The past few days, we’ve put our bodies through some tests. Right now for example, I’m typing with ten fingers and nine fingernails. Alright, I never truly learned how to type with 10 fingers, but the point is that I’m missing one nail. Forget about chronological order, I will begin this story with Bali instead of previously visited Bromo.

The flight to Bali only took us 20min instead of the scheduled hour. Probably they decided to to speed up a little because of our 45min delay. On the airport, the taxi drivers try to hunt us down. Whereas on Java we could get away with a polite No thank you, they are a little more persistent around here. Our hotel has been decorated amazingly. Our room is an old container that still has “state owned” signs on it. We have airco, large single beds, enough space to empty our backpacks all over the floor, our own shower and toilet! After being awake for 19 hours, we have a good deep sleep. Waking up, all ready for our three day surfing adventure on Bali.

We meet our surfteacher Kick in front of the hotel, from which he takes us one by one to the beach. Walking those couple hundred meters is way to far. He gives us a 9ft long board, a t-shirt and clear instructions. “Technique is important but, you have to feel it!” Okay, feeling, noted. With our equipment with us, we enter the clear blue water. The waves are strong and it turns out I’m not quite a natural talent. However, I start to improve, and I start standing up a little less shaky everytime. In between catching the waves I look around. Even without my contacts, I can see how beautiful it is out here, and how great some people are at catching those waves. Moreover, I secretly laugh at the how the other beginners fall of their boards, knowing that I look exactly like that, or maybe even more hilarious. I’m about to catch another wave when I look behind me and see the wave, as well as the super awesome girl who’s been my inspiration all day right there. She however doesn’t catch sight of me in time. I feel her board sliding over, but mostly past me. Everything seems fine, and nothing hurts. Next, I enter my nothing box. A nothing box is a box that is in your head that has literally nothing in it. According to Mark Gungor, only guys have this box, and up till today, I was convinced he was right.

After being hit by the really cool girl her surfboard, everything appeared to be fine, until I look at my right index finger. For maybe 5 seconds my mind was completely blank. I was thinking about literally nothing. Hello my dearest nothing box, I’m glad to know you exist. After those seconds, adrenaline kicked in. As I stared at my finger and saw a messy blooded surface at the exact spot were my nail should have been, I realised quickly what it was I should do: get my board, get out of the water, find a doctor. The girl and my surfteacher were lucky close to me, and helped me do so. She explained to me that she had to circle away from another girl to avoid hitting her, and as she did, she hadn’t seen me in time and had thus chosen the “wrong side” to head for. It was just bad luck, could have happened to anyone, and really I wouldn’t want anyone to carry the blame.

We grab our stuff and head for the nearest doctor. They treat it carefully and explain the entire nail is gone. Moreover, the nail-bed has been damaged too, so they’re unsure how and if my nail will grow back. They give me antibiotics (which only costed me like 80 cents) and ask me to come back tomorrow. I take a couple of pain killers but really the pain is not so bad. I don’t want to think too negatively but I realise that if I’d been a couple centimetres more to the side, it could have been way worse. To be honest, I think I got lucky.

Click here to see a picture of my finger, not for people with a weak stomach.

Things I need to start learning:
– write with my thumb and middlefinger, or my left hand
– put in my contacts with different fingers
– remember my laptop password because I can no longer unlock it with the fingerprint sensor since it only recognises my indexfinger

Things I definitely won’t stop doing:
– Enjoy Bali and it’s water, I’ll just go in up till my knees
– Enjoy the rest of our trip, because as difficult as it is, in the end it’s only one finger

Okay let’s go back to the past few days, because especially yesterday was too impressive to not write about. From Jogjakarta, we took the train to Probolinggo, to continue in a mini van tot our hotel. The train was no luxury this time; sitting on benches sharing our Asian leg space with 4 people. The van ride was quite the experience. It went from a woman on the side being carried to a hospital, to a huge fire we could see in the distance, till an emergency break followed by “is that cat still alive?”. We think the cat got away in time, at least we hope… At the hotel it was only 7 degrees, and we were shakily cold. However, that was nothing compared to the day after, because on the viewpoint over mount Bromo it was even colder, but it was definitely worth it! We got to see a beautiful sunset over the still active volcano. Moreover we got to climb up to the crater. The way to this crater was a tough one, since the temperature started to rise and the volcano dust filled our lungs until we qualified as smokers. The crater itself made a great loud noise which made every person secretly wonder whether it was going to erupt and whether they should start running already. The way down was absolutely stunning, gorgeous views, very satisfying.

After another bus trip and a flight, we arrived at Bali, ready for our surf adventure, or so we thought. 😉