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.
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
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).
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.
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.
When we got home, Wayan cooked the fish for us, and we ate it all up.
My day began at 4.40am with a ‘Good Morning’ text. The surf was meant to be small that day, and so, my friend invited me along for a day of fishing. I was picked up in the dark, plied with black, sugary Bali kopi, and driven down to where our Jukung awaited us. I thought I might get bored spending the whole day on a boat at sea, but it was actually incredibly relaxing. The water was incredibly deep and incredibly blue. I had to jump over the side of the boat whenever I wanted to pee. We saw a huge pod of dolphins. I caught three fish.