Our friend Nick was cooking all afternoon. He made a coconut chicken stew and fried rice, bagged it all up and called us. Some friends of his had showed up with a car and were giving us a ride to the birthday party he had come for. His niece had turned 21. We were invited too!
When we got there, we were pretty impressed by the amount of food on the table. Nick had to work to fit his contribution on it. There was way more than the people around could eat. Everyone was standing around the table, not touching the food. Some of them were drinking beer. Weirdo was all yeahyeahyeah because he thought he’d get one. But he wasn’t offered anything. It was a bring-your-own-beer party, and there wasn’t much to go around. This seemed a bit puzzling for a place with such a massive drinking problem, or so say the stats. The only one that was overtly drunk was Iris, the grandmother of the birthday-girl. She was bossing the crowd around really loudly and by the end of the evening, she was shakira-dancing all alone in the middle of everyone. If we had a medal, we’d have given it to her, but all I could do was give her a hug.
When the birthday girl showed up, everyone rushed to the table. Nick was quick to bring us some plates. We were holding back, thinking of going when the first rush would abate. But you get only one shot. When the first rush was over, there was no food left. People ate with one hand, and piled food-for-later in another plate with the other. The family had provided plastic wrappers. In less than an hour, the table was empty and so was the place. People had gone home with their arms full of wrapped food. We found that really amusing. Nick said : “Time to go”. So we went.
Finally some blood!
The next morning we were woken up by the screams of drunk people outside. Deli picked me up and went to see the fight. I have no idea what started it. In a group of twenty dudes that went down the street, one started beating another up like a freaking mongol. The others tried to pull them apart, but it was no use. Right in front of our gate too! That was a bit unexpected. In three days on palm island, the alleged most violent place in the world, we hadn’t seen any sort of violence from adult to adult (they make a habit of hitting children every now and then though).
They were gone as suddenly as they had come. Our ferry out was at 13, we hitchhiked to the other side of the island for a last swim on the beach, and gone we were.
Weirdo is going to write an in-depth analysis that will probably sound really phony to anyone that knows anything on the topic, given that we got only three days of immersion. This blog is for adventures and cool shit. What can I say… It’s really nothing like what the wikipedia article paints. Palm Island is a pretty cool place, with pretty cool people on it. I liked Deli a lot because she’s so cool. I liked Nick too but he was too busy to spend much time with us. I like the school kids. They were loud and obnoxious and curious and still a bit puzzled about us even after we explained for the third time that we just came to check out the place. I liked the beach. It’s too bad about the guy that got beaten up. And Nick always had a story about a buddy that got killed, or another one that is in prison, or another one that committed suicide, so it can’t all be as pink as we saw, but we liked it and we’ll seriously go back to see Deli again if we’re ever in the region again.