Monday, November 15, 2010


It was another wonderful morning. I was going to grab the screaming alarm on the mobile when Udin got it first, his eyes fished through the sleepiness and the bleak morning light, yet unable to turn the noise off. I took it from his hand and pressed the STOP button, sank my face, 'hmmmmmmpphhhhh ahhhhh,' he moaned.  We lied there on the bed for another few silent minutes until it was my phone's alarm ticked off. I half-heartedly walked to the toilet, didn't bother to close the door (none of us keep it closed except for taking a dump), eyes closed, I stood, faced up the ceiling and listened to the stream.

Grabbed the green towel from the porch, I stood next to the wooden barriers, looked out to the villa next door, to the talking staff. When I turned my back to the bed, Udin stood on his feet, made the bed, half-asleep and lower lip drowned in laziness, 'What are you doing wake up this early?' I asked.
'Gotta wash the car.'  He usually does it late at nite, before his crazy workout hour past 1200 (barbells and sit-ups) and shower.

Both of us went downstairs. I picked a glass of water, he picked the plastic bucket and car shampoo.

Knowing I wouldn't have any vehicle/way/transportation to the heart of Ubud (for the next 9 days) I didn't make any real attempt of getting any help. I remember Ibu Sri once told me there's a frequent small brown buses drives through the main road. 'It's like three or four thousand for one way,' she explained, later admitted she had never used it, not even once.

I left the house kind of early, 7 am. The Swiss Cow in the front yard was still moist from the morning freshness, the grass were still wet. I walked casually passed the small shop next door, greeted the man of the house and a couple of unknown faces, locals I had never talk to. Far East Movement's Like a G6 drummed my ears, tried to ignore the barking dogs. This particular black one barked and followed me for a few meters while his friends simply gave me a short bark and a mean look. It was a nice morning, can't get any better. The noise from the main road and the choirs of human's businesses soon overruled my ears, the music was a joke now but I kept it on.

Stood there on the roadside for a few minutes, I smelled the sweetness of morning hassle, the relief when a bus soon approached my way, then drove passed, a widespread palm were aimed at me, the drivers', a sorry-take-the-next-bus sign.

Indeed, the next one drove excitingly not far behind it. It stopped five hundreds meters before me yet I cannot see why or who did it pick up. I swayed my right hand in front of my chest, wondering how do they stop a bus in Bali. A sticked out thumb only applies abroad, I guess. It stopped right in front of me, while the engine was still running, I jumped in, took the unoccupied row my eyes caught first.
Two school girls, Elementary, Blue and White uniform. They wore an expression of a depressed housewives, and  a skirt that looked like a folded towel. We exchanged look, soon I figured out this has been their own territory, their own unofficially school bus, and I was taking two seats from them.
The bus drove so slowly, went to another direction to pick up more kids. Well, I was not in a hurry, it'd be fine.

The kids made a little union in the back rows, most of them are girls with brown skin and pony-tailed hair, the skirt do not really a good idea. They were silent until the bus pulled over after a crossroad and made disgusted noises. What? What is it?! I looked at the old ragged man.
Is he lunatic? A rapist? What?
They went on with their ughh and whispers.  The man sat on the seat in before me. And two strip brown dogs, a couple, I think.  Everytime one of them dog approached the back rows, those girls said aaaaaahhh in unison as if they were sliding down the fun ride. The dogs stink, their fur half dried, then I looked at the man's temple, his, too. Their dampness and smell made everyone caught in their own thoughts. I tried not to look at his direction, or the dogs which have been nothing but behaved well, sat to each other in the doorway, looking outside with tongues sticked out.

I learned one thing: I can easily grow accustomed to the good ol' days of rotten car seat, smelly fellow passengers, and a long slow ride. None matters to me. If this is going to be my only way of transportation to Ubud center then I'll be fine with it.

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