It was a thing I’d always known. That all courage was a form of constancy. That it is always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals come easily.
I left Bandung a little over a week ago. I flew to Singapore and spent a couple of days there eating palak paneer. I flew back to Bali and stayed for a week in the home-stay I usually stay in when I come over for holidays from Bangers. Although the home-stay is very cheap by western standards, on my measly Indonesian wage, it’s way too expensive, and so I found a little kos kosan up the road.
I was a little uncertain about moving into the kos. I looked at a cheaper option a little further up the road, and almost took it – but changed my mind. I felt it was too small, had essentials I don’t need (hot water and AC), and was missing things I felt were essential. I moved into my new little space a few days ago and it’s aces. It’s light, bright, and airy. It has a fan, high ceilings, lots of cupboards, a kitchen with a fridge, a stove, and a toaster!!! As soon as I realised I had a toaster, a fridge, and a stove I ran out and bought good bread and butter, hello vegemite breakfasts.
It just feels so right. I was planning to only stay a month and then moving closer to where I will be working (I start in July), but I like it so much that I’m thinking I might commute (which may be hell – but I’ll give it a whirl).
I’ve been surfing and/or exploring most days. I plan to start an Indonesian language course soon, I’m going bike hunting today (currently riding a rental). It’s all so relaxing. I’m nervous about starting work in July but I’ll see how it goes.
I had said on FB and Instagram how I miss the sounds of the mosque in Bandung, but that it was nice that these types of offerings (below) are everywhere. Funnily enough, my new kos is next to a mosque so I get the best of both worlds : )
Time. 6 months. Halfway through. At first I thought I’d never make it but now it’s slipping by. All in a rush, rush, rush. It couldn’t go fast enough but now it’s way too fast.
Rain. Wrapping myself up in a cheap-arse raincoat I bought for a couple of bucks from the local Circle-K. Makes me feel like a fat, green penguin. I keep it in the seat of my motorbike and use it daily. I lost my phone to the rain. Slipped it in the pocket of my jacket on the way home from Muay Thai. Rookie mistake.
Waves. I fly to Bali every other month for a fix. Short skirts, beer, waves, a breath of relief from the stares and the questions. I relax in the green of the waves. Wrecked arms, a satiated heart. A flight back home in the nighttime.
Time. 8 months. Hating it. Can’t get back to the water soon enough. Every spare second I’m planning lessons or teaching. Too. Much. Work. Stressed. Computers breaking. Covering shifts. No fucking paper in the printer. Photocopier dead.
Time. 9 -10 months. Executing well-made plans. Time off. A flight. A pile of resumés. A map. A list of schools. A moto. Work clothes. Interviewed on second day. Now I’ll just go surfing.
Time. 10 months. Happy. Sad. Moto sold (my baaaaaaby). Throwing things. Giving things away. Packing. Planning. Documents. Time flying. Time standing still. Told contract finishes a week earlier than I expected, yusss. Counting down the days; this many days, this many work days, a holiday, return, this many days, this many work days. Done.
Time. 11 months. A holiday. 11 days of water, salt, and waves. 16 more days. 10 more work days.
Time. 12 months. Aaaaaaand, scene. Bye-Bye, Bangers, good-bye.
My contract finishes here in a little under two weeks. I sold my moto a few weeks ago and I’ve been Go-jeking around. I’m not sad or excited; I’m in preparation mode.
Work offered to renew my contract here in Bangers for good money but it’s just too far away from the water. I spend all my money on flights to the waves. And, my surfing plateaus when I’m only surfing once a month; I spend the first two days in the water finding my sea-legs. I’m sad to leave my co-workers though, and this weird city with very few Westerners.
I’ve been offered another contract (for terrible money) in a city with waves. It’s in a super touristy area which is kinda gross but I’m just going to try to surf every day for the year and make the most of it.
She glitters. Out on the horizon. Set off by the sun sinking softly. Clouds spitting, a spray of tangelo, ruby-red, and crimson – all thick and fat and fighting; excited and busted, gushing, broken-open, lusting. Biting one another. All over that fuck-off smash of a sky. Ship of death, ship of doom, leaking shit. A lanolin smear. A urine cloud. Hanging hot. Hanging heavy. Smudge of stillness. In the port.
iii: You were so cold, he said, that day I saw you. I lay on a mattress on the floor, and watched him dance like a miracle. Taut black back, tattooed and twisting. Hips swiveling.
iv: Speeding through a morning’s dark, sharing sugary coffee. Toward the water we were always hurtling. Hurling ourselves. For waves. For fish. For life. For the stars. To the stars we span.
v. Surprise visits and soft-lipped kisses from another lautan asmara. Milky chance I stole her dance. Just a boy to go bump in the night with.