It has been a long time since I was this lost. The previous time it was different: a massive mountain in Argentina, fog, snow ice and rapidly changing weather. And I wasn’t alone.This time it was on a small island called ‘Bunaken’ of the coast of Sulawesi. Despite it’s ridiculously small size, I managed to walk for hours without a clue of where to go. Even more humiliating: it was on the way back from a snorkeling trip. Calling the surroundings ‘jungle’ would be an overstatement, as it were mostly deserted coconut plantations. I hardly met anybody and the few persons I did encounter didn’t seem to have a clue that any major tourism resorts on their tiny island. My frustration with the situation only increased the scorching temperature and my water bottle was nearly empty. And then, there he was: an intelligent looking man, early 40’s, the perfect guy to ask directions. Just like his fellow island dwellers I was ‘only ten minutes away in roughly that direction’. I didn’t buy his story, but bought him instead. The ridiculous sum of 2,5 euro for supposedly a 10 minutes walk. I was delighted though. When we where well on our way, he got a call on his mobile phone. Even with my limited knowledge of Indonesian I could make out ‘foreigner, walking many hours, go to resort’ and he mentioned the price. He had to explain it three times to the woman on the other side of the line. She didn’t believe that a foreigner could get lost on the island, let alone pay such a sum. He gave up explaining and passed the phone to me. Within 3 seconds she knew that the foreigner her husband mentioned really existed. I did my best in confirming the story, ensuring my savior wouldn’t get into trouble at home. When I arrived ‘home’ a lone turned around plate was waiting in the communal dining area. The story of the ‘lost foreigner’ quickly spread amongst the resort staff (thanks to my savior). This ensured a big smile from the waitress when she delivered my long longed for food.
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