Don’t know whether to laugh or cry / the long hot summer just passed me by

Per­haps I’ve been here too long. Gone trop­po seems to be a not uncom­mon afflic­tion for we expats, if visu­al evi­dence is any­thing to go by. You do see some tru­ly odd sorts wan­der­ing the back streets of Legian or Den­pasar – too much sun, too many Bin­tangs, too many days sit­ting won­der­ing. I may be, or I may well end up, one of them. I sit and won­der about that.

Because it con­cerns me that I was able to fol­low two guys on a motor­bike the night before last for some ten min­utes before it occurred to me that the guy on the back was car­ry­ing a kerosene lamp. It seemed not unusu­al to see any­thing on a bike. Then it also occurred to me that not only was this pil­lion pas­sen­ger car­ry­ing a kerosene lamp but the damned thing was lit. So, on a bike, with a tank, I assume, at least par­tial­ly full of gas, on the by-pass, which is as close to a motor­way as we have in Bali, trav­el­ling at least 50 kph, was some guy car­ry­ing a con­tain­er full of a very com­bustible liq­uid with an almost naked flame burn­ing above. Then I not­ed he had no work­ing head­light on the bike. This was his head­light sub­sti­tute. Tidak apa apa…

That made the motor­cy­cle hel­met, in the shape of the old Ger­man coal scut­tle mil­i­tary one – its not an unusu­al shape on the roads here, but unlike many vis­i­tors, I’ve stopped notic­ing – on sale in a shop yes­ter­day, albeit paint­ed in a lurid bright pink – seem unwor­thy of com­ment, so I won’t both­er.

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