I'll be honest, Kupang is one of my least favourite destinations, and certainly one I aim to pass through with haste. It is the sandpaper for patience and tolerance that bookends my simple island existence. As if knowing how eager I am to get home to our beach shack and the arms of Aquaman, the universe has conspired to grant me 48 hours in the City of Dreams.
Awoken at 4am by the ululating call to prayer (a rather inconsiderate notion in this predominantly Christian city), I snatched a few minutes sleep before the alarm at 5am. I had news that the ferry was cancelled due to rough seas, so I took the chance of standby on the 7am flight. I wasn't alone in this mission, and by 8am, 31 names were on the list, and we had amassed quite the party in the small airline office. Ideas of chartering an oversized canoe, twin prop plane or helicopter were bandied around as we waited for news of a possible second flight (after it was established by all how unfortunate I am to not have children). Four hours later my heart sank with the news there would be no flight, canoe or magic carpet and I returned to room 303. The Sasando International Hotel was once a luxurious abode in this city of overpriced, worn and totally shit accommodation (and is still one of the better options). The citizens do not embrace maintenance, and the scene evokes a war weary city, with the only redeeming quality being the nightly food market.
I took the risk of death by chlorination and snot in the hotel pool, and was relieved my bather clad self did not elicit whistles, screams and photos, as happens when I walk alone through town. It was quite pleasant sunning on the broken pavers with a magazine, however I baulked from a second swim after witnessing the amount of deep throat mucus exhumed into the water.
To end on a more positive vibe, the hotel has free wi-fi, expansive ocean views and the staff kindly allow me to sit in the deserted dining room with my papaya and laptop. Should I be overcome with a need to fold in prayer (or despair?) toward Mecca, they have thoughtfully spray painted the directional arrow on the ceiling of my room.
One more sleep and season 2012 begins.
Are you ready?
If you are hankering for more photos of this captivating capital, have a look at this post from last year.