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I have no idea what I’m doing here.

But since I’m here, I might as well explore.

I look at pictures of past travels and think, did I have the gumption to do that.

I even surprise myself sometimes.

With a little pat on the back, I put on my socks and walking shoes and started paving the pavement.

One step at a time. The neck isn’t complying. It wants more rest.

Two days of downloading porn from Pirate Bay worked, it kept me away from the Orient Hotel.

I’m ignoring messages from the Baron. I just don’t feel like shouting him and his two mates out on a night on Karaoke. I learned my lesson last week in Bali.

Only one more tooth session. The dentist is from Surabaya and a Christian. She’s done the root canal and will do an emergency patch up with a massive filling.

Aging, ain’t it gentle and graceful?

Let me tell you about being locked in a toilet. I banged before I even thought it through. Actually, there wasn’t much to think through. I was locked in a dirty toilet and claustrophobia kicked it. Reminded me of my days stuck in an elevator in Malaysia. Breath deeply, in and out and sit down in a meditating position, if possible.

Luckily the Alpha Mart staff was waiting out the back for me to finish. He thought I was probably going to put stock stored in the back in my bag.

It’s one of those times when guilty until proven innocent that got me out of the toilet fast.

I don’t know how it self-locked me in from the outside. I didn’t like it, full stop. It was the height of rudeness having a customer locked in the business’s toilet.

None of this ever happens in the order that it happened, that would be just too anal for my liking. I’m told to record sights sounds and smells. If I had a machine that captured it, I would.

It’s a writer’s job to inform the reader what he wants to inform, and nothing else. Surely imagination counts for something -imagining you are there.

The soldiers were out in force tonight, guarding churches, random warungs and coffee shops. I couldn’t get to the bottom of it. I really couldn’t.

I say hello Bapak or Bang, to the males, and hello Ibu to the women. I’m a friendly guy. I try to get my pitch in before the ‘Hello Mister’. They roll the Mister (the tongue on the top of the roof of the mouth when they really roll the ‘r’) , think Apa Kaber, and you get the picture.

I tried to tell the young soldiers, some resting their big guns on the ground, about how one soldier defeated 50 unruly teenagers on motorbikes at a sleepy seaside town in Lombok. They gracefully smiled. I might as well have been speaking to myself.

A lone mosquito buzzes in my room. It wants my blood. It only takes one, then if it’s dengue, this bight could kill me. I’m going to ask the hotel staff for the mosquito spray and put on some lotion guard I bought at the Alpha Mart the other day. I can’t afford to get dengue again. In some ways, I feel I’ve got it. But the deterioration of my neck was from the massage guy the other day who was stretching me in places not natural for an aging body.

I’ve avoided the massage guy. It’s taken almost three days to wash off the oil he applied on me. It’s really not pleasant being covered in that shit. The benefits of the massage are outweighed by the not so beneficial ‘magic’ oil that blocks every pore and makes sweating in the tropics ten times worse.

I have my theories on this one.

All I can do is walk and keep it steady. I’m no spring chicken. The toll of hard work, free and paid, is paying me back in the form of arthritis. I feel a bulge on my back, is that cancer? You feel around, exploring, there’s another bulge. It’s more like knotted muscles.

Then I the I feel dead weight pulling my neck down. Is that bone marrow cancer?

No, it’s when you hit the deck twice at an airport in Bali, after a  torrential downpour. I didn’t slip once, but twice. That’s when the neck started getting worse. It was duly noted.

You were drunk, bitch. 

That too. I’m not a quitter and managed to finish the night off at a local whore house.

There’s no going back. It’s time to resist the aging process with dignity and fight back.

‘No,  it’s cholesterol.’ Glad it wasn’t cancer then.

My massage guy says I should eat more bananas. Hay, I might try him again, but without the oil.

If you can’t rant on your blog, then where can you rant.

Heading back to base, I found an Aston Hotel down a road near my hotel. It was a self-contained universe of luxury and decadence that somehow landed down a side street, surrounded by cheap warungs and coffee shops. Then the road dead-ended. It was a choice of luxury or returning back to the main street. I chose the later.

‘Have women,’ says a man, waiting in the shadows.

Where?

In the pub, he said.

Of course the Aston has a pub. And a karaoke joint and a Bar & Grill.

Mmmm, I still have some homework to do.

I found a street stall with low slung plastic chairs. Above me was a large billboard. I took out my camera and snapped lights. The coffee kicked ass. The aunties not only served coffee but they chatted with the guests. They had passed their Karaoke days about a decade ago and made their living selling honest and strong coffee.

I got my camera back from the computer shop. The shutter still drops into the picture, but they didn’t charge me for servicing it. But the shutter does completely shut when I turn the little Samsung beast off. Less dust on the lens, better pictures, right!

I also got my Samsung tablet back, a piece of shit I bought in Malaysia. They can’t change the battery without the risk of breaking the screen. I sat on my glasses and broke an arm. The Muslim technician repaired it for me.

How much?

It’s free. I only want to help you.

What another amazing day in Borneo.

I then took a shit. It stunk. And I farted while taking it. But I didn’t eat it. That’s sight sound and taste sorted out for you sticklers for local color which for the most part, I refuse to provide.

The young pimply faced and four eyed Chinese guy who sold deep fried bananas in a sweet batter spoke English too well.

I’ll have four pieces of deep fried banana, please.

It’s two thousand a piece he said.

Then I’ll have four, please.

He’s number crunching. He’s pissed off when I hand him a ten thousand Rupiah note.

It’s three thousand a piece, he says.

I’ll take three then, and if it’s good I’ll come back for me.

He hands me back a one thousand Rupiah coin.

They were good.

My keyboard is sticky with oil.  And I haven’t even got onto the porn yet.

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