in LA you hear all the time, "oh. my god. you HAVE to meet my friend 'so-and-so'... you will just LOVE each other."
and years upon years can go by and you might never meet them.
or sometimes you can somehow MISS someone a million times.. walk by the same person, run with the same crew and never know the other even exists.
last month i got a facebook friend request from a guy that i literally had 75 mutual friends with.
i usually don't friend people i don't know but i sent him a message and asked how we knew each other...
he said we had met ONE time at a hootinany out in malibu, but i don't remember that.
he knew everyone from my venice tribe.
he knew everyone from my bronson house tribe
and randomly he knew a bunch of my friends in west australia.
how is it possible that i didn't know this guy?
to make it even weirder, he studied medicine and healing arts and was a yogi... AND randomly gave me a piece of rose quartz without even knowing it was my spirit stone.
i kept saying... dude... sliding yurt doors, much?
(another one of these aforementioned "reflection connections")
i only saw his eyeballs in real life about 4 times in the few weeks before i left. i still don't get it. how did i never know him before?
***LONG CAMERA SHOT PANS TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE EARTH with little ZZZZooooooooOOOM sound effect***
the night before last, around sunset, brent and i were cruising down the padang road on a motorbike when we decided to stop by to meet christina - a beautiful, fiesty illinois-born ex-pat... who's been living in padang for over a decade.
(one of the other FIVE white women living out here.)
we pulled up and found my new friend pacing back and forth inside the gate, intensely talking to someone on her blackberry as she took long drags from her sampoerna clove... she signalled us to come in through the heavy gate and sit at the table on the front porch/veranda area.
it felt lived in.
it felt like one of those staple homes that everyone who has ever considered themselves a "resident" here has been to.
sat right where i was... waiting for christina to get off the phone as the motorbikes zoomed by with the buzzzzzzzz that seemed to make a dissonant harmony with the sound of amplified islamic prayers cartwheeling down the each narrow little street and corridor...
and of course the constant "MEEP-MEEP" sounding horn beep.
I swear to you... every single vehicle (moving or not) within indonesia has the EXACT same horn -- they must have a piano tuner come and adjust every horn to meet the exact same pitch - so it sounds identical to the sound the Roadrunner in Loony Tunes makes.
the meep-meep horn is used all the time for everything in indonesia...
it's a lane change indicator...
it's an "oh hi, there!"...
it's a "move out of of my way!"...
it's an "i'm behind you"...
it's an "i'm next to you"...
it's a "come here"...
it's a "get away from me"...
sometimes i think they just honk for fun.
i remember the first time i went to Bali, my friend matt george told me that every taxi will "meep-meep" when they pass a "Bule" or white person...
so - we sat there listening to the horns and zooms of motorbikes... and the prayers started echoing down the streets.
christina hung up her phone and sat down to light another clove, rolling her eyes.
"i'm getting the F out of here." she said... "2 months. i'm gone. forever. i have a one way ticket to greece. i don't think there is ONE mosque in greece. in the whole entire country. not one."
i couldn't help but burst into laughter.
welcome to your polar opposite, zani.
here i am... bright eyed and bushy tailed... SO optimistic... so infatuated and in LOVE with every single moment, drinking in the prayers that ring down the streets...
finding myself just staring at the bright green leaves
the way they seem brighter here.
all colors do.
i am enamored with the way the leaves seem to sweat in the heat...
and the way the light sits on them in the afternoon.
i love it.
all of it.
"welcome to the shit hole, zani! how long are you stuck here?" christina asks me, pulling me out of my daydream i had slid off into in the last moment as a woman walked by in a burgundy burka holding a baby with skin the color of mahogany.
i snapped back to the table and told her that actually ainsley had offered to get me a seat on the plane that morning and i had declined because i wanted to explore Padang.
she looked at me like i was insane.
Brent scoffed too.
they both looked at each other and said "give it a week."
christina is on her way out.
i'm on my way in.
it kind of feels like 42nd street - when i played peggy sawyer - the little newbie and my sister lara played dorthy, the jaded starlet.
i love christina.
i am so grateful she has paved the way for a white girl to be in this part of the world.
and i am so so grateful she is my new friend that i know i can ask advice from.
its so interesting to see my polar opposite reflection connection... but a reflection connection none-the-less.
she pulled out a huge book and showed me how the fault lines work and where every major eathquake and tsunami has been out here each year for the last ten... and how john and ainsley's island was due... for a big one... an explosion where the coral will literally be regurgitated out of the earth and popped up onto land.
i'm not afraid.
i am aware of the danger and i know that it is a trade-off for living in paradise...
and also - i have these skills to help save people when something like that happens thanks to the UCLA E.M.T. course i just completed with Brent before i left!
Last night we went to the other homestay called "Spice" where a bunch of friends are staying... and i saw my friend Cahn who lives on the island.
He is engaged and about to have a HUGE wedding next week.
He is marrying a porcelain princess from the Mentawais.
From what he tells me, the celebration is going to be a huge event. 400+ people.
i think he might be the first westerner to ever marry into the Mentawai tribes like this.
So it's a big deal.
... we all went to dinner last night. 8 aussies and 3 americans
it was a typical shit-show
one of the aussies was Birdie (Adam) who lives on the island too. but i didn't meet him last time i was out here.
He is RAD.
we totally already have a secret hand shake and i can tell we're gonna be good buddies.
he's gonna turn me into a killer surfer and i'm gonna turn him into a yogi.
best deal of my life.
Birdie's girlfriend lives in Padang and is named Tia!
I am obsessed with her and want to hug her every single time i see her, because not only does she have the same name as the best person i have ever known (my sister Tia)... but she has the same energy...
sunlight coming out of their eyeballs.
it made me miss my sister so much.
But i decided that Indo Tia will be my Indo sister... just another reflection connection...
amazing what will happen when you get out of LA!
Here, it is completely different with regard to meeting people, and missing people and not knowing they exist or never connecting with them face to face...
Anyone you hear about, you will meet.... soon.
Without even calling or planning it, you will just get to know absolutely everyone.
Is it because our population of westerners is so small?
or because we hang out in the same places?
or is it some kind of magic that happens, that synchronicity brings us together without any emails or calls or any of that BS we like to depend on in LA... we are just brought together like magnets somehow when we swap poles...
I am on the POLAR OPPOSITE side of the earth.
Even the aussies who are just 3-7 hrs away are coming to another world here, and may just as well be coming half way around the world too.
I feel like i am meeting someone that i was absolutely SUPPOSED to meet every single day.
Every hour it seems.
although one thing i have yet to test out after swapping poles...
is this whole "when you flush a toilet in the southern hemishere it flushes in the opposite direction." theory i have heard about for a very long time.
I wouldn't actually know, since this is what the toilets look like:
holes in the ground with a bucket of water and a pale that you scoop and pour in to "flush"
not. a. joke.
although, saying that - some places (namely, and most importantly, togat nusa retreat island) DO have flushing toilets... phewwww.
i'll find out about that whole southern hemisphere backwards spiral thing and keep you posted...
i am going to go back to my LAZY LAZY padang afternoon. nursing this hangover.
drinking with aussies = headache tomorrow.
...case in point: mick literally just walked down the spiral staircase and said "morning!" -- it is 2:36pm.