Today I stumbled onto a lost bastion of myself on the Internet. Like finding 20 bucks in the back pocket of an old pair of jeans, I’d forgotten about a reasonably extensive photo library I’d put up into the Googles at some point in time for some reason, and then completely abandoned.
Aside from the fact this triggers all sorts of thoughts about identity, and memory; you’re always alive somewhere when someone thinks of you.. and then when everyone dies, you’re maybe a tombstone or lucky enough to get into a history somewhere. But .. omg has the internet changed that? Maybe you’re alive so long as there’s this 20 bucks in a pocket somewhere on the Internet.
So that a metaphor for an image on some cloud storage. Anyway.. fucking way too existential for this time of day.
..and so I stumbled on this library of shit I put together for my Dads significant birthday of some number. And I found today’s featured image. That’s me and my dad. On motorbikes, at Lake Toba, in Sumatra, Indonesia. In 1993. Most of you probably weren’t even born, or if you were, definitely weren’t as cool. Fucking crossed arms and shit, look at me.
‘Wut..? Fuckin take the picture..’
Actually it wasn’t really like that. I’m massive sheepish in that picture because I’d just fucking stacked the bike. What kind of dad let’s his 13 year old son ride a motorbike.. ok scooter.. in a dirty developing nation in a rural area.. and expect him to keep up whilst he fangs it around gravel roads. I wrote a journal at the time..
“..the roads are fairly potholed and you have to sound the horn every time you turn a blind corner to signal traffic that you’re there..”
I don’t have huge recall of “the incident” so I’ll let 13 year old Murray talk..
“As we approached a rice filed, dad put on the brakes suddenly to avoid a crack in the road (fuckin dad), I anticipated too late and was in the process of overtaking (because I was too close to stop completely) and my front wheel buckled in the mud of the rice field, (I love this bit..) I dived off and executed a forward roll to break-fall..”
That part was pretty sick actually, I remember it well.. it all went Matrix slow motion and I made a calculated and calm to decision
‘..fucking bail mate..’ so I just jumped off the bike, dived head first toward the mud, and tucked in and rolled as I landed. Fucking sick. It was all the karate I was doing at the time.
I grazed my leg.. and drew a picture:
Pretty muscular leg. I was ripped.
I took a wash in the lake at that point to remove all the scum .. dried off an applied an anti-septic. I was a bit of a phobe at that stage in my life and remember being paranoid my leg was fall of from a new kind of exploding flesh bacteria whilst sitting in the open air restaurant that night. It could have also been exacerbated by the plumes of marijuana smoke from the wait staff.
Hey, how was the bike though?
The bike was a bit scuffed up to be honest. And my dad was like..
“Oh hey, nah don’t worry .. they’ll never see it..”
“So we’re not gonna tell them..”
So the dude comes over whilst we’re mid-satay in the restaurant and is like..
“You bike crashed”
“Bike.. is broken.. crash you”
“Oh.. huh.. umm.. maybe mate yeah. Sorry” my dad says..
“Okay you pay..”
And here I’m like .. fuck this is meant to be a budget trip.. we were backpacking.. and this is what backpackers do.. scum out of things.. so I was worried.
“30,000 rupiah” which at the time was like $18 bucks.. which seems wildly inaccurate actually now I check it.. hmm.. marijuana.
“Oh shit.. sure mate.. here” dad says.. handing over cash. And the guy goes back to his rasta dancing and forgetting our fucking main course. We sat there for 2 hours.
My journal notes I slept well that night, probably still hungry though, probably had the munchies.
So I’m glad I found this lost archive of Murray on Google, and one day, if I can get my years resolutions sorted, those journals will make it onto here. But until then, I’ll be relying on the synapses I get when stumbling over this stuff.
Lake Toba. Go.