Surf contest by day, party by night

Batukaras is a sleepy village, no one is ever in any rush to do anything, the traffic (the 5 or so motorbikes that are ever on the road at the same time) moves slowly and bikes stop to chat and exchange snacks and smokes all along the way.

There is one event in BK that people talk about in anticipation all year, and that people will talk about for the year that follows. And that is the surf competition.

No one ever really knows when anything is happening in this village. When I ask, when is the surf party? They say, don’t know… later. Today? Don’t know… maybe tomorrow.

And then before you know it, it’s here.

The surf competition happened last weekend, and we all sat in the sun and watched numerous kids and adults rip through the pathetic swell that was delivered to us. The groms were so little, one kid so small that he couldn’t carry his own board and his daddy had to paddle him out into the surf because his little arms couldn’t fight against the current.

The open started and we watched our friends rip it up out there and do us all very proud. And then the night before the finals, we partied, like I’ve never seen this village party before. I coca cola truck turned into a stage like a transformer, and we drank and we danced in torrential rain until we were all soaked and drunk and sandy. I danced on the stage with my friends infront of a crowd of indonesian tourists and surfers and poured beer into the open mouths of the excited dancers.

We laughed and we chatted and we danced to familiar beats with friends new and old. Local and foreign blended together. And again I felt more local than different. I don’t see my colour difference any more. I get treated like a local. I get invited to the local events and I find every day that my feet walk in the same way as the locals. We eat the same food, we do the same things and we talk to each other as equals. I love being a local in a foreign place.

We danced until the early hours of the morning. My close group of local friends and I the last on the sandy dance floor… The night was perfect, we laughed at each other and we danced together covered in sweat and rain and beer.

The next day we all sat in the sun, hungover and tired and we watched the finals. We watched the girls and the kids and the boys all cut and weave through waves to the prizes.

Coca cola and other brands donated great things to aid our village. We got rubbish bins for our beach, new trees for our streets, bags of rice for our people and soft drinks for our stores.

I’m glad something like that only happens once every 6 – 8 months. It was fun while it lasted but the quiet life that I’ve grown to love so much is not something that I’d be willing to give up any time soon.

Barefoot sandy, salty and tired, loving my home more every day.

One Response to “Surf contest by day, party by night”
  1. imam bey says:

    I am happy and fantastic to hear from you about BK. it is my hometown that i grew up and played. I have been living in the State for 20 yrs now. You blog BK that is very exciting to read.
    We plan to visit Indonesia next year and take our grown up kids and son in law and of course
    we are going to visit BK to see my families and my childhood friends.
    Thank you.

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