Winter in the tropics

It’s was cool 23 degrees in Batukaras the other evening, in the middle of winter. And those who are out and about are donning jumpers and hats to keep out the cold. As I was perched on the back of a friends bike riding home, I actually felt a shiver. Don’t think I’ve felt one all year…

The days are still stunningly beautiful. Warm plus 30 degrees, bright blue skies that go on for days, amazing views, bright green coconut trees and the best warm tropical waters that I have ever dipped my feet in.

Besides having to fight a big black, green and red snake out of my room, pulling a chest muscle on a wave and then surfing the biggest wave that I’ve ever ridden right across the bay and cooking a feast for my friends… life goes on the same here in beautiful Batukaras, the place I love, the village I call home and the gorgeous little bungalow house I share with my friends is everything to me.

This morning I found this cute little lizard in my room and managed to photograph it as it lept onto the bamboo bushes outside my room. I can’t remember the name of it in Indonesian but it is  similar to a Chameleon in that it changes colours to match its surroundings. There are times when we all have to be chameleons whether we like it or not, to blend in to our surroundings to behave like others do, to agree even when we disagree, to smooth any stormy seas. I’d like to be like this chameleon lizard, long and green and self sufficient, nimble and fast and protected by my chameleon skin.

Winter in the tropics isn’t cold, it isn’t grey or dreary, it doesn’t form ice across your eyelashes in the morning and you can still sleep in nothing without ever catching a chill. old beer doesn’t freeze your hands. The water is warm and the fan is always blowing across the mattress on my floor. Winter in the tropics is warm and delicious, it smells like calm cool water and salty fish and when the clothes that you hand wash yourself come off the line they feel like sunshine and smell like lemon and coconut.

My home might not be forever, it might not last a lifetime, I might move on or I might stay. I don’t know yet. But for now, this beautiful place that I call home keeps me warm and is filled with people who make me laugh every day and who fill my heart with bubblegum kisses. We play frizbee in the surf with a paint lid, we throw water balloons and paint colourful murals on the walls. We play chinese checkers and drink hot tea in the evenings and laugh at each other and tease each other mercilessly. They are my village family… and I know that can’t last forever, but I’ll hang onto it while it’s here.

Barefoot inked, still bare in winter, still salted by the sea, still sandy and still finding her way, step by step.

One Response to “Winter in the tropics”
  1. marco says:

    The lizard is called Calotes sp. and is called Bunglon or Londok locally.

    Cheers Sasha!


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