Javanese music, shorelines, and bats

I’ve already mentioned a rough cough, throat, and general blasé after the exertions of yesterday afternoon and evening. I have to return my bicycle and buy a ferry ticket for tomorrow’s return, and all this is accomplished quickly. I even have an encounter with a neighborhood kids’ gamelan rehearsal, their teacher without a shirt and smoking a cigarette while beating on a conga drum to help the group keep its rhythm. There are two boys and the other 7 are girls, none of whom wear anything but normal clothes–and yet no doubt they are all Muslims, born into the religion just like a majority of Protestants, Catholics, Hindus, and Buddhists.


By 10:45 I am back at the bungalow, which has been cleaned in my absence and looks very welcoming. My hunch was right that the constructions crews so active since my arrival would take the day off. After the roosters calm down around 11 a.m., I am able to have a couple hours of relative quiet. The electricity is off, no generator churrs away, no crowing or kids playing–and so of course I immediately fall asleep inside the mosquito net, feeling quite cozy.


My book holds me the rest of the day, and I’m grateful that it is as compelling as it is. Gods Without Men gives me multiple stories about a single place, the Pinnacle Rocks in S. California desert. I guess I did sort of the same thing with my Little River poems in that they cover several centuries and culminate in a tornado whereas the book ends in an explosion of a meth lab.

Then a dyed-blonde German woman from Leipzig, Gina, wanders into the grounds, and I help her get oriented. She won’t stay here due to the price but will come back to kayak.

I started all this typing because I wanted to talk about the bats chirping as darkness falls. I heard them all week and meant to make a note but never got around to it. On the pier this evening, taking a little walk after a solitary dinner in the spacious common room, several large winged bats flitted by, chatting w/ their pals en route. With the main lodge lights as background, I could see their silhouettes for a split second, then remembered that Java hosts some rather large species of bats. Could there even be a fruit bat that is not only large but scary to behold? Google will let me know after I get to my new place in Jepara tomorrow.


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