Published: May 17th 2012May 17th 2012
I. I'm not lost...I'm...discovering!
A few months ago, something de-magnetized the strip in my passport, which now annoyingly ceases to scan. Now imagine that the same thing happened to me, still in the womb...I'm convinced that somehow, the polarity got switched. So it's not that I don't have a sense of direction, it's just that it's completely and utterly wrong, every time.
But really, you always find stuff when you get lost. Don't believe me? Look at the "great" explorers of history...Columbus...Magellan...Vespuccio...think these idiots had a clue where they were going? Hell no they didn't! Maybe women are bad drivers, but we all know men never ask directions!
For one girl on a rented motorbike with a dwindling amount of fuel, the result of getting lost during a mission to find the secluded spots of Bali...was, well - finding the secluded spots of Bali, just not the ones I was looking for. Winding around dusty back roads, past the greenest rice fields and modest villages, where the sight of a foreigner is still scarce enough that local children jump up and down while screaming "HELLO HELLO HELLOOOOO!" as you whiz past...well, it's special. Oh, and I
Cycling Gili Trawangan
A rare moment of non-laziness...
found the secluded Balinese temples I was looking for, too...eventually (helps to know, in retrospect, that Balinese don't ever say "I don't know" when you ask for directions..they just smile, pick a direction, and point!) II. 7 days lost in laziness is 7 days gained in happiness - or something like that...
Settling into the comfortable rhythm of island time on Gili Trawangan is a pretty good way to start learning the fine art of losing time. Get rid of your guilt about all the things you "should" be doing, and while you're at it, get rid of your watch, too. I watched about 7 days float by in this fashion; two-hour breakfasts, afternoon naps on the beach, live reggae music and a few cold Bintangs by night. I snorkeled and cycled here and there to lessen any residual guilt that really, really wouldn't go away (I am my mother's daughter, I believe I am born into a long line of professional guilters). But when you're biggest achievement of the day is sampling local rice wine, you know you've perfected the art of losing...time! Best week I've lost in awhile! III. Losing your stomach is a lot easier than you think...
...when you're on the boat that I was on. 11 tourists, 5 crew, 4 days of amazing green drops of islands, and 4 sleepless nights of rocking back and forth on the open water to go with them. I had fun at first, because even though I never actually finished reading Moby Dick
, I felt like I was having my own adventure aboard the Pequod
. But then my stomach turned, and I spent hours the first night, watching the moon on a sad little plastic chair out the back of the boat, feeling sick and very sorry for myself. That moon, though, was a moon that actually rose at first like an orange sun (seriously!) and eventually illuminated my entire little world...which at that very moment was only the boat, and the sea, and the sky, and last of all, myself.
Of course, the lesson of this blog post has to hold true - a loss is also a gain - and when we all landed safely on the island of Flores, in the port of Labuanbajo ( really just a dusty frontier town with a few common thieves lurking around, I'm sorry
Sunrise on the boat
Somewhere on the way to Flores...
to say) I was miles and miles east of my original starting point of Jakarta, and being filled with the sensation that I had made it closer to the edge of the earth than I ever had before was pretty...well, special.
So, losers of the world unite! If you don't believe me, then just look at Charlie Sheen: losing really is WINNING.
There are more photos below