Journey to France: Day 42 (11th March 2016)

Our host in Lampung, Adi, and his family reminded us on a daily basis to take trains and buses and to not hitchhike. They mentioned of their previous couchsurfers (male ones) and how they hadn’t taken their advice into consideration and got robbed by the very people they hitchhiked with. We spent 5 days with them deciding what to do. When they told us we couldn’t sleep in the same room let alone the same bed we initially planned to spend a day or two maximum at his house. We had never spent a night apart since the day we met. Even during our arguments we had never let one go to bed without the other.

But Adi and his family were more than  accomodating and we ended up spending 5 days with them. The days were hot and dusty but Adi was always up to take us to spots around Lampung that he was excited to share. To be honest there weren’t any amazing sights to see but you don’t always find an attachment to a place because of the place. (More details to come in next post).

Adi’s mother was constantly feeding us South Sumateran food; mostly mi goreng, tempe with a bit of chilli due to Clem’s intolerance for the vegetable, and nasi uduk for breakfast. Otherwise it was constant various snacks made from tubular vegetables such as yam and tapioca. And of course coffee!

His parents were delighted to have their first traveller who could converse with them. They knew nearly null English and although my Malay was probably scraping beginners, they still took opportunities to indulge in conversation with me and brought me to their friends to “kongsi cerita” (share stories). Their home itself was unique, i had never seen one like this  before, though im unsure if their home is standard in Southern Sumatera. There was no stove top, they used coal to heat their water in their ‘kitchen’ which seemed to have been built around an authentic well.

In the well, his mother rares fish to consume the mosquito larvaes. The water then gets siphoned by a pump into the bathroom. The bathroom is a standard Indonesian toilet or better known as Turkish toilets in the western world. All in all, the house wasn’t anything lavished but it had its own flavour.

At night, the rituals were to burn mosquito coils in every room and rub insect repellent lotion on your ankles. I said goodnight to my love and went to my room to sleep. I awoke again at about 1am as i was feeling too hot to sleep and the mosquitoes were much hungrier and vicious tonight. I was waking up to a new bite everytime I had managed to stop scratching the previous. I went out to get a glass of water.

Adi and his family were awake too and in the living room. They had been feeling feverish and Adi’s dad was performing twp traditional methods of healing the body from such feelings. He was performing a cupping massage on Adi’s back where he lights a coal on Adi’s skin and quickly covers it with a cup so the flame quickly loses oxygen and dies out, creating heat and suction inside the cup. When he pulls off the cup they believe it to “tarik angin” (pull the excess wind) our of the body. It leaves a red ring on the skin that disappears in an hour or so. Prior to that he also performed a coin scratching method where you scratch orderly lines on parts of your body. The marks left are red, like a scratch except they usually scratch the same area over and over again until the skin gets sore.

I drank my glass of water and went back to bed. At about 4am i woke up again. I was feeling very nauseas, I stumbled my way in the darkness to the bathroom. Not even a second passed before my gut reflexes activated and heaved my dinner out. The familiar burning feeling when you have just had stomach acid passed through your oesophagus and throat was spicily unpleasant but from experience i knew I would start feeling better now… I just need to go back to sleep.

I had to walk past Clem’s room before arriving at mine, but didn’t feel like sleeping alone and was being a sook. I pushed the door into Clem’s room. He had a small fan in his room so it wasnt as hot. He was also fast asleep on the little bed. I was like a caterpillar. I crawled into the bed, next to him, nuzzed and curled up in his warmth.

My stirring around woke him up. He asked me what was wrong as he kissed me and I told him I was feeling sick. He brought me water, a bucket and more kisses and hugs until i eventually fell asleep again.

Two weeks after we had met, Clem had said to me he wanted to have children with me. He had never in his life wanted to have children before. I told him at that time I still didn’t want to have any. 5 months later my views have changed.

Below are photos of parts of Adi’s house. 1st is the small 1m x 1m courtyard where they also cook and boil their water. 2nd is the kitchen area and well. Photography by my Clément Duliege.

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