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Bira, Sulawesi Selatan

Two weeks in Bira in a few words...

- First class diving. I mean, really: sharks every day, not seen another dive boat in two weeks, awesome reef, shitloads of fish and macro stuff and weird underwater creatures, still some I had never seen before. And a few days of BLOODY cold water!

- Some lovely locals, including the guy running the guesthouse or the people at our favorite warung.

- Some awful local tourists on the weekend, and I admit I thought Chris was making up all the picture stuff. How wrong was I. "Hello Mister, photo? Photo?" (yeah they don't know "Miss" apparently). That was amusing the 1st time, annoying the 50th and driving me nuts the 150th. Although it also offered the opportunity to learn my first insults in Indonesian. Kepala udang = shrimp head = idiot, or my personal favorite: goblok = stupid.

- Beautiful area. Amazing beaches, great jungle and bike safaris on tiny roads, a bunch of boat construction, etc. Icing on the cake: almost no mosquitoes. But a LOT of goats. And of goat's poo, consequently.

- Having my dive buddy again. One that I can take 80mn dive with. That made me laugh so hard underwater that I choked on my reg. That can read my face underwater.

- The smells, the ones I remembered from Indonesia before: the frying oil, seaweed, burning garbage. The tastes also: spices, noodles, peanut and coconut, papaya, even that Bintang cat piss.

- Seeing the benefits of a couple of bahasa indonesian classes: Yeah, I can sustain for about 30 seconds the illusion that I can actually speak some indonesian. Then at the third sentence from my interlocutor there goes again the blank look on my face. But I will get there, eventually. Most used words: banyak hiu! (lots of sharks).

All in all, I have lost a camera, a kilo or two and about three days in total in planes and cars. But I have a bunch of new words in Indonesian, logged two dozens of magnificent dives, had an awesome time with my friends and met great people. So long, Bira, you shall see me again soon.

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