NOSTOMANIA[nos-tuh-mey-nee-uh, -meyn-yuh](noun) - an overwhelming desire to return to familiar surroundings, or to one's home; obsessive or abnormal interest in nostalgia; insanity brought on by homesickness.
We had a delightful discussion on the proper context and usage of “Kiss my ass!” I felt a special responsibility not to corrupt Indonesia’s youth, but they were already throwing it around with reckless abandon. Guidance was my only gift and came in the form of explicit instructions for use among trusted cohorts. I tried to impart the prudence of not getting carried away. My benevolence knows no boundaries.
One boy, Bryan, asked if sex is free in America. That threw me for a loop until I realized he wanted to know if sex before marriage was customary in the good ole US of A. I told him we fuck like rabbits. No, I didn’t, but I validated the whore-like status of Americans. Pre-martial sex? Definitely a thing. Where did I stand on the issue?
I can’t say I disliked the man, but I immediately questioned his hiking forte. No rain jacket. No flashlight. Dress shoes. Jeans. Jean jacket. Um, Fabio, WTF? An extra in a Broadway production of Grease? Sure. A member of the Merapi summit party? Negative. Fabio didn’t share my reservations. He was ready to crush that shit. He as much told me so in broken English on the ride to Selo. Though the language barrier was substantial, I heard a story about hiking the jungles of Sumatra and how this prepared him for Merapi. Easy. That’s what he said. Easy. Faaaaaabio…
In Selo, the rain fell and fell hard. Dogs and cats. Goats and chickens. Lions and tigers. Have I mentioned Fabio’s lack of rain gear? His killer jean jacket?
What the hell is it? Temple? Stupa? Shrine? Mountain? It don’t know what the hell it is. Mostly Buddhist. Distinctly Indonesian. Hindu flaring in between. What does the name “Borobudur” signify? Who the hell knows? When was it built? Who the hell knows? Best guess? Around 800 C.E… probably. Why was it built? Who the hell knows? Why was it abandoned from 1000 C.E onwards only to be rediscovered in 1814? Who the hell knows? I like mystery in my meat.
Ideally, I would engage a flux capacitor (it’s what makes time travel possible) and travel back thirty or forty years , before Borobudur’s fame, and wander the site for days with an expert guide or enough knowledge to soak the majesty and grandeur out of it. I had to settle for a morning trot through the…
First, you have to find the road to Jakarta. Shouldn’t be that hard, right? It is the largest city in Indonesia. Where can ten million people hide? Duh, just follow the signs… or not. Thing is, toll roads are off limits for two-wheeled traffic. No motorbikes allowed. (I found my Indonesian unicorn: A genuine road regulation.) All signs point to toll roads. I circled Bogor twice in search of the poor man’s trail to Jakarta. Along the way, I paused to ask directions and would inevitably be directed to the toll road, hence the circles. Oddly, screaming “Mother Fucker!” into my helmet as I swirled the drain of sanity did little to assist my plight.
Finally, I worked out a brilliant two-word index finger pantomime sure to convey my message…
“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch!”