The setting sun spilled it’s colors, reds and pinks and hues of yellow. Ijian to our left, and Bunyuwangi a twenty minute drive ahead. The anticipation of meeting Fitir and her sister and having some fresh chicken breasts kept us chatty.

‘What will you order?’

Not sure Bernhard, but I wouldn’t mind some more herbs from the first batch. You know, feel at my prime again. And some tender deep fried chicken wings might sate my appetite.

‘I know what will sate your appetite, dumbfuck.’

We both knew, but at the same time, we were feeling our way around the mystical element of East Java. Beni had hinted at more experiences to come.

We were feeling the waters. The sweet smelling waters. Bunyuwangi has a lost frontier feel. Yet it’s very organised. The city is split up into two parts.

‘The ports, and then the town,’ said  Bernhard, ‘I hear there’s an Australian that runs a hotel here. Might be worth while checking out.’

He was from a place called Geelong in Victoria. And he pumped all  his super into renovating a hotel. He calls it his shag pad.

‘Now how the fuck do you know that?’

I’ve been here  before, numbnuts. The rooms are clean, fast wifi and he sells good western grub in the restaurant.

‘There it is, on the right.’

Settled then, said Bernhard. We quickly checked in and changed clothes and headed towards Hooters.

Bernie squirted some cheap cologne he got at the airport and put some herb under his tongue like he was chewing some tobacco. He gave me a hit too. This wasn’t the stamina herb, it was the mystical.

‘Chew it sparingly,’ said Bernhard, ‘ at the rates they charge, I could  be snorting my head off.’

‘Open your mind,’ I said, playing up to a 90’s sci-fi movie with Arnie in it.

‘I’ll total recall you in a moment, if you don’t’ get focused.’

I was feeling a buzz already.

‘I’m a bit light headed.’

Well why don’t you mix it with the stamina herb.

‘Well why don’t you buy your fucking own.’

Hooters was lit up like Christmas.

‘They don’t celebrate it dickwad, it’s  a Muslim country if you haven’t realised.’

Fairy lights festooned outside, and inside, an array of colors flicked off the disco ball,  giving the placce a 70’s  feel.

‘Looks like  the evening shift caters towards the booze heads.’

Fitri greeted us at the door.

‘What’s the password,’ she said, with a killer smile.’

’34 Double D,’ I said.

‘Close,’ said another gorgeous girl.

I looked at her hooters. They were big, round, and I was only guessing, firm.

‘Meet my sister Adul,’ said Fitri, who grabbed Bernie by the hand, while her sister grabbed mine, and led us inside to a table.

‘Now is this going to turn into a porn fest, or are you actually going to run with some sense of propriety?’

Was that a question?

And yes, we’ll have a few  Bintang. Adul took our order and Fitri delivered it. My field of vision was turning blue.

‘Think they spiked the herb with viagra,’ said Bernie. ‘I can just feel it.’

‘Not sure,’ I said. ‘I think it’s Miss  Mysticism paying us a visit.’

I didn’t think that at all.

‘I know, your usual full of shit.’

But something was going down. I was sure of that.

‘Like what.’

‘Open your mind.’

The first beer went down well. I can’t remember if there were any other clients. I’d like to think that these two gorgeous girls were only here to entertain us.

‘We are,’ both Fitri and Adul said  in chorus.

‘Well fuck a  duck,’ said Bernhard. He was peeking on god knows what.

Before you could say nasi goreng, his wallet was open and those Australian dollars, fifty dollar notes, were slipping out it and into the hands of the sisters.

‘Plenty more where they come from,’ he says and lets out his contagious laugh which means he’s in relax and spend mode.

They weren’t reds slipping from his wallets, they were yellow fifties. And the charming hostessess didn’t mind taking them. They had worked hard for them. I even handed over a few red notes. Man we were feeling generous.

‘Actually we haven’t done anything to deserve those notes,’ said Adul, ‘except serve you a few beers, now would you like some more?’

‘Of course they would,’ said  Fitri, who came back with two  more Bintangs. We knew where this was heading. I looked at my watch, nearly midnight mate, don’t we have a date on the outskirts of  town with Beni?’

‘Fuck Beni.’ Bernhard wanted to stay put and pull  out notes from his wallet.

I wanted to check out that village with the mascot of the one eyed witch with bull horns.

I king hit my mate. Felt bad about it. And then I dragged him out side.

‘Don’t worry about fixing up the  bill,’ said Fitri, ‘perhaps we’ll see you tomorrow.’

‘I see the herb is working wonders on you,’ said Adul. ‘Best you go meet our uncle Beni. We’ll resume our partying tomorrow.’

‘Where the fuck are you taking me cunt.’

You know where, I said as  I drove the car to the dirty part of  town. I handed Bernie a Red Bull and a cigarette, and told the fucker to sober up.

We sat down at a table inside one of the bars, which Beni seemed to own, when considering the attentiveness of the mamsan and wait staff.

‘I do own it,’ he said, as he poured us each a beer, ‘and I don’t usually sell the herb, but felt if I gave it to you for free, you might not appreciate it. Besides, there are costs in manufacturing it and I sold it at cost.’

‘Well I’ll have some more,’ said  Bernhard, who pulled out a few more red notes.

Beni touched Bernie on the shoulder and said, very solemnly, ‘you are an honorable man,’ and he looked at me, ‘I’ve been given feedback from my nieces Adul and Fitri, and they tell  me you were gentlemen,  no attempt at groping.’

I was going to tell him about the tity rubs, ‘ doesn’t count,’ says Beni, who  cut into my thought. ‘What matters is that you gave from your heart, wanting to help two waitresses who were paying their way through University, that’s  admirable in my books.’

I  was really glad we passed  muster.

‘So was I,’ said Beni, who was holding a kris, a traditional Indonesian dagger, ‘ otherwise I’d have to use this.’

Bernhard handed a few more notes, and said, ‘the rest for the dowery will come later.’

Beni laughed,  and slapped him hand on his knees, ‘you two are crazy fuckers, one a kiwi and the other an Aussie, let the party begin.’

In walked the mamasan, she only had one eye, the other socket was empty,  but no horns.

‘Yes,’ said Beni, ‘I know what you  are thinking, and yes, the statue was  modelled on her.’




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