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.

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