11 July 2012
I don't know why exactly, it's not rational, but Indonesia is stressful to both of us and a strain on our relationship. We feel it as soon as we return.
It's been a long day. Failed brakes, congested roads. We're dirty, tired, and trying to find a hotel.
We're having a discussion (this means argument and probably my fault) at the side of the road and a guy stops his scooter a few feet away (still in traffic of course) to gape at us dimly. We wait for him to leave. He keeps staring. Doesn't approach, doesn't say anything, just stares. It would have been outwardly obvious that we were having a moment and needed some privacy but he just sits and stares. We motion for him to go away. He stares. I shout at him to go away. He stares. Anna shouts at him. He stares. I get a bit more aggressive and loud with motions and words, the international 'I'm going to punch you in the face if you don't F off'. He stares. Finally I fire up the bike, mount it standing up and hanging off the side, rev it high, and fly towards him. Suddenly he understood and took off mighty quick. I'm glad. The Ural doesn't stop very quick and I didn't actually want to run him over. Immediately I feel regret. I don't want to be that kind of person. I've just reached that point though. Tired of all the staring, shouting, stalking, touching, running off the road. Tired of all the unwanted attention. How can you explain the feeling that builds over a month? Being shouted at and harassed dozens of times a day every day for weeks on end until you cringe at the thought of walking down the street and don't even want to leave you hotel to eat. I don't know what it is. Mostly with the young (<20) males but sometimes old ladies as well. They whoop and bounce around. They make noises I've never heard outside of a zoo. They pull up beside in a car as you're walking the street and hoot and gesticulate and bounce. Bule (whitey) bule bule whoop whoop bule! We need out of here, need to get back to civilization.
For what reason I don't know but people wear their helmets for hours after leaving their bike. Looks like bobbeldy head aliens and makes me smile.
Colorful bemo (private mini bus), nicest cars on the roads.