Harbour Bay waterfront update

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While I was at Harbour Bay waiting for the party to start where I was doing the photography (see previous post – An Indonesian-style party), I walked along the boardwalk to see what was going on. It was low tide and the sun was almost down. Dozens of ships lie at anchor in the bay, the Singapore skyline off in the faraway mist (well, actually, smog).

Fisherman were busy bringing their boats in, many tying up at a makeshift pier they had built from scrap wood and tree branches. There were a couple of locals working on the pier, knee-deep in the muck on the bottom. Given that all the wastewater and runoff water goes into the sea here, I wouldn’t want to be immersing any part of my body in what has to be highly toxic sludge, but whatever.

Past the pier and the narrow waterway going inland, the island was growing. At least 200 meters of new land has been created since the last time I was here, for the massive McDermott operation in Batu Ampar and for at least one new hotel. Hotels are going up like crazy on Batam.

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An almost fishing trip

Spent the day on the computer researching Indonesian residency options and applying for freelance writing jobs, and then just watched a ballgame, basically. Hadn’t done that in quite awhile. Planned to go fishing at Lovers Beach up by the airport at about 4:30 but a sudden deluge slowed that down for a bit but I did still go out. Selfies below. It was windy and drizzling occasionally so I didn’t stay out fishing. Stopped by Pinney Beach on the way back and just watched the day end while casting into barren waters.

Oh, I posted all these photos, in sequence, to illustrate my attempt at taking a selfie with a real camera, on the beach, with telephoto, etc., etc. Thought it was funny.

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A cooking day on Saturday

Cooking day. Decided the T-bones I bought last week were too tough to eat (after trying to eat one and throwing most of it away), so I made beef stew with the last two today. At the same time, it was time to try to make some mango jam with the mangos my neighbor brought over. Seems so simple, but all I have to show for a couple hours effort is two pints of mango syrup. Will try to cook it down some more tomorrow. It was a busy and hot kitchen with both of these going on at the same time.

End- of-day fishing again. This time I went to the other side of the island, where Lovers’ Beach sits next to the airport. No one in sight for the entire beach, which is a little more rocky and with more wave action. Looked fishy and I did have a fish on, which spit the hook pretty quickly. He pulled a little but probably wasn’t that big.

My landlady was waiting on me when I returned. She was watering the banana trees, one of which has a bunch on it but is not getting enough water. We discussed my pending garden and she offered some tools and a man who can bring me some soil. I figure that by the time I remove all the volcanic rock from the soil I will need some more dirt to fill in.

Just not sure I want to make the effort. Feeling very isolated. Not sure if I want to stay. I have a return ticket to Batam on Aug. 14 but that may be too soon to bail. Will find out Monday if I can reschedule my return flight for a month or two later. I’m sure there will be a charge but it might be worth it just for peace of mind. I hate to waste the two grand+ I spent to get here (it will be repaid to me in months 2-5 if I stay on the job) but I need to give this place a little longer opportunity. Suspect my gut feeling will prevail, however.
If I go back to Batam, however, I will be living solely off my Social Security check. The other option is to go to Asheville to recoup and re-evaluate.

Tonight, I plan to go to one of the Culturama activities going on in town. It’s the island’s biggest celebration, lasting about three weeks, and tonight they have some kind of talent or beauty competition. Just photo op for me. UPDATE: Went to Culturama. At 8:30 there was nothing going on, only a handful of people, so I left. Was even quieter at Double Deuce and Lime was closed. The sidewalks are taken up here very early.

Last night, I went out at about 10 p.m., a bit late for me, and the Double Deuce looked like it was just seeing its customers leave, while next door at Lime, they were just arriving. I walked in to have a look: a two-piece band was warming up, couples and tourists arriving. Still maybe an hour before any action was to start (according to a local). Too late for me.

It might be paradise to some, to me it’s a dead end.