Kadang-kadang kita berjalan sendiri

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.

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.


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 : )


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.



I think our love is coming to an end

Street art graffiti painted on a fence. A barreling wave.

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.


boys with backs that’ll break you apart

photograph of a city at night taken from a plane

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.






When things go…

wrong. Why do they go wrong in multitudes?

I’ve had food poisoning three times here. Twice was on days I had long distance travel; once was a flight and once was a long (10hour) car trip. The third time was at home, but the night before I got ill, I got a flat tire and couldn’t get myself anywhere to get myself anything. 

Today I have a flight to Bali. I booked it back in August because a friend of mine from Australia was coming to Bali for a week. I woke up early and noticed my phone hadn’t charged overnight. Annoying. I decided not to take my laptop as the trip is nust for the weekend. I got ready and ordered a Gojek through the Gojek app. 

The app kept refreshing itself for new drivers constantly. I was kind of groaning because the drivers call to check where you are and I never fully understand if they’re coming or not. 

The app kept refreshing and ordering me new drivers. They would call and I would assume the previous driver had declined the job. So, I ended up with one driver arriving and another driver on the way. I was so pissed off. I couldn’t explain to the driver that the second driver was on the way, and that it wasn’t my fault. He was so angry. He probably understood what was happening, but these guys are (understandably) desperate for $$ that if they think they’re going to lose out, they totally freak. 

Anyway, I arrived at the airport at like 7am for my 8.20 flight. The security guy at the gate was looking strangely at my itinerary but said nothing. I entered the airport and was looking for the check in counter. There was nothing open. 

Eventually, some rando dude in uniform approached me and was looking for the desk for me. He couldn’t find it either and was like ‘oh. It will open at 7.30’. I was thinking, ‘well, that’s fucking weird and not true because my flight leaves at 8.20. He probably has no idea but doesn’t want to say’. 

I sat down and started looking for contact details for Air Asia (who my flight was with) and Nusatrip (who I had booked with). I was emailing and messaging them for aaaaages and decided to try to call them. Of course, I ran out of credit.

I left the airport to go buy credit at a Yomart around the corner. When I arrived I noticed an Air Asia office next door. ‘I wonder why that first guy in uniform didn’t tell me the Air Asia office is close by?’ I thought. 

I went into the Air Asia office and they told me the flight had been rescheduled to depart at 1.15pm. I was freaking the fuck out, like, ‘Why the fuck didn’t you tell me?’ Apparently Nusatrip emailed me and AirAsia texted. I have a few emails from Nusatrip that went into my Spam folder because they were dated 1970??!! But nothing about rescheduled flights. AirAsia were missing a digit from my phone number. I guess that’s NusaTrip’s fault. I don’t know because Air fucking Asia haven’t replied to any of my requests for information. 

So, today consists of sitting at the airport for 6 hours without my laptop, unable to get a headstart on work next week.Tonight, hopefully, I will see my friend. And tomorrow I’ll be back at the airport to fly back here. 



Taman Hutan Raya and Lembang

There’s so many nice things to do on the outskirts of Bandung. I did a couple of nice trips; one to Taman Hutan Raya, which is a national park with loads of trees, caves, monkeys, and waterfalls, and then another trip to Lembang which has hot-springs. I got to wear a scarf to and from the hot springs because it was so cold – can you believe it? Indonesia in a scarf!