Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hello Bote and Joop, Happy Birthday Mom, and Merdeka!!

It was the Independence Day.  It was Mom's birthday. 65th.
Neither Balinese nor mom gave a little festivity. There are small pieces of paper-made flags under the roof of the security post at the office. There are still some remaining small waving flags along any given road around Bali.  And there were some hours of cloudy sky throughout the national holiday.

I had adequate rest the night before, plugging the Classical music into my ears in mild volume helped me get relaxed and sleep shortly after the first few tracks. Adagio is my best track, so far. Having planned and determined to meet up with Bote and Joop on the Aug 17th, I managed to get the bus ticket which left at 8:30 am. But before that, a quick hot shower and a quick inexperienced facial scrub, two glasses of drinking water, and checked out emails and stuff. Yes, the word of the day was Quickie. And it worked out well.

I expected it'd be a small car with just a few passengers inside...the old car has fading paint on each wall yet adjustable seat and fixed windows made it acceptable. I took a seat on the right side, it was the last three rows from the back door, close to the window. After settled down for a bit, two travelling-pants-sisters-in-their-late-30's woman spoke to the back of my head, with the usual opening line, 'Excuse me.' I turned around and looked at the speaking mouth with my genuine smile, 'Sure,' I replied, 'I don't mind.' I know what she wanted to ask.  A seat next row was occupied with a small half-bulged backpack, 'Can I,' I pointed out the seat with my finger while looked at the woman who made the unflattering slow motion of turning her head from the window to my face. She nodded weakly and retreated to her sightseeing. She looked bored sick hungry sad tired. As soon as I sat my ass on the seat, Armpit killers' smell washed my nostrils, yes, she badly needs a Ayurveda Spa treatment, let them throw tons of fragrance into the water before she committed herself into the indulgence. And yes, I did literally said those lines to myself. No conversations between us. Small talks between some passengers started to compete with the whiny engine. I could hear non-American English from the back seat and over-dramatic singsong Italian from a 40-something baldening short-pantie over-gesticulated man from the left seat, one seat away from mine. He protested about the surfing board which blocked the small path(?)  his way to go out later. Then he spoke in English, 'No! No! Hey! No!' He was about to jump frantically, hands were flapping around, I looked at the helpless driver who only made funny attempt by lifting up the surf board and then put it back to the same position.

'Hey! No! No! I...!' he went on yapping yapping yapping, everyone's attention were on him by now. The driver lifted up the surf board again. The Italian passenger walked out to the back of the bus. I expected he'd walked out with his seemed-to-be wife or girlfriend, but the wifey remain sitteth, now on his seat. I looked back at the surfboard which went nowhere. I let out a hearty laugh. Shortly after that, the woman on my right side talked to the wifey, in Italian. Oh, it was a bunch of old Italian travelers. I felt relieved I didnt not said something like, Silly or something.

Oh...what a slow ride. I busied myself shuffling the music on the iPod, looked out the window yet avoiding the woman who by now has completely ignored me.

9:33 am. I stepped out of the bus, jumped into the pedestrian area, my backpack felt a bit lighter than usual.

Then everything felt so good. Walking down to the Shopping mall excitedly and smelling the sea...I took a long look at each interesting traveler, my kind of small entertainment. I tried to make out what was on their mind by their walk, facial expression, or dress.

After bought some new undies, I tooka motor taxi to my Dutch friends' villa. It costed Rp.20'000,- and ten minutes talkative ride.  Meeting Bote and Joop for the first time reminded me of how it was with Heino and Sjoerd. They have the same warm friendliness and the European English accent. We sat on the chairs outside their room which facing the  abandoned swimming pool, it was a nice afternoon and my stomach started to growl.

In less than one hour, we arrived on crowded Ganesha beach, sat between them under the shades of the tree and an umbrella, we resumed our fun conversations, while each of them took some round of swimming on the sea.
'You are not swimming?' they asked.
'Is it too cold that you wanna lay around in your jeans and all?' they teased again.
We laughed alot. Had Gado-gado lunch while both of them ordered what Heino&Sjoerd had when with me traveling to Tanah Lot; Sandwiches.
The took some photos of us and savored the wonderful weather.

We left the beach and said good bye before seven pm. I feel bad for not being able to see them again before their departure on early Thursday morning. If only today were not a working day. Anyhow, I enjoyed their company, their friendliness and all. The same gratefulness like those for Heino and Sjoerd who had vacation to France at the time Joop and Bote started theirs on Java island.

I made a short call to mom that day, singing happy birthday after she said hello. A crispy happy laughter of her made me smile, 'I am making the favorite New Year's cookie for your auntie,' she reported. No birthday celebration at home, she decided so. No special menu on the table for anyone, and Nenny even had to go to work.

'I am leaving at eight pm with your Auntie Pika, and Auntie Melda,' she said. The nine hour bus ride to Medan to attend the wedding of my cousin Ninny for me always sounds exhausting. She always provides herself some light snacks like roasted peanuts, you would hear the crunching peanuts, gulps of drinking water, and rarely, a snore from her mouth. Mom always well-organized. 'I might stay a bit longer,' she said, 'But none of your sisters will come with me.'

This afternoon after lunchbreak, she made another phonecall informing she has arrived and now were talking with everyone at my Auntie's house, 'My sister's house,' she referred.

Glad to know she is having a good time, and health.

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