So what am I doing right now, people often ask me. (After we’ve been through the “Where do you come from?”, “Mighty, Mighty Loughborough” rigmarole) Right now, I’m trying to find some friends of mine based on the following information: the name of an island in Indonesia (which is good – apparently there are over 5000, so that narrows it down), a phone number that is always engaged (I’ve been trying it for 4 days now – I’m pretty sure it’s engaged). All of this information was contained in an email which had been transcribed by a third party from a crackling international phone call from one of the said friends, in a language which is not their mother tongue.
Nothing like a challenge to take your mind off the throb and hum of Tarakan. If anyone else has any wild geese that they want chasing, drop me a line at the usual address.
Being in an internet cafe in Tarakan is quiet an experience – I’ve already agreed to go and talk to someone’s 13 year old class about the Boy Scouts (they like the idea of Boy Scouts apparently). Several small children are happy to watch everything I type, and occasionally shout out a word or two that they recognise. People give me a bit of “Hellor Meester”, from time to time, and people read my email address from the screen and promise to send me nice email. I have to stop typing from time to time to get the ants off the keyboard. They distract me a little, though I do love ants. They taste kind of sharp – can’t really tell if it’s them biting as you put them on the tongue, or whether they are genuinely spicy.