There we sat at the store mentally prepared for the overnight ferry journey, lacking in clean clothes, a place to stay and any possible contact with the outside world. Both Vicki and I held this hope that at any moment there would be a new message to say the boat was coming it was just a bit late, or that it would be here Friday and not Tuesday. But no such message came, there was a boat coming, but it wouldn’t be till Tuesday, and we’d not see the world of cars, convenience stores and Wi-Fi till Wednesday. We had to accept it and deal with it because there was no other choice.
Normally I wouldn’t be vexed with such a situation, things happen and getting worked up about it won’t help fix it, if anything it’ll make it worse. My own personal issue was that I’d just spent the last few days living in a house with a group of people that chain smoked so much that fresh air treated the place as an exotic holiday. The idea that I’d have to face nearly six days more sitting with the smokers of fortune firing off their rounds in the direction of oxygen and nitrogen did somewhat bother me, especially as I’d started to develop a rather wonderful chesty cough.
So for the most of the following day I tried to spend alone without looking rude to the people that had kindly housed us, which wasn’t easy in such a small place. My only refuge was the bedroom we’d been given to stay in, which was windowless wooden room sporting oven like temperatures with no flow of air fresh. I lasted a good part of the day in there but after loosing about eighty percent of my body weight in sweat I had to leave and sit out with the people.
We spent two days at the house before changing location and sleeping in a house on the beach. My head began to fill with these wonderful ideas of getting up at first light and strolling straight into the ocean for a relaxing morning swim followed by lounging on the beach and soaking in the sun’s sweet rays. It’s never really a good idea to paint such a quixotic image in your head because you’ll stupidly forget that there’s also a reality to deal with and all the things that it brings.
So our first day at the beach was met with children, many, many, children who despite having the entire beach to use for their enjoyment decided that the most interesting place to be was around where we lay. And so they began the rather fun game of run around the foreigner. Neither Vicki or myself was in the best of moods, so this didn’t really appeal and somewhat tarred our paradise painting with a few dark cloud like smudges.
The next day was somewhat worse being a public holiday, the beach and local area happened to be a hot spot for locals and the strange foreign types became the days attraction with the highlights of: Watch the foreign people play cards, See the foreign people eat and stare intently at the foreign people as they sit there and do absolutely nothing at all. Riveting stuff I’ll assure you, make sure you book next time the show is in town.
We kept ourselves occupied by playing countless games of cards and speaking of the things we were looking forward to doing when we got back to the mainland, things like showering, checking email, eating food that wasn’t rice with a fried egg, or noodle with a fried egg or pancake, they never came with a fried egg but we were still bored of them anyway.
Tuesday finally arrived and we made sure that we were at the harbour good and early so that there were no issues with us getting on the ferry. Luckily there weren’t and we finally set off on our voyage to Padang, arriving on April the 1st. How apt for the day of fools.