I can see a shaman dancing over the fire, screaming the names of the Indonesian islands, just like a mantra or a spell. It worked, the rain came. Today’s post will be insanely interesting and insanely pretty, with emphasis on insanely.
On the side of a street decorated with large ears there was a lady walking briskly with a forty‑centimetre‑high fruit construction on her head. An old woman on her motorcycle passed her, and she had a tub full of vegetables on her head. A group of people sitting on the threshold had grains of rice stuck to their foreheads. Ubud, the tourist and cultural capital of Bali, was preparing for Kuningan:
Kuningan – one of the most important Hindu holidays of the year.
I was returning from Poland with a few extra kilograms in the hip area, meditation is not my cup of tea, hence the first two elements did not particularly excite me, but for the first time in a year and a half I got to miss Piotrek, so the third one – oh, yes.
A slightly wrinkled but well-preserved Chinese woman with a whitened face, her hair very straightly parted and tied into a tight knot, greeted the guests and with a barely noticeable nod sent the two teenagers to wordlessly fill the guests’ cups with weak green tea. The newcomers joined all those gathered at the table and sat down on the carmine cushions breathing in the smell of opium. Everyone was observing the four players smoothly rearranging and removing the tiles with mysterious signs hand‑painted on them. The game of mahjong was intense.
At the same time, the guests on the upper floor were having a very different and more disrobed type of pleasure, the entrance to which was guarded by an equally whitened, though more wrinkled Chinese lady sitting between the kitchen and the corridor with her bowl of noodle soup and slurping silently, ignoring the excited voices coming from over the mahjong table. The players, on the other hand, were ignoring the excited voices coming from the upper floor.
Have you seen the episode of Friends in which Chandler admits that he hates dogs, even puppies, because you can never tell what they’re thinking from their eyes, and Ross – that he doesn’t like ice cream because it’s simply too cold? Well, that’s how I feel making my announcement. Everyone loves South East Asia. Food is cheap and delicious, you can count on the weather any time, there are beaches, monkeys, baby elephants, awesome diving spots and even better parties. What can one possibly not like about all of this?
Do you know the feeling when your boss lights his joint, approaches you, pats you on the back, says that he couldn’t have found a better employee anywhere in Europe and opens you a fourth bottle of beer, while dancing and barking to the beat of music? No?
“If you wait until evening, and then walk silently along the walls, or go up on one of the hills and sit quietly on the old stones, you will hear it. It is almost a whisper, like the breeze, but you hear it all the same, the voice of history. Malacca is one of those places. They whisper in Chinese, in Portuguese, in Dutch, in Malay, in English, some even in Italian, others in languages no one speaks any more. But it hardly matters; the stories told by the dead of Malacca no longer interest anyone.”
I was woken by chants in stereo coming from nearby mosques. I rolled over to the other side, moaned, having forgotten that on the other side I had a broken collarbone, rolled back to the first side and covered my head with a pillow with medium to low soundproofing properties. Continue reading
31.12.2016, as midnight struck, I sent a lantern towards the Kyrgyz sky. We started the year by tracking it all the way up. And then we took a bath in a frozen river, visited the Avatar land, Piotrek became a Chinese TV star, we did not get eaten by Komodo dragons, we had silk worms for dinner, I learned how to open coconuts with a machete and Piotrek – how to plant pineapples and banana trees. We crossed over 23 000 km, most of which hitchhiking. We’ve eaten with a knife and fork, chopsticks, spoon and fork, hands, bread. We’ve survived together almost every day and night in the past year and we still want to keep surviving!
We’ll be celebrating the end of this year in Timor-Leste, on the very edge of Asia.
Ua-ua-ua-ua! I’m in love with your body! Bombastic, ele fantastic, pa pa l’americano, asi voce me mata, ai se eu te pego, ai aiiiii so hot in here! so ice ice baby… ice ice favorito baby! pasito pasito oppa gangnam suave suavecito gangnam style poquito a poquito, mista lova lova sube sube!
I love traveling by land. This way I get to experience something more than I would flying through half of the world in half a day. I can feel the distance in my own personal legs. I feel that I am actually wandering around a part of the world. Recently, I had the perfect companion to these overland journeys: the book “A fortuneteller told me” by Tiziano Terzani, one of my favorite authors, a phenomenal Italian reporter, who was told by some Chinese astrologer or tarot fortune teller that he would die in a plane crash. He decided to take this as a challenge and spent an entire year in an airless journey through Southeast Asia.