Monday, April 24, 2017

Tonight's Beach Walk

I'm truly enjoying my nighttime walks. It's really the only time of day cool enough to do this, unless you walk very early in the morning. But I don't do mornings. Hard to believe now that I used to get up at 5 am to go to work five days a week. I guess one does what he has to do when he has to do it. Helps to be young, too. 

At the beach, in the evening, there's a bit of a breeze and the temperature is at a comfortable level, say 28C (which would be about 82F). But when it's dark and there's no sun beating down, 82 somehow seems different than 82 in the daytime. 

There's a footpath that runs the entire length of the beachfront in Sanur. You can start at one end or the other or in the middle - whatever suits your fancy at the time. Long stretches of the path are deserted and pitch black, as most of the warungs and the little tokos have closed for the day - which is another plus in walking at night, as no one is out there begging you to come into their shop - Just looking-looking, mister, yes, you come?

Occasionally, however, you do come across someone trying to sell young girls - more likely to happen at night than in the daytime. After all, why else is a guy walking around in the night if not in search of a young girl? Right? 

I am always surprised when I'm approached by an adult woman selling young girls. Aren't they supposed to be protecting the girls? But I guess one does what she has to do when she has to do it. And it helps to be young. 

Mister, you looking for woman? I have woman - young woman - only seventeen.

Oh, no, no thank you, Ibu. I'm just walking. My doctor says exerise is good for me. 

Ah, young woman good for you too.

No, no thanks, just walking. Trying to move on, but the woman has hold of my elbow. Besides, I'm sure my wife wouldn't be happy with me. 

Oh, Pak, we no tell your wife. It's our secret!


Oh well. This does not happen often. In fact, it happens less often now than it did six years ago. The beach has been built up so quickly with ritzy hotels and expensive restaurants, and prostitution just doesn't fit the new image. 

Along the way, you will find some warungs still open - naked lightbulbs glowing, a smattering of diners at tables on the sand, the open kitchen sending savory smoke swirling in the breeze while the orange flame leaps from the open grill - ayam bakar, ikan bakar, udang, babi - and, of course, nasi goreng. Fried rice. Absolutely every place has fried rice. 

Anyway, walking is something simple one can do for oneself. It occurred to me that it would help my back pain, to get the muscles moving - and I think it has. And I'm not talking about vigorous walking. I must leave that to my wife. Just strolling for a distance, using one's muscles, working out the stiffness. 

I try to do the simple things that I can do. I walk. I look for various medicines that might help symptomatically. And I sit in the sun as long as I can stand it. I had been thinking that this would require putting on my swimsuit and going to the beach - but then I realized today that, by God, the sun is shining right there in my backyard. So I took off all my clothing and smeared on some tanning lotion and just sat in a lawnchair under the full force of the sun. Natural vitamin D, right? And there's always a cold shower available after you can't stand the heat any longer. Cold is the only kind of shower we have here, and you really don't need any other kind. Ever. 

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