I really didn’t need the ring, truly I didn’t.

I hardly wear the fuckers but the guy selling them was from Sumbawa and a showman.

It was a simple design, a green stone placed on a simple gold colored ring. None of those poxy fake diamonds encrusted around the rim of the ring, spoiling the showpiece.

Before I go on, the Shabu-heads paid their respects. I felt like the godfather at my local, a table outside a Seven-11.

The stuff you pick up along the way.

Maybe they don’t see too many fat foreigners sitting outside a 7-11 at the crack of dawn.

They were grinding their teeth and asking me the usual questions.

A pair of fresh foreigners bounced past me on their morning walk. I’m not going to pass judgment. It’s a good place for morning walks. Nothing beats a brisk walk along the Sarawak River, right?

I’m still smarting from my long walk yesterday.

I got the ring after the guy knocked down his price for the Malaysian punter. I jumped in and flashed my cash. I knew a bargain when I saw one.

The speed freak also paid his respect and told me about his life as a roving tattoo artist.

He told me about his roamings too.

He was off  to the Philipines soon.

I wished him luck, guilty by association, I hear they even bump off tattoo artists just for the sheer fun of it. And being a Malay tattoo artist, your head would fetch a higher price.

He spent most his short time chatting with me telling me the best ways to get rid of unwanted tattoos. He was happy he got rid of the one of his ex, on the inside of his arm, near his wrist.

You see, I was still waking up. See, I’m still waking up.

I’m being choice with my words. I really don’t want to offend. I was lucky to get out of Indonesia. Trust me, I did contemplate an Indonesian jail. Imagine sleeping without a pillow. It must be dastardly harsh.

My man from Sumbawa, the next island east of Lombok, stuck around for a milky tea. I was offering. He showed me some cool tricks with two thin pieces of metal that he wet with his mouth. I watched those fine pieces of metal  dance to the magnetic impulses of his hand on the table.

I even managed to rouse a few flickerings of the excited metal that he wrapped back up in a piece of paper which he put back in his wallet. A party trick for another day was safely packed away in his bag of tricks.

It wasn’t magic. He was emphatic about it.

‘But a  real pussy magnet trick,’ he says. ‘It gets the girls dripping.’

An hour passed.

I have no idea what he said. He has no idea what I said.

Well I had a spare hour to kill, didn’t I?

The tattoo artist buzzed off.

He seemed more fucked up after speaking to me.

I have that effect on some people. But the ring seller from Sumbawa wasn’t fazed for a minute. He had me pegged the moment I set my eyes on his fake stones.

A dabbler, yes.  He had me pegged.

I’d flash the ring around and look like a local and it would open up a window of other stories.

He had me pegged. One charlatan to another, we both gave each other a high five and a nod.

Until tomorrow, boss…



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