Been quiet for a while. Not dead though. Let me pick up again where I left off – Sumbawa.

* * *

The next day I slept late, too late to cover any real miles before night started falling again. I packed up my things, lost my debit card, unpacked my things, found my debit card, repacked my things again. Some days are just meant to be rest days, so I gave in and rolled with it.

I went out in the streets to find cheaper accommodation. I asked around. Homestay, penginapan murah? I was referred from place to place; they were always too expensive, too nice. Yang lebih murah, I explained, and eventually a hotel receptionist directed me to a place that was definitely cheap, a five dollar hotel. It’s not nice, her eyebrows suggested, but it’s cheap.

I followed the directions and should have been almost at the right place when the spotting rain turned into a sudden deluge. There was a shanty-like warung built on a narrow strip of ground beside the road (over the drain?) and I ran for shelter.

Under the awning, it was shadowy in the dim of the storm. Might as well relax and enjoy the moment; black coffee, no sugar. Four men were already ensconced at the large table, smoking and drinking coffee and watching Facebook videos on their phones. I sat with them and we talked idly for an hour or so as the rain pelted down; one of them reckoned he was a DJ and he had the shades to prove it. Another bloke livestreamed our ngopi session on Facebook. I practiced my bad bahasa Indonesia, showed them photos of where I’d come from, my family, my boyfriend. We talked motorbikes and motorbike crashes and ate deep fried banana.




The guys told me that I was right in front of the hotel to which I’d been directed. The building was so shady looking that my eyes had skimmed past it. They confirmed that it was probably the cheapest hotel in town, but that it was not clean. I thought this might be a warning worth heeding.

By the time the rain had stopped, we were all jittery from caffeine on nicotine on caffeine. I jumped on the back of DJ-man’s motorbike and we cruised down the road to another cheap hotel, made enquiries. The price was right, the sheets looked clean enough, and most importantly, the foyer looked like an excellent place to park my bike.

So I moved in there.

Later, I sat out the front on my bike and ate a sweet terang bulan. A giant rat walked along the fence; it was bigger than the cats I’d seen; it looked about as smug as you’d expect an apex predator would. I didn’t offer to share. After a while it left.

* * *

0 thoughts on “Resumed

  1. Darin says:

    That takes us up to about September 29th. 🙂

    You are a good writer. “It’s not nice, her eyebrows suggested.” You should write a book about your travels.

    1. ???? there’s more to come, stay posted. Don’t forget to pitch my book proposal to all your friends at Random House, okay? ????

      1. Darin says:

        Self publish it. It’s a thing. 🙂

        1. I am indeed aware that one can, by paying money, obtain products and services. All one needs is money, right.

  2. P.J. says:

    Good news that you are still alive!
    Your location seemed a bit close to the Earthquake and tsunami that hit the Islands in your region.
    You scared me with your temporary absence from the internet…????
    Happy that you’re all ok and still wandering! Keep us posted and keep on rolling Grace ????????????

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