Thursday, September 16, 2010

the magic shop

It is a long bum numbing motorbike ride to town in search of lemons, paint and standing floor fans (for a friend).  The citrus season is coming to an end and there is only one stall at the markets selling tiny lemons at a ridiculous price - he obviously senses our desire.   They are vital to our salads, and papaya isn't the same without a squeeze of juice, so we buy 40 for $6. 

We treat ourselves to an iced smoothie from a cheery road-side vendor and sit beneath the shade of a vast mango tree, loaded with ripening fruit.  Woopee, mango season is imminent.

It is rare for us to be in town with time to spare; without a bemo driver waiting, or an overwhelming wish to get home after a long day of travel.  There is a shop we call "The Magic Shop", that seems to have one of everything you want and two of everything you didn't even know you wanted.  In one glass cabinet they have :

Powerpoints, drumsticks, swimming caps, dominoes, gun sights, air freshener, torches, universal remote controls, iron, am/fm radio, pool cues, recorders, taps, electric door holder, guitar strings, printer ink refill kit, calculator, drill chucks, aquarium filter & a set of pool balls.

I have never seen anyone wearing a swimming cap - they can't even swim, nor is there a swimming pool - what good is an electric door holder without electricity, and who the hell can afford an aquarium?  Was this precious stuff donated from abroad and locked away in the cabinet for posterity?  Tom eyes off a copy Yamaha guitar for A$100 and I check out the soccer balls and fan selection, but we leave empty handed.

On the way home we stop to admire a collection of lontar baskets  hanging on the outside of a simple thatched house.  This is the peak season for collecting juice from the lontar palm, and the farmers climb their trees twice daily, at around 3.00am and again at 3.00pm.  

This fit looking gentleman owns 40 palms and spends four hours each day tapping the sweet syrup.  The locals have thrived on the nutrient rich juice for generations, and it is reported that people in the interior of the island have survived for long periods with the juice as their sole calorie intake.  Today, their diet includes rice, a small amount of veges, and fish if near the coast.  You can be sure that man's physique is not from working out at the gym and drinking protein powder.

He ushers me inside, whips back a dust sheet, and insists I take a photo of him with his prized entertainment collection.  Now here is a hut with a dirt floor, no running water and no toilet, and he has two t.v. sets, booming speakers and a satellite dish. I can never work out their priorities.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe thats how i can get fit....start climbing our palm trees!
    Funny how a TV can be such an important part of peoples lives, look how proud he is! I wonder if he got a toilet he would stand beside it like this to pose for a photo!
    maybe his wife would!!!!


thanks for taking the time

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