On bullies

Tonight, we were rudely awakened from much needed sleep, to be unceremoniously told to pack up and move out of our campsite. It was already a very long day for me, as I was up in the wee hours of the morning, and already on the road at about 7 am. The driving was tough, as the roads were winding and narrow, and the traffic has been mad. Finally arriving at the riverside full of cow dung was a surprising welcome, so I can finally lie down and have some rest.

Earlier on, I was already pretty upset with the whole ‘no one wants me’ thing… now I gotta move?? I’ve already got my tent and camp bed out, and I’m in my jammies ready to go to sleep.

It was a messy affair, rushing and packing up in the middle of the night, with people surrounding you and looking at you like some display in the zoo. We were having to move out due to ‘security concerns’…

It was plain blackmail really – either pay up or suffer the consequence. Under no uncertain terms we were told that it was not safe or prudent for us to remain there. There were people everywhere that night, skulking around the campsite, and standing so close that I can feel their body heat and smell their smelly feet. It got so bad for me, I literally chased them off by swinging my kitchen knife around as I was cooking, and carried the Apollo torchlight with me at all times so at the very least I could swing it to hit someone’s head, right?

The thing is, it wasn’t about the money. It’s about the principle. We will not be cowed into paying thugs. Or so they say. Of course, I agree with the management whole-heartedly. How to sleep with people gawking at you?
How to shower when there are guys not two feet away? Literally not two feet away. Not exaggerating…
Truth be told, I felt safer the minute we moved out, although it was already 11 pm, and the drive to the other campsite is 3 hours long – more narrow roads, and more switchbacks with the clouds racing up the mountainside in the middle of the night. Its pitch black outside, and the Kerinci-Seblat National Park is famous for Sumateran tigers making snacks out of truck drivers. Just last week, the guide told us, some fella was dragged off into the bush while changing a flat. I guess I’ll be smart, and not open the windows tonight.

The new campsite is OK, no river but there are toilets. Not exactly five star, but at least I can poop in peace. I won’t even bother with a tent or camp bed tonight, just myself surrounded by cool countryside air, on my sleeping bag, catching some much needed zzzzzzzs…..

Missing you mucho mucho grande, because you always make me feel safe – Jasmine.


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