Saturday, January 12

lunch with the mayor

On our way back to Australia we took a three day detour to Sumba, an island in the Lesser Sunda group of eastern Indonesia (and the namesake of our dear little goat). We were there at the invitation of a ridiculously wealthy Indonesian businessman and politician, who has procured a patchwork of titles along the coast with visions to develop a five star resort that will rival the Banyan Tree group. The barefoot architect found himself at the hub of discussions as the "tropical design expert" and felt obliged to don a collared shirt with his boardies and tie back his blonde locks.

It was a hilarious and at times painful trip - hours upon hours of sitting in a chauffeur driven entourage, from the site, to the hotel, to the site, to lunch and back to the site.  As fiercly independent travellers it was unusual to be under the wing of a minder, right to the time of departure, when he checked us and our baggage in while we had tea in a tin shed adjacent to the empty shell of a terminal.

We lunched at the mayor's house, commencing with the obligatory polite smiles and small talk in the lounge, snacking on locally grown cashews and mango smoothie. The interior design was the epitome of Indonesian tack. Frills, bows, fake silver and plastic flowers in every corner. To not giggle through the whole proceedings was an exercise in restraint.

A visit to the site and a traditional Sumbanese house coming up. Sit back and enjoy the drive.
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