36 hours in banyuwangi
The night of the cremation I stay up all night captioning, fixing up the pics for my agent and Tempo magazine. I can only say I am not an all nighter anymore, exhausted I leave for Java with Jerome to continue our book project. We are off to see how they dig up the monster roots he gets and works on. The first thing we see as we get on the ferry at Gilimanuk are a group of metal scavengers busting their you-know-whats to collect a few kilos of iron scraop off an old ferry pier. Whatcha gotta do for 3000 Rupiah a kilo…we drive on into java and see the first lot of old roots. The guys who find them are like gold prospectors, it takes lots of patience to find them and get locals to allow you to dig them up etc. The next day we see an old man (75 mind you) and his wife and son who take on the task of moving the roots to whee a truck can pick them up. It can take weeks again, but somehow this little trio is more efficient than 20 guys. The son does most of the muscle work, while mum and dad figure out the pulleys etc, tho dad at 75 is sprier than me!on the way there is no lack of color, I have forgoten how outrageous the sense of design and color is in East Java. and then there was this tobacco drying barn:but by the end of the second day I had really run out of juice, 3 days with 10 hours sleep is my limit, and by the time we had gotten what we came for we decided to make a full moon dash back to Bali.at 11.30 pm last night it was a real luxury to get into my own bed! Talk about attachment!
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