again from the Big Blue!
bad combination: two pina coladas, one martini, two glasses of red wine, one
beer, and one glass of port. Yes, I drank all this last night…and I thought my
wacky highschool drinking years were over! To be fair, the beer was an impulse
buy, prompted by biting into a small orange pepper that caused my eyeballs to
burst into flames. Ah, Indonesian food, so…combustible. Shall I backtrack so
some of this makes sense?
friends and neighbours and fellow Canuck ex-pats, Jim and Jo-Ann, who own the
award winning resort Etu Moana, called us up to invite us out for dinner. It
seems the chef at one of the local eateries is Indonesian and agreed to whip up
an authentic home-cooked meal for four. Empathizing with our flavour/variety
deficit, J&J invited us to share with them and we jumped at the chance.
Let’s face it, if they had said, “Hey, we got a guy who’s going to cook us up
some Purina dog chow!” we would have said yes, if only for a change of
food…yes, we are that desperate.
Sunday, Prez and I decided to end our “day off” with a few pina coladas. (On
our “day off”, Prez re-painted the boat while I did laundry, cleaned house, and
did up hut charge sheets for the rest of September. Oh the joys of being your
own boss!) We picked up J&J and headed off to the distant end of the island,
four kilometers away. It was the kind of night you always imagine for the South
Pacific – light wind, palm trees swaying, warm air, full moon reflecting on the
water – and we were all in good spirits. After saying a hello to one of the of cats
who inhabit the restaurant, we settled ourselves at a cozy table and I sipped
the true joys of resort management is being able meet up with other resort
managers and bitch about all the things you can’t bitch about in front of the
guests. For example, they shared their story of the stone-faced honeymoon
couple who wandered around all week without cracking so much as a smile,
despite a virtual tidal wave of hospitality engulfing them (trust me, J&J
are the epitome of hospitality). We, in turn, told them of the wacko Kiwi guy
who believed the government controlled the weather, aliens were traveling to
earth via a vortex system, and a neutron bomb was going to destroy the Northern
hemisphere in 2012. Oh yes, he also let his three year old son poo on the beach.
His wife would come along and scoop it up but, honestly, this is not the sort
of behaviour we encourage from guests of any age. (And this is why, when
people email and ask us if we offer discounts for children I double over
we get a higher percentage of wackos than J&J do. Maybe we should raise our
dinner was quickly spread before us. And what a spread! Chicken satay with
peanut sauce, some sort of soup with some sort of meat in it, some sort of egg
things with some sort of sauce on it, a vegetable and curry saucy type thing,
and some dish with beef that reminded us of Calderetta but wasn’t. Yum!! Can
you spontaneously orgasm just by looking at food? I think yes.
the martini vanished rather quickly so Jo-Ann kindly shared her red wine with
me. Just as the chef, Jack, (is that a traditional Indonesian name?), arrived
at the table to check on our satisfaction level, Jim bit into a rather potent
pepper. Smoke began to drift from his ears. Prez soon followed suit. Gasping
for air and desperately willing his empty can of cold beer to refill, he cried,
“I thought it was a carrot!” A Chernobyl carrot, maybe; a carrot not of this
earth. Jack apologized. But tell me, is an apology genuine when the person
apologizing is laughing? Well, I was laughing, too. Karma, it’ll get you every
time. Jo-Ann and I were now eyeing the saucy curry vegetable thingy with more
than a little trepidation. “Oh, it’s OK, there were only two peppers in there,”
Jack assured us.
it’s safe to say that Indonesians have a sense of humour.
five minutes later, after biting down on a “carrot” of my own, with my eyeballs
in flames and my mind slipping into a mildly hallucinogenic state, I summoned
the waitress to the table with crude sign language. Unable to speak, or see, I
stabbed my finger toward the blur that looked like Prez’s empty beer can.
Thankfully, she was quick on the draw and soon I had a cold can in my hand,
which I proceeded to tip to the side and wrap my lips and tongue around. (I
discovered, a moment too late, that the can had already been opened, when my
right side was drenched in beer. But I didn’t care. A jumbo jet could have
landed two feet away from me and I would have paid it no attention.
collective fires were doused, and when we could speak in complete sentences
again, we commented on how amazing the meal was. You have to love selective
the evening, the owner sent us each a complimentary glass of port. (Oh, I think
I missed the bit where I ordered a dish of ice cream with chocolate sauce but I
assumed that you would just take that for granted.) On the drive home I recall
saying, “Man, I’m going to sleep well tonight!”
I might have, if only my alarm clock hadn’t gone off for no reason at
middle-of-the-night o’clock or if my chili-pepper induced dreams – such as the
one where our resident cat, Marmalade, was answering the phone and making
reservations – didn’t keep jolting me awake. I guess all the variety was too
much of a shock to my system.
now Monday morning. My head feels as if it was put in a washing machine and set
on “spin” for a few hours. I can’t stop yawning. And sooner or later that
pepper is going to want out. Yeesh, where’s an alien vortex when you need one??
Do you know that your fingernails can sweat? Do you??
have to give a big, big, big THANK YOU to our friend Jo, who is vying for
Sweetheart of the Year Award. She surprised us, and the kitties, with a package
of goodies from NZ, including licorice and fancy cat food. Thanks Jo!
Dad, I keep trying to call you. Do you ever turn your darn phone on???? Love
next week, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!