A and T are bickering at each other. They share the same room is our eco-resort villa. Since the ‘villa’ is just an open roof, we pretty much all share the same room, together with a vast collection of bugs and frogs, which all spring to life as soon as the sun sets.
Our next place is a diving resort. Or rather, an eco-resort. We sleep under a white mosquito net, which flaps gently in the wind. The bedroom is open under a thatched roof, the rudimentary bathroom is outdoors, a slim shower in the middle of exuberant vegetation which T. and A. find exciting.
Vacation are our time for intense reading. We pack our kindles with books or all sorts before we set off. I stock up on contemporary fiction, based on reviews from the New-Yorker, literary prizes short lists and friends’ recommendations. L. does the rest and always revives classics (Russian authors last’s year, Balzac this year) and piles up essays.
Over our years of travel together, L and I have developed a fondness for Trip Advisor. For all of its flaws, its poor User Interface, erratic search and inconsistent experience across mobile, tablet and desktop, Trip Advisor is the only app we use before, during and after our trip.
We went to our first Indonesian beach today. Waves like mini tsunamis, crashing on a dark sand beach. Nobody in the water. Too dangerous. The beach is full of young couples watching the sunset and having their photo taken on a back drop of huge waves. A few kids running around, far away from the water.
When you travel, there are always a couple of things you forget. Only to discover that in most instances you can buy them easily and cheaper in the country you are visiting. There are of course a few exceptions.
Day 1 is orientation day. The day where you get your 5 senses acquainted with your new environment and evaluate the best strategy to cross the road without getting rolled over by a car or a motorbike (or a scooter in the case of Indonesia).
Yogyakarta. Java. Indonesia. L (my husband) picked the hotel. Our hotel is a former prison. The roof-top is a hydroponic farm and the inside walls surrounding the central courtyard are covered with herbs and green vegetables. Mint is growing in front of our room, on the 3rd floor.
It all started with a misplaced Oyster card which I thought was in my usual coat pocket. One morning, we woke up to freezing weather. I changed coats and used my contactless debit card. It was a couple of weeks before Christmas.
We went on holiday with my family in France. London, the grey tube station, deep escalators and the nasal voices chanting “mind the gap” were far away.
On ne compte plus les années
Les enfants sont grands
Les saisons se ressemblent, parfums d’été
Du bois à couper, des framboises à cueillir
Les arbres de Noël sont devenus géants
Les petits enfants n’en finissent pas de grandir
Bien sûr, Il y des petites rides au coin des yeux
Un dos un peu voûté, le genou se rebelle
Contre les années, il y a ceux et celles
Qui les ont quittés, photos, lettres à l’encre bleue
Ceux qui passent au loin, en hivers ou en été
On ne compte plus les années