Monday, October 10, 2016

Sanur Neighborhood Scene

Katrinka returns from SFO tomorrow after a month in CA and OR. I've been home so much getting vital cuking done that when I get out everything looks new. Landlord David painting our front porch so I went out at noon. Stopped by the phone nook (front open door rolls down for when closed) to get some advice on my new bout 25 buck not smart cell phone since the last one went to cell phone heaven. I leave all the prompts in Indonesian. He showed me some ways it was different from the old one.

Dropped by the leather mainly shoe worker's shop nook. He's been telling me in a few days for a few months for fixing some old Berkenstocks I'd bought used in Japan a couple of years ago. Today he wanted a description. Ah yes - they're at home. He explained how busy he is and so forth. He's fixed broken sandals of mine a number of times and asks for about a dollar when he finally gets to it.

Passed the electric nook which is almost always closed but the elderly wife of the electrician was there. I reminded her a month prior I'd left a long extension cord he'd made that had shocked me. She went to their home in back (where I'll go braving the dogs if I really need something) and came back and gave it to me. How much? You decide. I gave her a buck fifty equiv. That's quite enough, she indicated.  Got to the pondok, like a palapa thatch roofed hut held by poles no walls, at the beach where Katrinka and I like to go, ordered some tea, pulled my legs up, and opened laptop. About thirty minutes later got overcast. Rain, wind, everyone departed the beach. Pondok leaking I retreated to under the bigger roof where the bar is. Leaked on me there too so moved over. After an hour put my laptop in pack behind the bar told guy not to take my tea, removed shorts and shirt down to only yoga shorts small as underwear and swam out about sixty yards. Sort of choppy, windy, current to the side, water pretty warm, some plastic here and there and organic stuff like bamboo and leaves. Got to a bouey, wrapped my feet around it so I wouldn't be carried down beach and lay back and rested a bit Started to rain.

Walking back stopped to get Greek salad and more tea at an open air juice bar and restaurant I like - wood slab and stone tables, wicker furniture, couch-like flat seating at the corner table so can pull my legs up. I pretty much only patronize places I can do that. Changed the music from pop to Ellington. After a while got up to do some stretches standing by the sidewalk. Group of Bali bikers with blue jean jackets and insignia and a name I couldn't make out. Started with R. Not the Rebels or as tough looking as the guys in the image. Local guys frequent the place next door. They stood by their bikes in a circle talking.  Then they put their hands together, bowed, and were silent culminating in a quick gassho type bow and hands wiping faces - some formality. Then they rode off together faster and louder than most, one on a bigger motorcycle which are a small percentage here. I asked a young woman inside about the group prayer and she said that's normal, they do that before they take off. Her English is too good. I don't want to deal in English and she knows that but she'll use it when my Indonesian isn't up to the explanation.

One of my favorite things about being here is negotiating in my rudimentary Indonesian. I also loved doing that with varying meager levels of success in Japan, Mexico, and Germany. It's fun and it's endlessly challenging. Tomorrow Komang will pick me up to go to the airport to get Katrinka. He's got good English but won't use it. He'll wear me out on the way speaking a little beyond my comfort zone. I may have written this several times before, and if so once again, the thing about being into language is that when you're a beginner everything is interesting. Reading anything. Having any exchange about anything. Content doesn't matter. Truly gone beyond. I'm a slow learner and never get that good. I can envision a life of a quick language learner moving from place to place, leaving one when they get so proficient that it's not all interesting anymore. In Indonesia with 700 or so languages one wouldn't have to go far. In fact, could just switch to Balinese, far more difficult than the relatively simple trade language Indonesian.  Back to work.

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