Monday, November 2, 2009

Time Keepers

A jungly waterfall on Pulau Weh

Of water we have five gallons; of money we have two million rupiah; of reading material we have 400 pages. We've decided that when the first one of our three assets runs out, we'll leave this island. We've toured the major tourists spots and partaken in the popular activities, so now we're living the lives of the locals. Actually we probably look hasty compared to the locals, what with our book reading and frequent swimming. I'm not all that sure what the locals do here. The only activity I can catch them in the act of is lounging, mostly. I have seen them doing laundry too, and motoring to and fro in their little boats. But lounging is their principal past time. Miles and I are mere amateurs at the sport. After an hour or two of it I get restless and go swimming, or walk from the bungalow forest to the small village to have tea. We're becoming familiar faces in the small crowd of locals and tourists. There are only 3 restaurants we go to, and we're greeted as regulars at them all. We've already been here long enough to see groups of tourists come and go while we remain. But at the same time there are people who have lived this spartan life for months or years. Some people come here for months at a time, and only leave to go earn money in a wealthier country, only to come back here. I couldn't do that. At least I don't think I could--It would take some practice. Or rather I'd have to unlearn some of the work ethic from college. Already, though, I can feel that slow change. Today passed with surprising swiftness, yet when people asked what I did today, I struggled to name more than two things: swimming and reading. After this we're flying to Kuala Lumpur. I'm afraid I may melt under the stress of a big city, but at the same time I think I'll be ready for a change of pace.

1 comment:

  1. unlearning is as hard and as significant as learning. miss you!