I live in a “rumah kos”: a small apartment complex of 20 single no kitchen rooms. The place has a little restaurant, and all boarders are very sociable, drinking together, sometimes going out to clubs or restaurants, as would be usual in most rumah kos here.
Unless talking one on one with a woman, I’m usually shy. Or bored. I sat one sparkly morning at the outdoor table, beside the waterfall installment, to see the sparkles in the tiny 18 year old virgin cooks eyes. And to hear her voice. And to be beside her. And flirt recklessly.
Then He showed up, sat next to us, and started Being all over the place.
His earnest small talk tortured me. What city am I from, how much money he hopes to make. Everybody in Bali also speaks English and Japanese (I’m too stunned with boredom to care to correct him). What is my business. How long I stay here. How long I stay here – a familiar and irritatingly tense free question, as Indonesian language often does not deliniate past, present, and future, and the the question holds three at once, or only one, with an ambiguity painful to me. How long have I been here, how long will I remain here, what will be the total length of my stay. Can’t the locals afford the mental effort of tense? At least when attempting English. I asked some Indonesians about this, and the question really is tenseless and ambiguous, even to the speaker.
He was being, not only all over his chair, and all around his food, but all over the place. Then he started queries, started demanding focus. My crush stood up and ambled, leaving me empty. Each of his humorless queries was a barb of boredom. Boredom master would even take 5 seconds between words, without a fully formed inanity to express, breaking down my ability to maintain politely interested eye contact. He never cracked a smile, nor inspired one from me. Militatary grade boring. Fart bomb boring.