It’s almost one at night. Today it’s Almar’s 20th Birthday and we decided to celebrate it with a bonfire on the beach. The dying fire is crackling under the starry night sky. The sand of the beach is sticking all over my body. All our friends from our class already left, taken by the tiredness of the late night and the busy days ahead. But the party is not over! We are anxiously waiting for our new Indonesian friends, members of a local band, who we met the night before in the most spontaneous and casual way.

Yesterday, Almar, Evgenia and I decided to go for a drink after dinner to enjoy some live music at a nearby bar. Only after a short while, the lead singer of the band spotted us in our pale skins and western traits and called us to introduce ourselves and share a few words on the stage. All of this quickly escalated and in a blink of an eye we organized a birthday party for Almar, also inviting them after they would be done with the evening performance! Excited for the event, after buying a birthday cake and a few dozen Bintangs, we made our way towards the Lorin Beach Resort where we would spend the next two nights. And there everything started. Sitting around the fire, chilling and enjoying ourselves we were telling everyone to hang on and wait for the surprise that would come. Unfortunately it’s Indonesian time and our new friends are a couple of hours late and everyone leaves.

Still, we don’t give up and all of a sudden we hear motorbikes approaching! It could be them! After a few false alarms they are all finally here, with guitars and good vibes. Cheered up by their presence, we start singing and sharing stories until the early morning. After a few hours it feels like we have known each other for ages. Getting sleepy, we greet them and go to bed at first light. But our time together is not over! We already arranged a fish barbecue on the beach for tomorrow! But that’s another story….

All of this, together with other episodes in the last three weeks, made me realize that spontaneity, flexibility and openness to trying new things and experiences is all you need to make the best out your time in Indonesia! Fixed plans, tight schedules and a rigid organization are not compatible with the Indonesian lifestyle and mentality anyway. Just dare more and be open to all kind of possibilities that could change the course of your day anytime!

Written by: Francesco