Indonesia

I’ve stopped whinging now…

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Right, a few people responded to my last email saying it sounded like I was whinging, moaning, complaining, which I suppose I was. Let me explain.

Crossing the islands from Timor to Flores to Sumbawa and then to Lombok, where I sent the email, was tough. Traveling alone on a bike you feel vulnerable. You have nobody to watch your back or keep an eye out for your stuff when you go for widdle or scratch your arse. My laptop, camera and all the other bits and bobs on my bike are my responsibility. I never relax because I always feel I have to keep an eye on it, especially when some of the locals you meet are clearly up to no good.

And even if they’re not, they still ask you questions about your bike, where you’re going, where you’re staying… and the who’ve given me advice along the way have said ‘be careful’, ‘don’t trust anyone’. It makes you jittery and with hardly any other tourists or backpackers on the islands I’ve been to so far it gets to you. And worse than all that I had a terrible, life threatening, life changing bout of man-flu. It was so nearly the end. So nearly. But I’ve eaten many biscuits and lubricated my insides with local coffee so I’m now back to rude health and in Bali, having a great time.

Last night, when I got off the ferry from Lombok, I stayed in a double room with a complete stranger just so we could save a buck. I can’t even remember her name, all I know she was a ginger and slept in a long transluscent nightie. This morning was awkward. Do I walk around in just my underpants for example, and is it ok that I stare at the nipples I can see through that nightie? I did, I hope that’s ok. It was a great place tho, on the beach with food I could recognise and to wash it down tea with ginger in. Ginger, in tea. I know, it’s hardly Yorkshire or Typhoo but it was super… smashing…. mavellous.

Then today I headed to Kuta, the main tourist town where the bombing was in 2005. It’s just SO different to the cute little huts and villages I’ve been passing on the islands along the way. There the view is dominated by these massive Toblerone mountains, all lush and green with wooden little houses and cute little communites buried into the mountainside. Now it’s McDonalds and nightclubs, bar crawls and grannies on scooters trying to get a leg over a local. Noise, sirens and sound. Hustle and bustle with people grabbing your arm and dragging you in. Today I bought I pair of fake Police sunglasses that were scratched and a man-skirt that David Beckham might call a sarong. I look like a queer.

Tonight I was going to stay on that part of the island then though nah, I need a bit of peace and quiet. So I’m in this gorgeous little residence up in the hills around a town called Ubud. It’s all neat and eclectic, with art galleries and coffee shops and all these Hindu monuments dotted about the place. Best of all, hot water from the hotel shower, which I haven’t had since Dili in East Timor. The landlady’s also on with my laundry so I should smell nice for journey tomorrow which will take me further into the hills to the old temples and then further north to the coast for a cocunut and a splash in the sea, just me and my sarong.

Dot’s also happy because today she had an oil change. Two pound fifty for the oil and the change. You can’t grumble at that. But I will grumble at the two scousers who have just been in the internet cafe. I know I hd a bit of a whinge, but this old bird was screaming down the telephone at some poor ailrine ticket agent while the guy was effing and jeffing about something else on his computer screen. I thought even here you get some nobhead who needs a bullet.

So that’s it, that’s my apology. From now on I’ll be all warm and fuzzy and gay to everyone, even that woman from the ferry with snot on her fingers. If I see her I’ll throw both arms around her shoulders and squeeze her til every last drop of snot has dribbled along my neck and down my back. I shall wear every ounce of her fluid with a great swollen pride. Then my redemption will be complete and those complaining about my complaining can stop complaining because I won’t be complaining and then no one will have to complain. Only me, because it’s my group email and I’ll complain if I want to.

So ner ner ne ner ne.

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