we’re talking *nice* nice

solo

I hate prefacing. I hate people that preface. It makes whatever they have to say appear to be unable to simply stand alone. That being said, I should point out a few things…

I know nice and I know friendly. I’m only a few weeks out of living in the mountains of Thailand with the locals. On opium. Trust me, there wasn’t a bad word spoken about anyone. Hell, I was raised in the [sort of] South in a [third-generation] Irish family¬†and as we all know, the Irish, much like the Southerners, are the nicest people in the world when they’re drinkin. So…you know; always nice.

But.

I can honestly say that I have never been to a town more warm than Solo, Java, Indonesia. They smile and say ‘apa kabar’ because they mean it. China ruined me in that sense. I cringe when I hear ‘halo’ back in Shanghai as it rarely denotes pure friendliness. It took me a while to acknowledge it here, but wow. I haven’t smiled so much (and meant it) since having that mushroom shake on my birthday and listened to Collin lament about throwing up his lobster.

Go to Solo. It’s a travelers/photographers dream. Funniest part is that this is considered a ‘hotbed of terrorism‘. Think I’ll take my chances. The poor ‘kopi’ seller wouldn’t even let me pay. The 70+ year-old woman who could barely clutch the small amount of money I gave her with her sickle cell anemia ridden hands shared a laugh with me when my head wouldn’t make it under the street sign. They say ‘hi’ and keep walking. Wanting nothing in return but the same back. And to think I woke up this morning moaning about a headache.

I like places that make you feel like shit. See, that feeling is not a good one so upon return to a familiar place, one sidesteps all-the-more occassionans to revisit said poo.

And oh yeah, for $9, I’m sleeping in one of the previous king’s store rooms.

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