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.