Friday, December 16, 2005

Jamie, Seraya Shores, Seraya Berat, East Bali

I said to Jamie one afternoon "Suddenly, I need a beer" and one thing led to another. I had quite a few Bintangs with him over a short time up on the balcony of the fourth room, which he was good enough to shout me, and Wayan and Susa came along from time to time with more, and with tempeh in a violently hot sambal, popcorn, and peanuts. I had been carrying on about how very hot was, like, way cool for me. Then I rubbed my eye and tears jerked out of it in spasms for the next ten minutes. There I was, wearing the ridiculous gear described below, on the way to drunkenness, squirting salt out of one red eye, protesting that the chili was not too hot for me, and talking about the world government aspirations of the UN. Memorable.

He called me "man" all the time, which was fine, desirable even in a conversation between a hotel owner and his guest. Had I been a surfer, I reckon I would have been "dude". It might have been because I was wearing what Miss K calls "the rug", a holiday ritual like buying and reading "The Economist" (substituted with "The Monthly" on this occasion). The rug is a thickly woven waistcoat clearly intended to be worn alone. It is the most uncharacteristic present ever received from my parents, though purchased in rural Turkey at a time when I expect I had long hair, green glasses, and was in the early years of university. It has a bit of a lapel like a suit on either side, and it has tassles. It is kaftanesque; in colour it is white, red, green, and brown. It doesn't get a lot of wear in Australia, but some talismanic quality has protected it through each wardrobe purge, like a pair of overalls from a rig in the Timor Sea I scored while working as a photocopier at BHP, quadruplicating the manual for each and every bit of machinery on an oil rig named I no longer recall what, day after day for a month.

We talked about drugs in Bali (he professed complete disinterest in whether Schappelle did it), whether you were as likely to get poisoned by the stewards on Qantas as on Garuda if you are a human rights activist (he thought so) and whether the United Nations had double standards in dealing with Apartheid and whatever the Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe is called (yes). Also about his grandmother (a friend of Donald Friend) and his grandfather (a highly decorated war pilot).

The guy is kooky, successful, an artist and a hard man, hedonistic, smart, Australian. I enjoyed drinking with him. The photo is room 1, the one of the interior of which I posted a photo earlier, Jamie's and Amanda's home away from home.


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