Saturday, 3 October 2015

Along the way

The joy of asphalt

On a typical day driving through the sleepy fishing village of Kerta Sari, it is not unusual to come across children on bicycles, groups of people sitting by the road for their daily gossip, a herd of goats wandering around in search of some grass or a cockerel running across the road as soon as you drive close to it.

Strolling through the village streets pre-asphalt!

It is befitting of such a place to have a sandy/ dusty path as the main thoroughfare. So you can imagine what a novelty when the one main street gets covered in gravel in preparation for asphalt. After months of anticipation, the paving machine made its way to the outskirts of the village. Typical of this part of the world, there was no forewarning about road closure so we had to negotiate with the improvised ‘traffic warden’ to allow our car and the truck loaded with building materials to proceed to our house. It is amusing to watch, and somewhat frustrating to endure, the delight on people’s face when they are in a temporary position of authority.

The laying of asphalt through the village lasted a few days. One evening as we headed out for a boat christening ceremony, as you do, we came across a stream of people waving to us to signal that we couldn’t drive any further. The final section of the street was closed. Crowds were gathered by the roadside to watch the giant roller machine drive back and forth compacting the asphalt. This went on for ages. It was the biggest event in this town’s recent history.  Even the goats made an appearance on the asphalt before being quickly ‘shooood away’!

the crowd puller

We can now reach the closest town in less time…hoorah! However, there is more traffic on the street now…bicycles, skateboards, motorbikes.

warning to all goats: keep off the asphalt!

It is amazing how something we deem as trivial in the ‘developed’ world can be viewed as ‘eventful’ in this part of the world.

Tip: Stop! take a moment to appreciate the world around you…and smile.

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