Not a good day

Last night and today was probably the worst since I’m here. After I finished my journal, I tried to fall asleep. My arms burning like hell did not help and the fact that there was a giant cockroach fell or flew (not sure) next to me didn’t help the situation. Harry helped me get rid of it but from that moment my sleep was completely ruined and all night I was pretty much half awake to make sure he isn’t coming back with his friends. Today morning I was so tired since I had lack of sleep from Mr Cockroach and my burning arms but I got up again like 7.30am,had my usual breakfast shower and got out where Harry was talking to 2 guys. We had tea and then Lani came by with a guy called Mika who is from Tahiti and I first met him in Lastari since he is managing the neighbour resort, Black Marlin. We had a really nice chat, I found out that back home he used to be a surf instructor then he came here, got married and has a boy. He then started a business as a dive instructor. But now he is divorced and he only manages the resort. He is a very nice guy and he is thinking to leave Indonesia where he lived in the last 10 years or so and maybe move to Europe. He actually is a captain too so I’m sure he could find a job on private yachts which I told him about. His mum lives in France so it would really make sense for him to go there. They left after a little while and we were getting ready to see the house. And that’s when all the bad things happened. I went to check my little bag to take some money out from my main wallet where I kept most of it to transfer it to the small one I take with them and use. And that’s when I saw. My wallet was completely empty… I run out and asked Harry is he took the money but he said no, he only took my little wallet when I asked him yesterday to get the money. I was devastated. I got robbed in the house where I lived and since we only left the bag here, I was sure it was the owner of the house. I had no problem to tell this to Harry that the money went behind closed doors as we closed it so who else could it be? He went out and asked them but they came up with some stupid story about 3 strangers entering the house, bla bla bla. Harry the and the guy who looked after the floating house checked the door and if you really drag it open, it does open without key. But you had to really loudly ripped it open and how could you then shut it back like nothing happened? It was clearly the owners. I was so angry even now I’m writing this I feel so useless I couldn’t do anything. I had the idea to smash everything around the house and trying to go around find it but it would have only cause me more problem, probably even with the police. Without money, I couldn’t risk to be taken away or God knows what. The place called Taurus and I suggest everyone to stay far away from them. My whole afternoon was wasted with going to the police and report it but of course they wouldn’t do anything. They probably gone back later and take some part of the money. Corruption here is probably the highest from all. I was lost. I shouted at Harry to leave me alone who didn’t help the situation with blaming himself and I just wanted to go home. That’s all I wanted. To see my friends and family and be around my loved ones. But I couldn’t. We can’t even leave this place until Tuesday when the ferry goes, let alone going back home. With no ATM in the whole area, my chances got even worse. Whee am I going to stay till Monday, what are we going to eat,what am I gonna do here for 3 more days, I was broken. And then Harry came to me and said, one of the guy who was also a guest and also called Heri, offered to land me IDR500,000 as he wanted to come to Gorontalo with us. Harry offered him to be able to stay at his for free for a month for his generosity. I was shocked. He was a complete stranger to me, yet here he was offering me that money and even more. In the end he gave us 1million rupiah to make sure we can sleep somewhere, eat something and also buy the ferry tickets back. I was so great full, yet I still couldn’t show it due to anger. I was angry at myself, why didn’t I take the bag as always, why did I leave all the money in 1 wallet instead of putting it in several places, why didn’t I put the wallet back to the bottom of the big backpack? Million questions, no answer. I was beating myself up. The first thing I checked when I found out the money has gone was my passport and cards. Thankfully I still have those. So I promised Hari, I’ll give the money back as soon as we arrive to Gorontalo.
After a few hours the plan was that we still go to the floating house but Hari and his brother, Edi will join. I had no problem with that. We did a very basic food shopping, rice, some vegetables (water spinach, onion, garlic, tomato), water, tofu, egg and noodles. Originally I was planning to surprise Harry and maybe buy some potatoes and make some stuff out of it but since I only have a million and 175,000 goes to ferry, I was very limited. So I left him do the shopping, he knew better what is cheaper. When we got all ready we left the house and honestly, Ani felt I’m going to burn it down before so leave but I just left. Without saying anything. I honestly hope that karma will get back to them and one day they will lose something very important. I had to force myself to be positive and keep smiling even though I was fuming inside.
After a 30 mins boat ride, we got to the floating house which is amazing. It looks like a big cabin on the sea. It has 5 beds inside but one is a double mattress so 6 people can easily sleep. It has a proper western toilet which was a massive surprise to me and cooking facilities at the back of the boat. It used be owned by an English guy who actually built this house. You can see, it wasn’t Indonesian for all the ‘modern’ solutions. Well, as modern as you can get in Indonesia, on the sea. I started to get eased a bit and by the evening we talked a lot with Harry and Hari and I found out that him and his brother are working in the vanilla business. Yes, you read it correctly, vanilla. Basically Sulawesi knows as one of the best vanilla bean finding place (how come I had no idea if it’s so well known?). So they are going around in different villages and asking them about vanilla. If a village has it, they basically go, check it out and if it isn’t ready to take it (because it’s still wet and new), they sort of reserve it. They come back then about 8 months later to take the vanilla. They pay IDR 200,000/kg to the farmer but they then sell it for IDR 2,000,000 for their bigger boss who then sell it for 5million to the big boss who is from Italy. The minimum weight the start selling from after it dries out is 5kg. Under 5kg they would just wait for an other batch till it gets 5kg and then bumm 5x2million = 10million rupiah. If it’s more than 5kg, it’s more money for them. I asked if it’s a monthly income for them but they said unfortunately not. It could be 2-3 months sometimes till they get enough to sell. So what does in between these month is painting. He came up with this amazing idea of buying painting rolls and then he cuts forms and shapes into the rubber so when he rolls it on the wall, it looks like a wallpaper. He created like hundreds of different style rolls, he even has an F.C. Barcelona one. He has photos as a portfolio to show the houses who maybe wants to get their ceiling or wall panted. He gets IDR 35,000/m. The actual roll is a very small one, probably about 20-30cm long, he can attach it to a telescopic handle and he makes his own colours so everything is set for decorating. It’s just amazing. He went out yesterday to ask about vanilla and he ended up painting someone’s wall. ☺️ He thought its a poor village so he didn’t want to ask the full price but when the guy took circa 30 million out when he needed to pay, Hari knew he should have asked for more.
The house it attached to a village which is based by the seashore. Their main income is fishing and palm oil or coconut.
We cooked our dinner which was sticky rice, water spinach with garlic, boiled egg with fried tomato and garlic and some tomato. After dinner they all went into the village to charge our electric devices since it doesn’t work in here so I stayed and just read my book.
I still wonder how kind it was from Hari to land me that money. For a ‘bule’, for a complete stranger. He told me in the afternoon, 5 years ago he experienced the same, in Malaysia. They took his money, phone, everything. I guess he could sympathise with me. But still, it was very unusual for me. But I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised, these people are so different to us. Except that one b***ard who took my money. Moral of the story for you lovely reader, don’t leave all your money in 1 wallet. Scatter it around and in your bag. In case someone robs you, at least you didn’t lose it all. That was a very expensive lesson for me. But I bounced back and looking forward to Raja Ampat next week.

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