The alarm clock rings, it’s 3 am, I think I slept only 2 hours, my hosts were on party mood last night. I need to get up, put everything on the motorcycle and go to the port, Alfie and Bobby insist to come with me at the port:
– For what bro? I will go directly on the ferry, secure the bike and then find a good place, to sleep more.
– You will have to wait a few hours, usually the boat leaves around 8-9 am. It takes several hours until they load everything.
I ignore them, I forget that I’m in Indonesia and time here has no value.
As I enter the port a police officer asks me if I have travel papers. What travel papers? I’ve just made 3000 km in the last month, across 5 islands and now, when I want to go back, you ask me for travel papers? No I don’t have and I don’t want to give you money just because I am a foreigner. Alfie tries to calm me down and explains that it’s better to pay him now, then to go to police station and make it more complicated. The police officer takes my papers and after 10 minutes he comes back, with an official stamped letter, stating that I leave with my motorcycle from Maumere until Surabaya on the ferry, seems legit not a scam, everything costs 20.000 rupiah (around 1.5$).
Now that I am legal I can take a place in the queue and wait. 20 min, 40 min, 1 hour, we don’t move, wtf is happening? Apparently the water level is not high enough for the trucks to go in the boat, so we wait for water level to raise, they say after 6 am. Why din’t I listen to Alfie? now I could still be in bed. Well at least the “art works” on the trucks are interesting.
Around 7 I finally get in, but it takes another 3 hours until everything is loaded and off we go, 4 days – 3 nights, on this ferry until Surabaya. Now the idea of spending 4 days on a ferry sounded good in the beginning, a cruise ship :)), but rapidly I start to bump into some inconveniences. I bought the economy ticket, that means that my bed is in the common dormitory, with around +700 people, noooo thanks, it’s to damn hot inside and to noisy.
I put my hammock on the top deck, perfect spot for stargazing during night, but during the day, well the sun is merciless. Another small inconvenience is that I have no place were to put my luggage so I need to carry it with me wherever I go on the boat, or ask somebody to keep an eye on it for a few moments until I go to bathroom. But the biggest problem is me. Somehow I close myself, I am surrounded by students, they invite me to drink and joke with them, but I choose to stay alone in my corner. The second day starts the same still unwilling to communicate, I go crazy. Then in a conscious moment I observe how full of hatred I am, for no good reason, I hate them only because they smile. I’m probably sad that the this trip is almost finished but it’s not their fault, it seems that old habits die hard. I wrap my head around this and go with the first group that invites me. Half an hour later I feel a release, it’s good to laugh again and enjoy people as they are. The third day everybody knows me, they smile and I smile back, I spend my day between coffees and sips of moche (local alcohol mixed with coffee).
I wake up the 4th day in Surabaya surrounded by a unique morning light, heavy air pollution mystically lit by the morning sun. I did it, I’m back were I started, well geographically speaking, because this trip has changed a lot inside me.
Will I do it again if I had the chance? definitely, there is a feeling when you ride a motorcycle on an open road that once you taste it I don’t think you can forget it. But it’s more than that, there is this frame of mind of being HERE FAR AWAY, far away from daily life worries, without any anxious dependence upon the future, just being here, enjoying what’s in the present.
What I learned? many things, but one of the most important is that if you let yourself dream and put all your energy into achieving it, it may become true. Look at me, after 1 year of driving a motorcycle, I left in a 3000 km journey, somewhere far away in Indonesia. I needed just the courage to go, after that things somehow just happened. I really liked to met these colorful people, that taught me a lot about compassion, about happiness and about acceptance. Every time I’ve found an opened door, they were happy to share with me the small amount of food that they had. When I wanted to pay them for my staying with them, they were confused: What’s this? Don’t you understand that you are part of the family?
What I hope? I hope that maybe somebody who’s reading this story or sees the photo book will get jealous and ask himself “what if …?” The reason of this blog and of the photo book is not to show people how cool I am, because I am not, but to fire up their will to explore, to see the world through their own eyes and to make their own image about it.
Whats are my regrets? just one, that this trip is over, I want to go more east, but my visa will expire soon and I need to go back to Solo to extend it, I hate paper work. But I know one thing, soon I will be on the road again.
Now that my trip is over I want to thanks everyone that joined me and helped me to fulfill my craziest dream so far. Thank you wonderful people and sorry for making you waiting so much for the rewards. I had to go trough 6.000 photos and to put some words down also, it’s my first time when I write a blog or a journal so please be understanding. The post cards are already on their way to your home. A few days ago I finished also curating the photos for the book, but I am still searching for a good printing place. If somebody can recomend me something online or a print shop in Romania please do so. For the ones that came on my blog after the crowdfunding campaign was finished if you like what you saw or read and would like to contribute it’s still possible, have a look at the goodies page (https://lostineast.wordpress.com/goodies/), you can buy postcards with photos from this trip or even better, the whole photo book. I hope I’ll meet you all in person someday and share more stories with you.
“Getting lost in not a waste of time. To travel is to evolve” P. Bernard.