What a wonderfully odd weekend. To set the scene for Friday night… Actually, I’ll backtrack a little. So, right now, while I look for a place of my own, I’m staying with Nina and Ollie, a couple of volunteers who were in my previous intake when I went to Jakarta. I also work with them both and they’re great people. Last week, a friend of theirs came over, with one of her friends and we all hung out and had a bit of a chat. Ray, the friend of Dewi who we’d just met, said he was getting married next week and we should come along. So that’s where we ended up on Friday night.
Dewi, with her family, came and picked us up, and took us to the wedding/party in Denpasar. I’d never been to anything like it. Set around a beautiful pool and garden, there were bongo players, fire twirlers, guys on stilts, belly dancers and more. Scattering the garden were some beautiful b/w female portrait paintings. It was all very very cool. We didn’t stay long, because Dewi’s little man was a bit sick and he got tired and hungry, but I’m sure the party and many varieties of entertainment went long into the evening.
Saturday night, by contrast, was a quiet night in with a twist. Having attended some films at the Balinale, we ventured home in the evening to discover a particularly rank smell coming from the kitchen. It smelled like something dead, but after a decent investigation, we decided it was something in the garbage and took it outside.
After dinner, as I was preparing to do the dishes, I discovered the smell was still strong near the stove. At first I though maybe something got into the oven and died, then a swiftly dismissed thought of it being under a burner. It turns out the smell was coming from behind the front panel of the stove, where all the knobs are. Upon removing the front, Ollie and I discovered the culprit; a small gecko had gotten in there and fried himself on the wires leading to the spark buttons which didn’t actually work, because the wiring had been demolished. I didn’t get a photo because I was too preoccupied with getting rid of the awful smell.
This was far from the strangest thing, however. It turns out, there was a whole tube of Vegemite under there, between the stovetop and the oven, and the whole underside of the tube had been eaten out by (presumably) rats or mice (observe image). Somehow, not only had the rats stolen the vegemite, but they had found their way into the bottom of the oven and scaled the gap in the side, with the vegemite, to get it up and eat it beneath the stove, where they must have been nesting in the insulation.
Sunday, not only did I ride a bicycle for the first time in probably 8 years or so, but I also learned to ride a scooter, so that was exciting. I tell you, riding a push-bike up hill, for the first time in years, in this climate, is bloody hard work. Maneuvering a motor scooter at low speed is also quite an art to master, as the accelerator can tend to be pretty touchy. That said, all went well and there no injuries and no damage to the bike, other people or property. I’d call that a win in my book. Ollie and Nina provided great support and the use of their quality helmets, plus we were on quiet back streets and not exactly being speed demons, so it was a pretty safe affair.