Friday, July 30, 2010


We only planned to spend a night in Kuta, but fate intervened in the form of a stupid mistake. The morning of our onward flight to Labuan Bajo, we realized we’d both forgotten to replenish our supply of contact lenses. We were planning to dive and snorkel around some of the world’s most renowned coral reefs, and we would be as blind as two bats. It might be possible to get lenses on Flores, but we couldn’t count on it, and there wasn’t enough time to find out.

The airport Starbucks was playing Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now." Seriously.

After agonizing, and checking with the airline, and agonizing some more, we decided to pay the penalty, delay the flight two days and get some lenses.

Staying in Bali wasn’t such a bad thing anyway. With the World Cup in its final stages, Kuta had a bad case of football fever.

I love World Cup time in Indonesia. Everyone stays up late to watch the matches in big groups, often clustered around TVs out on streetcorners. They spend the next day analyzing each team's performance and predicting the next-round results. It's a kind of sleepy happy madness, and it reminded me of our earliest days back in Jakarta, which feels appropriate for a farewell tour.

In another blast from the past, we brushed off our rusty surfing style with a couple of lessons. We graduated from the enormous foam boards and began to master somewhat smaller foam boards.

And finally, lenses in hand, we set out for Labuan Bajo.

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