MENTAWAI

I was privileged to visit the island with a westernized, youthful, beautiful lady companion to assist my old self.

 

The tour started from Padang, Western Sumatra through a small pump  boat which ended up at Sibeirut after traveling for at least ten hours starting at 9 in the evening of the preceding day.

 

From Siberut, we rode a motorized banca to reach a primitive settlement called Sakelot where the females do not have upper garments while men wear only loin clothes.

 

It was an arduous journey as we hiked through the slippery  muds with leeches, snakes, wild pigs and thorny plants and other obstacle  for at least three (3) hours.

 

It was further aggravated by the stamina of my aging self which intermittently had to rely on the helping hands of others to climb elevated areas and  cross rivers.

 

When we reached the house where we would stay, my body was filled with mud from the shoes up thus necessitating to proceed immediately to the bathroom and toilet.

 

True to the earlier pronouncement provided in the notice there was neither bathroom nor toilet.

 

It is unfortunate that the river which is the place to take a bath is situated at least 50 meters from the house and that you have to pass once more through the muds to reach it.

 

In view of the circumstances, I was compelled by necessity to request my companion to accompany me.

 

During these critical moments, I realized that there would be no room for any form of inhibitions.

 

My companion was similarly interested in cleaning herself and performing related activities.

 

We even exchanged notes on the ecstasy and relief of unburdening.

 

During the subsequent two days, to answer the call of nature is always characterized by fear thus  necessitating the presence of the lady companion who was coincidentally and willingly predisposed to perform a similar activity.

 

The only consolation is when you hear the query “Are you through there?” “Yes,  I am” was my courageous manly answer to cover up the lingering fear.

The journey for the purpose of experiencing the difficult primitive jungle life could have been perfect had we not discovered that there was some sort of misrepresentation that they could not speak in English.

 

On our way back to Sabeirut, the leader of the Village who joined us accidentally spoke in English.  Realizing that he violated the trade secret, he secretly admitted to me that he could really understand and speak English and that they should not appear to know the same in the presence of tourists.

 

The lesson in this complicated world  is that even in a remote jungle area,  do not to accept everything on its face value.

 

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