Following the hello mister trail my next destination was Sumba, The island is somehow on the map for the blood spill of Pasola, but that was in March. The overnight ferry was quite entertaining with some gambling happening and lots of chicken around the overcrowded passenger deck. On the vehicles deck, I found these friendly fellows sleeping around the overloaded trucks, so I was not the smelliest there.
Before even boarding, I arranged my transport (breakfast included) to Waikabubak. I am getting popular among Surabaya friendly truck drivers. On the deck, I even arranged a spot on the same truck for a local guy, hitchhiking level God.
Once in the town above mentioned I was determined to rent a motorbike and be a UFO on wheels. People were sending me from one place to another, but no one would solve my issue. I end up at the local market were I with lots of people around me. Locals were going around trying to find me the bike but no results. I enjoyed asking them about ferries to get out of the islands, each one would say different days and destination ports. All of this happening without a word of English spoken. Sumbans have a very melodic accent that resembles Galician (homesickness feelings).
After one hour or so a guy offered me a deal. He would drive me around for $10 a day. He neither spoke any English. He happened to be a protestant pastor. As a man of God he had a big belly and an ability to ask for money adding extra costs, which doesn’t go well with my difficulties to say “no”. At the end the thing was more like $20 a day all included. Not that bad as I slept at his place and his wife would feed me well. He had 5 dogs at home. I asked why so many and got the obvious answer 😦
There were a lot of odd moments due to the language barrier and he being a priest. Didn’t remember pretending so much praying since I was a child. Before every meal it was a prayer, as in American movies, even I was requested to do it once in Indonesian!. He took me to church and he asked me why I wasn’t traveling with the Bible, and he didn’t mean the Lonely Planet. The best one was him trying to read me the bible in Indonesian. For someone like me with attention deficit, it was too good to be true. The drummer monkey in my head was performing his best.
Traditional villages are Sumba main sight and look like this:
It is a very poor island where locals have a traditional life and rarely go out without their machete.
When visiting one of the villages they were having a conversation. I was not paying attention till I heard the word pesta (party). Pesta??? Di mana? Marikita pergi (Party??? Where? Let’s go!).
So we went to the party, a funeral this time. In this trip I attended 4 weddings but this was my 1st funeral. Sadly it was not a boozing party, instead 10 buffaloes would be killed. A couple of years ago a big cat died and they went for 150! Unfortunately it is not possible to kill buffs by throwing apples at them as in the Simpsons. A bunch of men hold the buff with a rope tied to the horns and bring it to a circle. Then other guys dance and jump around aiming machetes to the buff neck. Women on the back were chanting Zulu style. It’s a slow painful death. I didn’t like it. Not saying that animals shouldn’t be slaughtered to feed us, but no need to make them suffer or a show of it. OK, fuck it. I want 20 surfers crucified on their boards for my funeral.
Here a few pics:
You don’t care about buffs? What about this…
So I was supporting the church and attending animal torture. I may consider sponsor a banker and voting right wing.
Not enough blood? Here more.