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PP1 - The beginnings

I have done a pretty crap job at writing here the last couple of years. I did good for a long time and then not so much. But now is a good time to dig the blog out of the hole where it had fallen, because shit is happening.

One of my good friends suggested to keep a track of it all, and that it would be good to share the struggles and the wins, and that a year down the line it would be cool to go back and have a read again.

So this is the first post of a series called PP: Penida Project (which I won’t bother to translate in French, sorry in advance).

The Penida Project is going to be this thing where I get land on Penida and build a dive shop on it. Yeah, crazy.

Just to be clear, this didn’t happen one night at the bar where my evil twin the Vodka Fairy was out and lost a bet. I actually made the conscious decision of doing it. Even crazier.

The entrance to Ze Land

So this is how it kind of happened: I had this in mind for a long time. I went to see places in Indo, until I decided that I liked those Penida/Lembongan waters and the area around it was better for me than anything else. Then Lembongan went a bit nuts and everything was too expensive and too busy and Penida was starting to happen. So I went looking around.

Somewhere along the way, probably over a couple of bottles of wine, I talked to Julia about this, and then somehow she was on board (not straight after the wine mind, she did give it some thoughts, I am giving you the short version here).

So here we were, trying to find land. It took us pretty much 18 months. We visited I don’t know how many places. Talked to countless amounts of people. Tried to secure a first plot of land which never came through and wasted months doing that, then went back again, then found another one, then spent another 6 months until we did get a contract signed a few weeks ago.

Already countless headaches and stressful days and a million of questions such as: is this the right place, can we build on this stupid slope, shit are we really going to have enough money, etc.

Until we signed the contract and we looked at each other going: well, there is no going back now, is it. I am not going to lie, we had a few moments of sheer panic. It is probably not going to be the last of those.

Meet Julia, doing what she does best at the moment which is talking to contractors in Indonesian about building shit

But it’s happening, which is a good thing because both of us are out of a job so we can make the PP happen, and unlike our landlord seems to think, money doesn’t grow on trees. (“Pohon uang” in Indonesian = a money tree. We started making money tree jokes early in the process when we figured out he thought we had a few of those).

So far, we have learnt quite a lot and we haven’t even started the damn thing:

  • Our Indonesian got much better. Try discussing land contract in Indo, it’s a good laugh the first few times. I still need to progress and I feel the progresses will be quite steep in the next few months

  • We work well together. Yeah, sort of important that. So far we are doing a good job at balancing each other when one is having a meltdown and supporting each other. We found out we have complementary skills in a lot of fields: J does good cop and makes friends and H does bad cop or frowns when asked for more money. J comes up with 50 ideas per minute but won’t pick one of them until cornered by H. H looks at J every two minutes when the conversation is in Indonesian with interrogating and desperate eyes. And so on.

  • We didn’t realise how crazy it was going to be until we actually had the contract and found out the amount of stuff that needed to be done. That’s probably a good thing, we might have ran away otherwise.

So here we are. An empty land with a gorgeous view and a plan to make it happen. This is going to be an interesting year.

(I will not commit on how often I will do this but I will do my best. If you want to receive those in your email there is a little box on the right hand side where you can type your email.)

For now I am sitting on an empty land. But soon enough...

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