The first sign of the rainy season is pouring down on us.
I pulled the buckets from their storage place, the cockpit, and placed them where they will catch some precious water. Can you see me? Running after the sky's water? One big shower for me ... that's the good news. Which is the bad one? I'll probably end up living with a wet bottom for the rest of the monsoons? Is this the monsoon? You must agree there is a very romantic sound to it, monsoon... it sends me straight into golden palaces, rich silken garments, forbidden love stories between blue-blooded princesses and handsome servants. Riverbeds filling up, the land turning from dry dusty crackling stuff to green luscious crops. Surely their must be festivals greeting the arrival of the rain and before that dances calling it. From here though it looks like rain, it sounds like rain, it probably feels like it also, but I managed to keep dry. For now. Maybe this will bring a little relief to the heat. Maybe we'll be able to breathe again after the sun has risen... I don't know yet, the sun is still low, it must be a little past 6 o'clock. I'm awake since a few hours already, reading a book, eating cookies and being too lazy to boil some water although I crave for a good cup of tea.
We're sailing since a few days again, we're getting there around noon today. I see yellow mountains. Maybe when we leave they'll be green? I'd like to see that. Like they show on TV, accelerated growing grass, it looks fascinating. There should be dragons where we go. I'm not pulling your leg. I'm as surprised as you. Dragons are supposed to be mythological animals, maybe I'm about to enter mythology... I wouldn't be surprised, but if they do exhale fire... I don't know how I'll take it. But I suspect that it will be as much of a dragon as the rhinoceros is a unicorn. I mean, really, a rhino is far away from the beautiful white horned horse, no? I bet this dragon will not breathe fire or fly in the sky.
The rain has stopped, I still haven't put on water to boil, the mountain is still yellow and Hakan is sweetly snoring his way through the rising sun. We've had champagne sailing as we say. Smooth, no waves, no water on board, no rocking or rolling.
We've been to Kupang, where we did our entry in Indonesia. A heavily charged cultural shock awaited us. We knew we were entering a new world, but that it would be this loud and chaotic.... not prepared. After the much laid back pacific islands and very organized Australia we were in for a treat, if treat you can call it.
We anchored in front of the town, inflated dinghy and went ashore. Our agent was waiting for us, and a few other men as well. The landing was not very good, there was a little surf, and the beach was covered with broken glass, we had no shoes on and were precipitated into barefooted action, walking in the disgusting shallows hoping to avoid the glass. 5 men came rushing in to help lift the dinghy out of the incoming waves. We put on our flip flops. The beach was littered with dead fish, dead plastic bags, ropes, shoes broken bottles, wood and a lot of unidentified gross things. Napa, our agent, the one that was going to do our administration and help us find our bearings in this inferno was one of the 5 men. He was very thin, with hair on the top of the head but bold on the sides, like a reversed version of the usual bolding man. He freed us from the other's attention and dragged us in the extremely busy and noisy streets. The sun was staggering, yet again. My flip flops were wet and were slippery, it was hard to follow the man, every one was staring at us, I wanted to stop in the shade and take a few deep breaths but it was clear I wasn't going to. We followed him in a maze of littered streets. Why is it that in poor countries the sidewalks are always so bloody confused and dangerous? Filled with holes and huge steps, up, down down up, hole, litter, 3 steps up, change of color, 1 meter down, hole to left, 5 steps down, hole to right. Is it so hard to make them just like the streets? Horns were everywhere, I even had forgotten about horning cars, but here it was background music. I followed fast moving Napa, trying to find some shade in the process. We turned right and then entered a gate. We had arrived. We took out our shoes and entered the house, it was cool and nice inside, we were sitting down, our eyes were focused on mid distance, we were trying to get a hold of our self.
Later we were in a minibus made for mini people. We were sitting on blasting speakers with bent necks for the roof was so low. All the others were sitting straight with a whole lot of headroom. We are giants again... blond giants. The driver was pressing his horn all the while, I looked at the road ahead, nothing seemed to be in the way, why the horning? Was the music not loud enough? Later Hakan told me they were horning to entice people to get on the mini bus. Entice people with a horn??? Well, I really come from another world.
All this chaos sent us in an extremely lethargic mood. 'Let's get out of here' Hakan says. 'We need fruit and greens' I say. We have a whole day to buy them but when we are ready to get back on board Mardek in the dark night we realize we have no freshs. How stupid we are, we had the whole day but no, we winged and whined instead of doing what needed to be done. We finally find an old lady sitting on the floor selling 3 green wrinkled eggplants. Another was selling green mangoes. We bought it all and went back on board. I fell in a deep sleep, all this noise and hassle had exhausted me. In the middle of the night I woke up to the sound of a whining loudly amplified voice. It's Ramadan. Is the voice waking people to eat before the sun rises? It went on forever, high-pitched and desolate. I imagined the people waking up to this and starting to eat again, after such a short night. The boat was rolling a little because the anchorage is not protected but I couldn't feel the rocking anymore, I just looked at the moving things in the cabin and realized how adapted I had become to the movement, how fragile to the noise. Then I fell asleep again and woke up at dawn, we lifted the anchor and sailed. To the dragons...