The strangest things speak to me

As with the pile of rancid rubbish on Madul, I had an epiphany today from the strangest thing. I was asked why I like Gili Air so much. It is beautiful but so are most places I go. It has remarkable people eager to connect, again not unique and it has loads of fun. I find it is the small things that speak to me and give me the biggest zap of happiness.

Today it was the bright red bouncing tassels on a pony cart the spoke to me. Today I had to remind myself of my good fortune, man I am riding in “a Surry with the Fringe on Top” across a tropical island, full of new friends, music and epic diving in a land of enchantment, wow!

I took the one of the pony carts to the other end of the island to check on Julieta’s dive class and talk to the operators of Blue Marlin Dive Center. The carts are a bit spendy by Indo standards, 8 bucks for a round trip but I did not want to walk so far and I enjoy the pony carts, reminds me of my horse days and the pony cart I had for a while. As the tiny cart bounced along the sandy path, I looked at the brilliant red tassels that adorned the cart. I watch them bounce along. I read the sayings painted on the red brocade overhead of the cart. I looked forward to the decorated little equine as he jogged along with a perky gate. I looked in the rear view mirror and noticed I had a silly grin from ear to ear, a grin I am now so used to that I do not notice it and it is my natural Gili Air grin.

As the cart passed the Freedom Bar, I heard the familiar voice of Bam Bam and a few of my friends all waved hi, and gave great hoots, “see you tonight” “we be jamming” and other greetings from now close friends. The grin grew.

view from the Freedom Bar.

We continued to ride around the island; the driver asked all about the boat and crew, we passed a few vacationers. Furthur and the crew are now well known on the island. We saw people lying on the bamboo platforms the dot the shoreline; others were swimming in the warm waters. There were smiles everywhere as everyone comes here to be happy.

I had done a dive in the morning with my dive friends from the center, like being home again after only a few weeks away. It was a spectacular dive with many macro finds and one monstrous turtle. I had a bit of a time clearing my ears as I am still under the curse of a cold, but no one seemed to worry about my slow ascent after they realized I was OK. We surfaced and I rode on the top of the boat back with bikini clad friends from three countries. We made plans for a Furthur party the next day.

I had a scrumptious salad and pineapple milk shake for lunch prepared by a smiling Bam Bam the bar tender. I sat with Agu and laughed as his gaping grin opened and hilarious comments were dished out to passing bikini clad girls. Usually such behavior would be rebuffed but they all saw Agu as the real thing, the thing they came here for. I watch one move a bit faster as she passed trying not to look but saw her break into a grin as she turned back to see.

I joined Agu in his greetings of passing folks, one gal from Switzerland stopped at the bar. I told her there was music that night, and said, “there are two good looking great guitar players and one ugly bad one.” The boys broke into robust laughter, the story was told over again and we laughed for a long time about it.

I was taken aback as a darling little girl popped on my lap and told me about the wound a kitty had that passed by. I had not met this child; I think she is related to someone there. This kid told me why I like it so much here; she was completely open and innocent, smart and direct. She expected me to be the same. Argu, clad in a tunic and head scarf, joined me at the bar and played with the child too. I hung out for a long time watching people pass by and taking it all in. That is how I spent the day on Gili Air.