Posts in Batch 5
24 - Crazy-Rich Decadent Asshole (Kuta, Lombok, Indonesia)

Normandy and I spent a night recuperating at a small hotel in Senaru. You could say we became better “acquainted.” Our relationship was good, but “la lune de miel était finie” as they say. Our “Soup de Amour” had a shelf life of about four days. The first few spoonfuls were delicious, but shit got bitter at the bottom.

A few doors down, there was an eighty-four-year-old American guest from Rochester, New York…

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25 - Futile Intrigue (Sumbawa Besar, Sumbawa, Indonesia)

These random encounters are why I pine away for days on the road. Something about those kinds of exchanges that make the world, the people in it, and even I, feel more real, more substantial. The connection. The mutual curiosity. That’s why I was there. That’s why I threw it all away. It’s a drug, and I was addicted. However, my feelings of eating cow brain were slightly more ambivalent. But I had to do it. I just had to. In that moment, I earned a stranger’s respect and trust. I joined his tribe …

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26 - Island Cruise (Sumbawa, Indonesia)

The Lonely Planet described the main road as “surfaced all the way and in generally good shape”. Close. Mostly surfaced. The sections that weren’t really weren’t. If I was lazy, I’d describe it as lunar in spots, but I’ve never been to the moon, and the cliché is, well, clichéd. Sections were bad, but they were the exception, not the rule. 

Here’s my non-exhaustive list of perceived hazards: Potholes, bigger potholes, rock piles, sand piles, goats, horses, cows, monkeys, chickens, more goats, shadowy…

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27 - Hey Mister, It’s Election Day! (Bima, Sumbawa, Indonesia)

Destination? Democracy, bitches. I experienced polling station ping pong as I was ferried from one voting depot to another (eight in all). My celebrity status mushroomed, almost atomically one might say. I wasn’t just the center of attention, I was a major distraction, much to the chagrin of polling agents. Pretty sure I made official government-types nervous. Snapping a shitload of photos didn’t help. Voters, on the other hand, were loving it—saying hello, smiling incessantly, demanding I include them. And yet…

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28 - Vänskap, Chicken Rants, & Jargon Dance (Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia)

If we could speak to chickens, I assume we’d be able to talk to goats and cows as well. I would certainly treasure their input. Would they blame the chicken for glamorizing an act of potential suicide? I wonder because it’s clear to me goats refuse to be outdone by something as insignificant as a flightless bird. They aren’t content with merely crossing the road. They take it up a notch and linger for as long as possible before relenting. That is, of course, if they relent. There appears to be an elite brand of thrill-seeking goat…

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II - Vive ut Vivas

It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not. There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring. The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it. Being on the tightrope is living; everything else is waiting.

In other words: Live! Live, you…

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