dress, him in tight high-worn blue jeans and hunting shirt, had a look of utter disgust as we past. Fair enough.
All of this, it’s made better when you imagine us jerking along those almost-prim streets with their red carpet, £22 main course fish restaurants and their tiny office-block police station, in a crappy ’95 Nissan Micra.