Day LXXI – MAI 28, 2012

Fck man, I have to move, I appearently can’t go to bed here early; only once did I almost make it home before midnight. And I can’t sleep in on these swaying floor in this lounge with a family now occupying it every morning from 8am on, taking away that little privacy I had here. No wonder I got sick.

I still have a choice to make: go to Lombok and climb Rinjani with Chris and Joe; probably a little cold and hard work but awesome. Though am I up for it, I’m still barking like a bear and have a minor fever at 37.3.
Or, stay to spend my last days in this lovely little reggae town.
Just one week to go… It’s funny how suddenly I’m counting days again. And at the end of my trip I don’t feel like the whole bother of packing up and moving anymore. And I’m not the only one: a lot of people I met here are on their last stop and refuse to leave for as long as they can, ‘stuck in Padangbai.’
Or maybe I’m just talking myself into staying because I’m secretly curious to find out where this little summerfling is going.

As it’s past noon and still haven’t heard from my American brothers, I guess that’s it. No Lombok.
So I go over to the beach to meet Gede for our little trip. Bring on the fling.
Mario makes a big fuss when I go over there, “I don’t like him.” After some asking Mario admids two reasons: 1) he’s not from here, he’s from a neibouring town 2) he borrowed a language book from Mario and hasn’t given it back yet.
So I tell Gede to give it back, and tell Mario to take it easy and not to worry. I do feel a little bad though. And I have this theory; people like Mario usually have a sixth sense about things…

We have to go by his house to pick up some helmets, and I’m looking forward to see more inside of the local life.
The off-road ride there is amazing. We go from broken asfalt to more broken asfalt, and just as he’s apoligising for the road being so bad the asfalt disappears completely and it’s just a dirtroad, or actually a 2-feet wide path, through a forest of banana and palm trees and loose cattle running around and ricepaddies on both sides, here and there making an opening so you can see the ocean. Sometimes there’s a sort of fence and a hut and people working the land.
He stops at a concrete building that functions as a roadside shop to get some petrol and walks in. I figured I should just wait outside but he waves for me to follow, “This is my house.”
We go through a door in the back of the shop that leads an alley where his mum and some kids greet us with awe and yells of enthousiasm (?) He tells me she is saying I’m so beautiful and I blush. We walk on to a courtyard with more households and a big shrine and more women asking me if I speak Bahasa Indonesia and I’m stuck with “Sedikit. Permisi, anda bisa bitsara Bahasa Ingris?”
Now we’re supposed to wait for a cousin that will bring over the helmets, but Gede makes a phonecall to find out there’s no police, so we’re safe to go. He tells me it’s just a 20 minute drive, and I guess he knows best, so just go with it.

In the end we’re driving for 45 minutes, on big roads too, and it looks a little dangerous, with all the traffic and sharp curves. Then again, many people on scooters aren’t wearing helmets.
A few occasions even make him go “shit” and I do get little fright then, but over all I guess he’s driving pretty safely… except for maybe the speeding when taking over. But hey, live a little.
Not done in Europe of course, and I can see a few of your faces screwing up, but no worries, everything’s fine.

The views all along are amazing, the hills and the valleys, the ricepadies end on end, the ocean showing her face every time she gets the chance.
Sometimes he slows down to point out something, like when we pass a parkinglot crowded with monkeys, just sitting there, but I don’t get most of what he’s trying to explain.

At some point just after Candidasa he turns into a smaller alley and up a hill. We pass another one of those gazebos with a group of men sitting in them. He stops and one of the men comes over to collect a fee for I don’t know what with a little ticketbook and Gede pays. Not a word; everyone is quiet and it feels rather awkward.
We continue on a sand road that leads to a parking the ticket must have been for.

This beach truly is very beautiful. A straight mountainside on one end and some green hills on the other, and the most amazing island up ahead. It looks very Petit Prince, a little dot that sticks up out of the ocean, half of it covered in grass and one single tree. I want to live there!
We go for a swim in the almost boringly calm water and share a romantic kiss.
When we sit on the beach there’s a group of local boys playing football. We’re kissing again but Gede tells me he’s a little shy and scared they’re making fun of us and might kick the ball into our heads.
It’s interesting how a thin borderline between villages would make such a difference. Mario wasn’t the first to be saying he doesn’t like someone because he’s not from the same town.
When he needs a light, he first goes to the white girl lying a little farther, but she doesn’t have one, so now he’s forced to go to those boys anyway. They saw what he was looking for and are already calling him over. And it’s all fine and fun and games. They do make a joke later when we’re kissing, asking of they can join…

So he asks me “Where you want to go tomorrow? Tirta Gangga? And the day after we have big ceremony and I want to take you with me, to introduce you to my family so they can meet my girlfriend, ya?” That’s too big an honour and too awesome and experience to turn down, and I’ll be leaving soon anyway, but suddenly he’s not so shy at all anymore.

On the way back we’re overtaken by two guys on a bike carrying at least a dozen rabbits. Seriously. Even Gede had to laugh at that.
We stop at a roadside warung to have some gado-gado and it’s the best I ever had. He asks me if I want to pay, so I’m like “Sure…” and put down the 14.000rph requested after he ordered some cigarettes, a small bottle of arak and an energydrink. I think he paid something too, but I explained before how we have quite a language barrier and it’s not all clear to me.

He asks me if I want to go to black sand beach for sunset and a glass of arak. “Just for a little while then.”
It’s the most bizar beach I ever saw, all black sand, with a few grey and white pebles here and there and the water is a beautiful dark blue. I have to come back here with my cam!
It’s insane how quick it gets dark here. The moon is just a small slice tonight but lights the whole place so brightly still.
So we sit down and have that drink. And of course he stars kssing me again. And of course he tries more. I tell him ‘no, and ask him to take me home and reluctantly he does.

I get to Sunshine around 9pm. The live music is already playing. It turns out another late night, and at the end of the table I meet Clare.
She is one of those people. You know when you meet someone new but it feels like talking to a very old and dear friend you’ve lost out of sight and you can talk about anything, you can talk all night long and you’re on the same line on everything but still you can give eachother such great advice; because you understand completely.
So we’re drinking and talking the night away. I ment to leave early, but Koming keeps saying “No, come on, have one more drink.”
Finally at 2am I say goodbye to everyone inside and walk out where he’s helping a guy that got himself too drunk on the back of a scooter. And again he says “No, come on, have one more drink with me.” “Oh allright.” I turn around, walk back inside and do my favorite yell these days: “Satu lagi!” – one more!
Koming and Clare have been friends for ages and they have really deep stuff to talk about. I feel a bit like an intruder now so again I try to leave again. But they won’t let me and are all like “Sorry, we didn’t mean to put you off and we don’t want you to go.” So we share a round of arak to make it all better, and make the deal that we have to stay until dawn because I never saw the sun rise over Padangbai before, not properly.
An hour later when he’s lost for 15 minutes and we go searching for him we find him asleep in the porch next door.
At 4am Clare let’s me borrow Tude to drive me home and cleans up Koming.

Day LXX – MAI 27, 2012

That fever was practically gone last night, but went up again this morning and my throat is worse again. Of course it didn’t help I still went out and drank and smoked like any other night last night.
Dear Koming got me a traditional cough syrup with herbs that worked like magic.
But I’m still feeling pretty damp, alone here in the dorm, in bed still at 11am, that shrunk back to the 4 beds it counted when I got here.

I promised Nyoman I’d buy some sarongs from her, so make my way to Bias Tugal anyway.
When I get to the top I find myself caught in a little rainstorm and hide out in an unfinished building for half an hour. It was supposed to become a hotel, but constructions were abandoned. Some say it’s because they didn’t have the right licenses, other’s say it’s because the grounds belong to spirits who wouldn’t budge. It’s even said people have died during construction, because they were messing with higher powers.

It’s the second sudden shower since I got here.
But then the sun’s comes out again. So it’s all good.
Chris has left for the day to get some camping gear in Kuta for a Rinjani-trekking, so it just Joe and me and some of the Pari family playing cards and sitting around.
At some point Josh comes over. Johs mainly hangs over at that other bar where more local boys hang. He was sent as a messenger, by ‘the musicians’ to request that I make an appearance. We have a laugh at that and I tell him “I would if they wouldn’t be too shy to come and ask me themselves.”
I probably still turned a little red there. I’m getting better at the whole social and flirting and all, but I’m still a tiny little shy girl deep down.
Sure enough it’s Gede who walks over a short while later. He invites me to go to another beach tomorrow, about 45 min away from here. I tell him I’m not sure if I’m going to be there, that I’ll can’t give him an answer before tonight, before I spoke with Chris about maybe going to Lombok.
Joe and I ended up staying with the Paris till way late. Dusk had already fallen when we make our way back into town. We still take that forest path, another thing I would most likely not have done back home, knowing about snakes and things – though back home we don’t have snakes, nor the steep hills with loose soil.
On the way we talk about Gede and how he’s being so friendly to me, wanting to take me places. I say “What’s the harm?” and Joe responds in an annoyed manner “Well he’s probably after some more. But hey, if that tickles your fancy…”

Not too long after I came in Gede shows up at Sunshine, and sits next to me for the rest of the night. He’s being too shy to actually flirt, but totally pulls the yawn-arm-strech classic and keeps wiggling his cap around and tries very hard to understand what I’m saying.
I think he doesn’t follow the majority though, of what is said between Josh, Steffi [Germany] the chicks at the next table and me. Then again, he got the whole conversation that went down in fast flowing Bahasa Bali between Koming, Wayan, Moman, Tude and himself that I didn’t.

Josh makes his grand exit, leaving town tonight, just in time to widness me finally finishing my project; on a much smaller table, but I did get it covered!
At some point dating locals comes up, and Josh says something like “These guys must get so lucky, all the pretty female travellers here, looking for a little exotic some-some.”
Then he says this other really funny thing: “You know who you look like? Kate Hudson!” What, again? And he keeps joking about it for the rest of the night. “Yeah, totally, in Almost Famous. You don’t know it? Whatch it!” *

Joe was having heaps of fun over with the boys, I’m sure, but when I checked in with him when going to the toilet he couldn’t resist making the remark “Finally, you left your seat.”
I don’t know if there is anything between us, or if I’m just imagining it. There are no real signs. Just this feeling I get every now and then. And if there would have been signs I would have been open to them. I could have liked him for more. But he never send out anything. Did he? Was this?
He does seem hostile towards Gede, but that might just as well be about the weird fee he asked us for. Anyway, he’s drunk now and I don’t know why he seems agitated tonight. It’s not like I’m always joining him on the dancefloor… I don’t know what to make of him tonight, so go back to my seat.

When I want to leave by 2am Gede gets up instantly to offer me a ride home. Koming makes a little attempt at sitting me down with him; he’d been so busy we hardly spoke all night. But I honestly need my sleep.
So Gede drives me home and asks me to sit down with him for a moment
“I want to ask you something.” Ok. “Do you like me? I really like you. Don’t go to Lombok, ok? Stay with me, live with me. I need you.” That last one makes me laugh, but it’s adorable at the same time. So I let him kiss me goodnight.

* When I tell my best friend about this she looks at me intensely for a minute or so, and says “… Yeah, I see it. Yeah!”

Day LXIX – MAI 26, 2012

When I wake up again at 9am it’s dropped to 37.8 so I decide I’m well enough not to miss our trip to the waterfall over.
When I come downstairs one of the Topi staff behind the counter informes me someone from Sunshine bar was looking for me. Outside it’s Mario calling out for me “Meet my friend, Gede” and then comes some rambling I don’t understand, but the boy explains to me “Wayan couldn’t make it because he has a job to do so I’m taking you instead.” His English isn’t nearly as good, but fine enough to be adorable.
We meet Chris, Joe and Nyoman at Sunshine, get the boys a scooter with a little hassle over a driving license and get on our way. Nyoman and I are on the back with Gede.
The ride there is great, all the tropical forest, green fields with banana trees shading them, soaked rice paddies hidden here and there; beautiful.

Then we get to a little town where we stop at the temple atop of it. There’s a ceremony going on and all the men are dressed up traditionally, sitting and smoking at the entrance of the temple under a magestic ancient tree. We park the bikes and walk an alley up higher passing the enclosures of many households with little peeks in to the local life much more pure even than Padangbai.
We leave the houses behind us and keep climbing up a little path between the greenest landscape. Here and there we climber over some rocks, until we reach a basin bathing in sunlight where a little fall showers down. Gede tells us the water comes from a higher fall, but we’re not allowed up that holy spring, and it’s more impressive when it’s not ‘this dry’. We still enjoy the cool water and stunning surroundings.

Gede is becoming very friendly to me, telling me about this beach he’d like to show me and inviting me to his home “to meet my cousin and to make guitar ya.” When I cautiously tell him “That’d be cool… ” he says he’ll pick me up at Topi Inn tomorrow. So I guess we have a date.

On the way back we stop at a roadside warung to have some lunch: rice and some meaty goodies: enak!
When we get back to Padangbai there’s a weird little bit when he tells us, the tourists, not Nyoman, we have to pay a 50.000rph fee each for visiting that town and he’ll bring it over there later. Not that we wouldn’t pay him this still small amount if he’d ask us to pay him directly; it’s just weird how he’s putting it…
Then again, you never know the culture, you never really know anyone you meet on the road, local or traveller, and you never know who to trust or not.

Once more I find myself staring at the stunning coming and falling of the waves at Bias Tugal. It looks calm and just big out there today.
After a few hours on the beach I somehow end up on the back of Gede’s bike again for a ride into town. I’m now pretty sure the trip to the beach tomorrow is an actual date. His English isn’t good enough, nor is my Bahasa, for us to understand each other very well, and makes it hard to tell whether he is joking or being friendly or what the intonation is ment like. But he does seem sincere and I’m actually looking forward to tomorrow.

Just coincidentally I meet a woman on the beach who married a Balinese and moved here, and at Sunshine I meet a girl with her local boyfriend this same night?
I’ve been sort of wondering about that. I mean, you see plenty of men taking home a bride from these regions back to the west. But it seems like in Bali more women get stuck on the men here than the other way around. Danielle, another friend of Fabs, who is now back on holyday in Holland, married a Balinese. Komings has a girlfriend from Switzerland.

Anything-goes Asia: Where 12-year-olds drive motorcycles without helmets on and it’s normal.

Day LXVIII – MAI 25, 2012

bis tugel
That means only 10 more days… But that’s not the way to look at it.

At 10am I was supposed to be meeting a Wayan to go to those falls he was telling me about last night.
True, I was 10 minutes late, but waited for half an hour. Neither he nor Chris and Joe, my Amerian brothers who’d come aswell, showed.
I ask around a bit, but when I ask for Wayan they go “Which one, we have many Wayan…”

As I lay on the beach writing a bit one of those waves goes as deep as the end of the beach and wipes me and and everything else away. Ketut Pari and his son help me to lay all my stuff out to dry in the sun and give me a piece of paper so I can continue writing anyway. They tell me the ocean is acting this crazy because of black moon.

Since yesterday I’ve been having some tummycramps again. I thought it might have something to do with the previous nights arak, but it wasn’t anywhere near as much as I had the first night here. Maybe it’s because of the ice Mario poured some cola on for me yesterday. It looked dodgy but I couldn’t be as rude as to refuse him.
When Mario asks if you want a drink he means to buy you one. He’s a little special, but he means all well.
For example, he’s invented himself a job: cleaning the beach, and takes it very serious too. He’s brought a little snorkling kit today and has a little net with which he takes the rubbish out of that too.

When I was walking down the street and as it goes all the time with the men asking “You need transport, yes?” and the women “You need sarong, yes?”, one guy shouted after me “Where you going? Where you from? What’s your name? How long are you in Padangbai?” So I say back “No thank you, I’m just walking, I’m going to the beach, my name is Merel and I’m from Holland.” as I find it rude not to give them any sort of reply. The nice thing of staying in one place a little longer is that they start recognising you and that loosens the nuisance.
In Dutch, he replies “Van Nederland? Oh kom hier!” -From Holland? Come over, talk to me!- Now that’d be a pretty rude way to speak to a random person in the street, back in the western world, and no one would actually respond to that. But I figured, why not? So I walk back and chat a bit. His Dutch is really good. He used to live in Alkmaar, and he wants to go back, but is putting it off due to the recession. It’s funny to hear a Balinese say that, isn’t it?

Again, Chris and Joe do show up, but again, very late. They had a hard time this morning as last nigh got very late, again.
So we’re playing Frisbee a bit, when it gets lost in the whitewash. I though it’d be no problem; it will come floating up again. But everyone comes rushing in to find it like crazy! Apearently it’s been lost like this a few times before, got buried under the sand. It’s very funny to see everyone running in, looking around, then the Frisbee showing up 10 meters further and everyone running over there just too late; another wash came in and took the Frisbee away again, the ocean continuing this game a few times. And when it’s finally caught the entire beach chearing at the finder.
After all that running we sit down at Pari and play cards, a game called General, with Wayan –a different one; the Pari son- Wayan –yet another; they do have many Wayan!- the Pari daughter, Nyoman -the sarong/massage girl we’ve befriended, such a sweetheart- Chris, Joe and me. They don’t explain any rules to us, and there is no way we’re following them the first hour, and it seems like they keep changing every round, but it’s hilarious!

It’s a calm evening. After dinner at Martini I join Hayley and Thomas for a cocktail at Buddhabars happy hour. That’s from 8pm till 10pm, and at 9.45 the staff is done cleaning the bar and everything so turn off the lights… We hadn’t even finished our glasses, but figure we’re supposed to leave.
Thus, satu lagi, banyak lagi and the obvious shot of arak at Sunshine.
Live is at Kinky Reggae bar tonight so I head over there and find Joe sitting outside with some locals celebrating a birthday. It’s so great how the locals here are so welcoming and draw each traveller that stays for more than a day in with them. I join the party for a bit, share a glass in the Balinese round even though I shouldn’t with that fever I feel coming up, and hear the funniest, randomest thing when I tell I’m Dutch: Eka replies “Ik heb geen snor.” Something some passer-by once taught him. It means ‘I have no mustache’ and I laugh my ass off.

However, with the hot/cold flashes not being tempered by the beer I call it an early night.
When I get home I take my temperature just to make sure and read 39.3. I wake up at 4am and check again; 38.2. By now my throat, neck and whole body are feeling very sore and I’m afraid I won’t make the planned trip tomorrow, but manage to fall asleep again.

Day LXVII – MAI 24, 2012

Padangbai isn’t much of a barefeet town. My flipflops, the DC’s I bought in Vientiane still covered in Greenway paint, left before I did last night. It was a crowded night, but I still don’t get it really, why you have to steal someone’s worn down footwear…

I’m falling into a new daily routine: wake up, grab my swimming gear to go to Bias Tugal (white sand) to have Pari’s banana pancake with honey and choco sprinkles for breakfast with a cup of ginger tea, have some swims, tans, games and writing. When the sun sets we walk back to town to grab a shower. I have dinner at Martini, check out the live music, enjoy the party and go to bed not before midnight.

This afternoon Koming takes me to visit another friend Fab, my sis-in-law who’s parents had a house here, told me to go see, Ketut. She was in Holland to study, which is how they met.
She lives 3 minutes walking from Sunshine bar, so Koming and I meet there at 2pm. Last night he strictly told me not to be late. I am 10 minutes late still, and almost get worried he left already when I don’t see him right away. Then I see him driving over from afar. ‘Late’ is a different concept here I suppose, even when the date is very specif. Another reason this place is perfect for me.

He still needs to have breakfast so we go to warung Sinar, where he sits me down at a table and walks into the kitchen to cook himself some.
While he’s eating we overhear a taxidriver making a date with a customer by telephone in funny Engrish, and he’s the one that starts laughing. He tells me how, when he just started working in Kuta and learning English, he saw tourists taking photos of the menu and asked them why and has been very cautious about Engrish since then.

We get on his scooter to drive ‘all the way’ to Ketuts. She’s a sweet woman with little Laura hiding behind her and even littler Theo on her arms, welcoming me with a broad smile. She tells me I don’t look Dutch at all; she’d have said Australian, and I take it as a compliment.
We talk a bit about Fab and my travels and then she and Koming chat away in Bahasa Bali for an hour or so, every now and then translating into English to explain or ask me something. I just sit there taking it all in.
Another big courtyard with many houses connected to it, with many kids and chickens running around it and playing in between the bananatrees. It’s nice to be right in the middle of the local life like this. I’d be even better if I understood the language though!
Each house has a large porch where everyone is sitting, talking, folding the little ceremonial baskets or doing other housechores. Ketut has some birdcages hanging around hers, a bench and a table standing on it, and some timber lying around.
The woodwork on her doors and windows looks new and some of it is beautifully carved. The house is mainly build up of concrete. The entrance room I’m looking into is tiled and looks pretty empty with just a table and a plastic gardenchair in it. And the roosters are still crowing. They do so 24/7 around here.

Less than two weeks and I’ll be back at where it says my home is. But to be honest, after three and a half years of halflife in The Hague where I studied, half a year of living in France, two months of staying with my parents and three months of living out of a backpack and on crappy matrasses in a wordly state of mind…
Well, home is where the heart is, and mine was stolen by Asia.
It’s true what that girl in A Map For Saturday says: you get used to the lack of toilet paper -though it took me 2 months- and it’s true what the guy says: your backpack becomes your home.
20.000 rupiah or 8.000 riel becomes a lot of money: it’s a good meal, half an accommodation or a large beer. Back home 2 bucks is next to nothing.
But other than that it doesn’t really mean much. Your belongings just become more crap for you to be carrying around on your back. Even the gifts I’m getting, they’re the only souvenirs I’ve got, but I’d rather just put them in a box and send them home where I’ll give them a place of honour.
The thing most important to me now are my cam and all the memories it holds on that little memorycard; the visual proofs, these written memories in my books and my phone, by way of staying in touch with people, from home and from the road; by way of memory.

I pull out my book a lot to write. And every time people comment, “You’re still writing. That’s so great! I started keeping a dairy but I couldn’t keep up. After a week I didn’t write anything at all anymore.” And still I feel like I’m leaving so much out and doing you short here.

Most people are only passing through, don’t stay long in this hrbour town. But the ones who do are instant friends and it feels like we’re a sort of family. I think that feeling becomes even stronger in this town because the locals are as much friends as the fellow travellers are.
But tonight, none of my family is here, and I’m feeling a little ditched. Again that feeling of loneliness, wondering where ‘everyone’ is…
I even get over my no-Dutch rule when I hear some elder men speaking in flamish on the other end of the table and go over to have a chat.
And then the daundest thing. Another group of Dutch are sitting at that end of the terras and one of them asks me “You’re Merel, right? Do you remember me? From artschool…” I have to think a moment, and it’s dark, but then I recognise Roy with whom I started the same year, be it in different departments. It’s funny how I used to think him handsome and felt a little teenager about him where he sort of ignored me. And now he’s the one making jokes about having stalking me all the way over here; the complete opposit.

It’s funny how long term vs short term memory is working now. ‘Home’ is a long time and far way from me now. As is the trekking near Chiang Mai, but they still feel semi close.
But the day I came to Padangbai is so much closer, yet it feels like I’ve been here forever.

Day LXVI – MAI 23, 2012

bias tugel1
I wake up at 9am and try sleeping in a little. But it’s no use with the sun burning out there, with just a simple roof in between, and a net to give me privacy on a floor that swings out 10 centimeters everytime someone walks by. So I get up from my 2-centimeter thick mattress, grab my beachbag and head out for some breakfast.

Some weird things I encounter on the way: a cockfight, luckily the owners pull them apart long before it gets as nasty as the one Thomas told us about last night.
Then there was the slaughter of a big marlin that was just caught, that had to be fitted on a scooter to be taken some place.
As I sit here by the side of the ocean waiting for my pancake a very old lady comes over and puts her fragile hand on my table and looks at me expectanly. A little scary, but mostly sad…

As it is such a small town and so few backpackers or tourists in general hang out here, you quickly get a sense of home and community and the feeling of ‘us’ is easily established again.
At white sand I see Kayla again. She tells me how she was hungover all day yesterday; the arak really got her bad. Though she was the one sneaking in through the rounds trying to get a little extra. Careful what you wish for, ey. There are stories though, of people loosing their sight over arak…
Also I meet Chris and Joe and we have heaps of fun with the waves and a crab that appears to be after us, and their fribee – yet another sport I suck at terribly.
At some point I tried walking into the water, but a wave no higher than my knees came in with such force it sweppd me right of my feet and threw me on beach so hard I got a big scratch on my thigh by the sand.
And then we see a school of 10 fish or so, not far out, skipping over the bay; awesome!

As I am a bit of an adolescent when it comes to drinking beer, I’m now at the stage of peeling. And I know what is said about peeling, but I don’t care, I only started drinking it a few months ago; I’m entitled to some catching up. And I’ve taken to a little project. The big table outside of Sunshine; I mean to cover it in peels entirely. Last night I got started on it, got an eight of the table done and asked the boys not to remove it and explained the project and how it means good business for them: “I won’t be leaving and will keep ordering beers until I fill this whole table.” However, when I came back tonight, all of it is gone. I have to start all over again?!