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a sun bleached hangover.

The last goodbye…

Last night we had E’s going away party, and despite the last minute rush to get things organised, it went really well. We sat on a wooden platform on the beach, and ate from large banana leaves, delicious food that we drove to Parigi and bought to feed everyone. We sat, we ate hand to mouth, we drank beer, and we built a bonfire – which held out until the sky released itself upon us all with its wicked ways and the sky screamed bloody murder at us with eyes flashing ‘It’s only water’ a friend yelled as we all ran for cover, leaving the fire to drown in the downpour.

I will never get over the price of food in Indonesia, We fed 10 people last night (even though we’d only invited 7) and for less than $18AUD. In fact, we were only charged 150,000rp for 13 servings of chicken, masses of tofu in different varieties, enough tempe to feed an army, traditional banana leaf rice, kang kung, cap cay, cucumber, beans, sambal… All packed into a box that weighed about three thousand kilos. We rode – I drove – back to Batu Karas in true Indonesian style, with the heat from the sambal burning my back and my mouth watering from the smell.

I paid my booze bill today from last night. We live on a trust system here with the local warungs, I take what I want, when I want it, and I tell them later what I’ve had. It’s not perfect, sometimes they charge me for things I didn’t have, and sometimes I forget to tell them about a drink or two – but in the end it all evens out, and never are any of those mistakes intentional and they are always resolved without issue… and I think it’s a real shame that this trust system has been lost almost everywhere else in the world.

So, in I went today to pay for my beers, my juices and anything else that’s passed through my lips in the past few days (some people pay their bills monthly, I pay mine every couple of days – my memory is failing me a little). Alcohol is always the big money drain when back in Australia, in a big night its easy to lose a couple of hundred over the bar and wake up in the morning wondering where all your cash has gone. Here, its a little different. I drink, I’m hungover, and the biggest my bill has been is $120,000 – or $12USD.

Outrageous.

So today with a sunbleached hangover and hair that smells like camping – I will say goodbye to a good friend. Knowing that it’ll never be the same as it has been for the past month, but also knowing that some friends you keep for a lifetime.

There is always a silver lining.

Barefoot kicks up hot sand toward a sapphire sea.

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