I’m leaving Surabaya at long last. Of course I’ve left a dozen times over the course of two years to go on holiday but I always came back to my job and my apartment. Real Life was always there waiting for me to resume it. There were a handful of get-out-of-jail-free passes but I resigned myself to the shackles of responsibility and moral obligation to return to work after my blissful holidays.
I wasn’t quite done when I wrote about where to go to get a white vagina. That’s the thing about living abroad for two years, weird stuff becomes normal so over time you don’t even notice those little things anymore.
The first time I drove a motorbike in South East Asia I was robbed. I had just learned to drive a scooter during a holiday on the island of Lombok, next to Bali and one day I was scooting along one of the main roads, in the middle of a beautiful day, and boom–two local guys drove me off the road and threatened to stab me.
November 2011. The suspense was finally at an end. Team Jacob had lost. A fairy tale dance in the woods leaving him doe-eyed, worse for wear; wounds blistering beneath a statuesque surface. Bella and Edward, forever and for eternity. For better or for worse.
"Mile after mile after mile of malls after malls. Many, many malls. Major malls and mini malls. They put the mini malls in between the major malls, and in between the mini malls they put the mini marts."
- George Carlin
Two years is a good amount of time to become acquainted with a place. I won’t claim to “know” Indonesia any more than I know about the lunar cycle. My observation is that a full moon happens one day a month and every other day it appears quite randomly in the sky.
I read a book to my very young students regularly because it’s a favourite of theirs. It’s called “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt”. It’s about a family that, together, faces several challenges on their walk to find a bear, such as very tall grass, a river, thick gooey mud, a blizzard, and eventually, a bear.