Cleaning up glass

In the grand scheme of things my life is pretty good but I just need to vent.

I’ve lived in my little room for over a year now. The whole time I’ve been here I’ve been thinking, ‘I must get some photos printed and framed to hang on the wall’. Finally, two days ago I went and ordered some.

I went and picked them up this morning and I was stoked with the result. I went across the road and bought some hooks. The hooks were quite big but I thought, ‘It’s ok, they’ll be behind the picture so I won’t see them’.

I got back to my place and I looked at the frames and the string at the back is quite stretchy so when I hang them the string will stretch beyond the frame and both hook and string will be visible once they’re hung.

So I thought I’d go and buy some hooks and maybe some kind of wire to replace the string. On my way to do that I went to check the beach.

I ride a very old motor scooter and ever since I bought it I’ve had problems with the starter button. I’ve had it fixed and replaced a couple of times but it always ends up breaking again. A few months ago I decided, ‘fuck it, I’m just going to kick start it whenever it breaks’. The starter button sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t so I’ve been kick starting it when it doesn’t.

I went to Sumatera a few weeks ago and I left my bike at the airport for 12 days. When I got back I couldn’t kick start it. I eventually got it running but ever since then I’ve been worried that my battery is fucked.

I took it to my mechanic yesterday and told him the problem and that I’m not sure if it’s the starter or the battery. He replied, ‘if it sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, it’s the battery’.

I don’t like the guy though. Once he fixed a flat tire and a couple of hours later, in the middle of Denpasar, at night, on the way home from a stressful hospital appointment it went flat. I had to find a tambal ban and get it fixed again. So I was kind of like, mmmmmm ‘I dunno ’cause you didn’t even check the battery.’

This morning I took it to a different mechanic and they sprayed wd40 in the starter motor and told me to come back tomorrow if it doesn’t start again. Then they sent me on my way (Indonesia is so weird sometimes, I’m not even sure they were mechanics). Anyway, on my way back from the beach, I decided I really need to get it checked and replaced if need be.

So instead of going to buy the hooks, I stopped in at home to grab some more cash and stepped straight onto the fucking frames I had picked up this morning. I smashed the glass in two of them.

Then I went to another mechanic and they fixed my bike with a new fuse for $2.00.

I’m curious to know what will happen. Will my bike start tomorrow? Will I need a new battery? If I eventually need a new battery it means I should have just got one from the first mechanic and then I wouldn’t have stopped in at home to get more cash and stepped onto the frames.

Off to clean up some glass now.

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Kadang-kadang kita berjalan sendiri

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Minggu lalu, waktu aku tunggu di lampu merah, aku lihat laki-laki mebanten di pelinggih di bundaran di tengah perempatan. Keindahan dan ketenangan dari kebiasaan itu, di antara kekacauan lalu lintas, hampir (hampir) membuatku menangis. Ada banyak momen seperti ini di Bali di mana aku terpaku dalam keindahan disekitar aku.
Kadang kadang kita harus membuka jendela hati kita untuk kekacauan supaya tetap peduli, kadang kadang kita berjalan bersama.   Kadang kadang kita harus tutup jendela hati kita dan balik menuju ketenangan, kadang kadang kita berjalan sendiri.
I don’t know how well this translated but I wrote it a few weeks ago. In English I wanted to say something like this:
Last week,  while I was waiting at the traffic lights, I saw a man placing offerings on a Pelinggih on a roundabout in the middle of an intersection. The beauty and stillness of that act, amongst the chaos of the traffic, almost (almost) made me cry. There are many moments like this in Bali, where I freeze up at the beauty around me.
Sometimes we must open the windows of our heart to chaos in order to stay soft, sometimes we walk together. Sometimes we must close the windows of our heart and turn toward the stillness, sometimes we walk alone.
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Moving along

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.

Waves

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 : )

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Snippets: A year in which I was pretty much too lazy/unmotivated/busy to write but just came across this draft.

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.

 

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On the road again

So, treat weekend is this weekend. I’m pretty happy I splurged and bought the flight to Bali. I left Bandung at 6 am this morning and I arrive back in Bandung 8 pm tomorrow night. I’m spending about 38 hours away; pretty crazy, but I’ve been for two surfs today and I feel so much better.

My first surf I hired a tiny little board. The guy told me it was 6’0 which I’ve been wanting to try, but it was super narrow, like 18 3/4 inches. But I had a ball on it; It was ok to paddle, I caught waves fairly easily. I was a bit wobbly to begin with, but eventually It was fine. I got compliments, so I was happy.  When I hopped out of the water I checked the dimensions and it was actually a 5’10. I think if I had known that I wouldn’t have taken it out. So, I think the perfect board in my mind is 6’0, 19 1/4 wide and about 29L.

For the sunset surf I hired a board that I thought was going to be perfect, but I didn’t have a great session. It was 6’2, 19 3/4 wide with a squash tail. It was fairly easy to paddle, but it was quite thick so I found it a little hard to turn. BUUUUUT, I was so tired from the earlier session. Like, I didn’t realise how tired I was until now, I can’t actually move my right arm properly (great). That’s what you get when you haven’t surfed for a month and then you do 4 hours.

Anyway, that’s me tonight. Smashed and tired and happy. I’m going to have a nice hot shower, and then snuggle up and listen to the rain, and then go for more waves tomorrow… YAY

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Night Swimming

I had another amazing trip to a beautiful little island off Bali, in April. I went with a friend, who’s a mad fisherman, surfer, snorkeler, and spear-fisherman, so it was pretty all-round fucking great.

My friend (An) is a surf-guide and had guests with him so I didn’t really want to bug him to take me surfing. It was a new and unfamiliar break so I was a bit hesitant about going out alone. I ended up hiring some surf-guides myself. We took a boat out to a break called Lacerations. Such a terrifying name for one of the most beautiful spots I’ve ever surfed. There’s nothing I love more than being called onto waves by locals, then watching a reef speed by below as I fly along a crystal clear wave. Unfortunately, waaaaaaay too big for me in the afternoon and I was banished to Playgrounds (which was actually pumping too).

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At night, we went spear-fishing. Yep, that’s right, night spear-fishing. And when I say ‘we went spear-fishing’, I mean, I paddled around the surface of the water on a giant mal, while An spear-fished, and his friend (the guesthouse worker, Wayan) rode around in a canoe. It was AMAAAAAZING. There was phosphorous in the water so I also got to play sea-angel.

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The place An was staying belongs to his ‘uncle’. An’s guests were staying in a proper room at the guest-house, while An and Wayan were staying in the living area. The living area was just a big open area with a roof and one wall, a couch, a table, and a mattress. It was completely open to everything, and so, so beautiful (photo of the view from the open area below). Indonesia is so warm that you never feel exposed to the elements at night, so it’s always nice to be outdoors.

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When we got home, Wayan cooked the fish for us, and we ate it all up.

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