A triple house warming in our little expat community is cause for big celebration. The surround sound building has ceased and it is time to survey the completed projects. Uncle Gerry has two new bedroom pavilions with outdoor bathrooms, Pappa Kel has a double storey bungalow with room to woo a woman, and John Tinggi has relocated two doors down to his new pad with a solar system that could power the entire neighbourhood. The party is a chance to thank the workers, and get the villagers and expats together to share a meal, dance and a swig a few bottles of Bintang.
Our morning smoothie is interrupted by the gruesome sound of four goats meeting an early death. I am sure they thought it hilarious to do the slaughter within ear-shot of the vegans. The women gather at 8.00am and begin to chop vegies, boil huge woks of rice over the open fire, and wash vats of bloody goat’s meat. We decide to take our own dinner.
It comes to Gerry’s attention that some prime cuts of goat make their way over the fence to waiting mates, and bottles of beer are recapped and disappear into the darkness. With both resources paid for at premium prices, and laid on free to everyone, this is disappointing, but overlooked without much fuss.
The presence of a "ladyboy" from the city causes a major stir; decked out in tight stretch jeans, red stilettos and full stage makeup. She/he is a brother/sister of a local, and works as an entertainer and masseuse in questionable circumstances. All focus is on her crotch, and to what degree she is or isn't a woman - for beneath the jeans there isn't much room for a bulge. For a conservative protestant village, she/he raises many eyebrows and questions.