Reuniting with Java

For 6 months during 2011-2012 Maddy and I lived in the village of Batu Karas, West Java Indonesia. This is a little story about going back.

 Javanese Volcanoes as seen from Susi Air flight

Javanese Volcanoes as seen from Susi Air flight

 Right size, right wind but wobbly as... My trusty old point break reminding me that perfect waves in Java are never a given. Luckily, I was on my own.

Right size, right wind but wobbly as... My trusty old point break reminding me that perfect waves in Java are never a given. Luckily, I was on my own.

Getting out of Jakarta always feels like the best thing you ever did, every time. A city of more than 25 million people crammed into an impossibly small floodplain with aspirations of a western lifestyle makes for absolute madness, expressed as gridlock and pollution. The light plane ride out of there, however, is a whole different experience. Viewing the world's most populated island from the air is a pretty interesting lesson in human expansion. Any habitable space is built on, farmed and altered. All that's left is what is too high, too step or too difficult.

 My dear old friend Nenek (Indonesian for Grandmother), we shared many a laugh and it was a highlight to see her still kicking.

My dear old friend Nenek (Indonesian for Grandmother), we shared many a laugh and it was a highlight to see her still kicking.

Two of the local fellas here in Batu Karas have been sponsored by Deus and are soul-shredding up a storm on the long easy rights of the bay. It's so cool to see our little mate Deni improve out of sight and get hooked up by a big company. When we lived here, we'd pretty much surf the point (above photos) instead of the longboard rights in the bay. Every Sunday without fail we'd arrive to see Deni already out on his own and charging, for so many of the other kids surfing was just what you did after school, for Deni it is much more.

 Deni with one of his new wares, not a bad stick for a village kid

Deni with one of his new wares, not a bad stick for a village kid

 Still fun though

Still fun though

At the time I was a little restless here, always dreaming of other trips deep into Indo, future career options and places that might take me. Coming back, I now see this place more for what it is, just a super relaxed town with some of the nicest people in the world. You cant beat the feeling of seeing smiling faces everywhere, especially when they are pointed at you.

 And the feeds are always a delight

And the feeds are always a delight