The fact I ended up in Indonesia in the first place was surprising, but to think I would end up there twice, I don’t know. I did kind of anticipate a return when I booked my airline tickets to St. Kitts & Nevis.
By the time I returned to Batam, I had already formulated my strategy for making a few bucks – a news feed about Batam and expat interests to fill in the void of the temporary demise of the Smiling Hill newsletter that I previously created and published. I was filling a void.
This new life required finding a place to live, not a small undertaking as it turned out. I landed in a covy of apartments geared to temporary expats. They were above bars. The noise late at night was sometimes bad.
But I was living more in the community than I had been at Smiling Hill. It was a welcome second semester of my Indonesian education.
My decision to leave Indonesia was very sudden. My daughter had a crisis at home (which I later realized she was more than equipped to handle without Daddy around), there was a crisis with getting money out of the Indo ATMs, and I had just been drugged and stolen from by a women I had dated for a year.
It was time to go.
Again, I relied on my daughter. I stayed with her for two months, through Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s. It’s good that I did.
Anyway, it was North Carolina. In the mountains. Middle of winter. Again, Ken with tropical clothes only.
In the above photo, I’m sitting at the fire on my daughter’s back deck with some of the new winter garments I had to purchase for two short months. This same fire would another day ignite my highly igniteable warmups, severely burning my hand and leg.