Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Welcome to Indonesia

You know you are back in Asia when you walk out of the airport to a wall of cigarette smoke hanging in the humid air... and the throng of men calling LADY ! LADY taxi!! And then the roads, the near chaos - roadside eateries with their plastic chairs. And the scooters. Scooters everywhere. Fires by the side of the roads and mosques hidden in the moonlight. Then the heavy drops of night time rain.

I am typing this as I'm driven two hours into the night. Who knows what the daylight will reveal on the trip back, and as we weave through the roads I can see the big water buffalo, then small towns and men smoking cigarettes. I drift off but the cold air conditioning jolts me awake and i am reminded of times as a child driving across Sydney after all day visits with family friends, struggling in the back of the datsun trying to stay awake.

We arrive at the water and some men gather around. It's close to midnight but still warm. They ask me questions and suddenly I feel very vulnerable - realising (too late) that I placed trust in a stranger. And here I am at the edge of the water in a strange country alone.

The boat arrives in no time at all and goes fast towards to distant light. Around me is black but for the glittering lights of tiny fishing boats bobbing in front of domes of land. We go so fast that all of a sudden I am cold. It wakes me and I feel alive.

Welcome to Indonesia.

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