July 17, 2017

Munduk

Munduk.

Two people, suspended between heartbreak and fury, met on Hong Kong Street after almost 2 years without each other.

Their hearts, recently broken by others, found each other agreeable — even safe.

They made a plan. The universe attempted to foil it. To no avail.

Through long public holidays, expensive flights, an expiring passport and the logistics of homes, broken and renewed, no unfortunate event stood in the way.

I stood behind the multitudes to wait for you: the many sweaty, smelly men waving flags awaiting their Chinese tourists. Me, in my shorts with holes, a top that’s much too big and my hair that’s floppy and flat after an hour on a motorbike to come to see you.

Even on arrival, the universe was determined to place one last obstacle before us: the long amble, actually scramble, along the railing, past the sweaty tour guides, into some tourists, around the ATMs, and then you, there in the flesh.

As with the start of new things, my pulse sped up mostly in not knowing how close I could be. It had just been a few days since I had been with you, and here I was furiously making plans to cancel all of my plans.

There’s a curse on this island for couples who come here together, they say.

What they didn’t say: come as a not-couple, leave as a couple, uncursed?

I hoped.

In the most improbable places, we found fireplaces and each other.

Before long, you would say, coming to Munduk to see me was one of the biggest gambles you had ever taken. Next to Bosnia.

In the first week we travelled many towns, lakes, forests and hills; sat in many cars and planes together, discovered how a plane aisle was much too jauh, so soon.

The odds were long, but our odds are good. And I don’t even like Bali, not one bit. I love us in it.