Friday, November 26, 2010

up the top

The villagers don't live near the beach, they prefer to be where the action is, along the road or further inland; the area simply known as "di atas" or "the top".  This works in everyone's favor.  The locals were more than happy to lease their beach front blocks to the westerners, and put a new tin roof or concrete cell block extension onto their house by the road.  Years ago an NGO project installed water tanks and pipes from a spring further up in "di hutan" (the jungle).  It deteriorated rapidly, the tanks cracked, pipes split and the project was abandoned, leaving wonderful blank canvases for public art.

I like to wander around through the village near our house, say hello to everyone, usually twice or three times, and snap photos of their yards that have them all laughing and yelling.  How bright is this yellow rope?

There aren't many of the old rendered cottages left, rapidly being replaced by the statement materials, tin and concrete.  The front yard of this house has been swept and watered down and swept so many times it has hardened like an adobe floor.  The facade reminds me of a shy person peeping out from beneath their fringe.

There is a hell of a lot of sitting goes on up the top.  Sitting, dozing and playing cards.  A group of men huddled around a table with pegs all over their face is a common sight.  If you lose, you peg.  It can be a long and painful game. 

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