It is easy to take the main road, go directly home, do not pass go or collect $200. I prefer to turn off a side track and poke around the unknown, and who knows, sometimes you come across a gem, like this display of the traditional and the new.
I saw the roof-line through the trees and as we both love a good tin roof, we parked and went in for a closer look. The owner was thrilled to have visitors and told us in smooth Bahasa the story behind the two buildings and his place in the village.
The original house is 84 years old and has been his home since birth. Aside from the addition of a t.v. and plastic furniture, little has changed. The dirt floor is compacted hard underfoot and the interior is dark and cool. In contrast the new house, built in a similar form but with modern materials has the qualities of a sauna.
Outside in the scrappy kitchen, coconut milk is being boiled down to make oil.
The new house is built using teak, tin and concrete, rather than coconut, bush timber and lontar leaves. Looks funky, but without insulation and adequate roof ventilation, it is poorly suited to the climate. Whether anyone is actually going to live there we couldn't ascertain. His daughter is currently in Canberra studying medicine, one of the few islanders to study abroad, so I can't imagine she will be returning in the near future.