Sometimes misadventures make better stories than regular adventures. D’mitry was yet to learn this as we set out for what was intended to be an awesome day on a secluded beach on an island off the coast of West Sumatra. What actually happened was we stood under a giant slide in a tropical downpour at an average water park. How did this happen? Well, it’s a much more interesting story than merely going to a beach and frolicking in the shallows, I assure you.
After hiring a bus for the day, I found myself being driven just over an hour with a handful of friends to a quiet beach from where boats would take us to a secluded island. Already we had encountered a problem. Rain. Many of you may have experienced rain during tropical wet season but for the less travelled allow me to elaborate. Imagine you are standing in a shower. With your clothes on. Whilst at the same time being pelted with water bombs and shot at with water pistols. And I’m not referring to the little ones, I mean the big, awesome super soaker ones that you always begged your mother for every time you went to a toy shop but somehow you always ended up with smaller ones for your birthday. That kind of water pistol. And now picture all of that sopping imagery outside and that is what a tropical downpour is like. Once we arrived at the beach the rain had lessened but was far from over. I decided to help pass the hour we had to wait for the boat by buying sate. Being fundamentally chicken on a stick, I had always ordered sate from local peddlers by telling them how many sticks I wanted. As it turns out this peddler was different and almost leapt for joy when I told him I wanted five, not that I understood why until he handed me five packages of sate with rice. That’s about enough food for five people. What did I do with all that sate? I took it to my friends and pretended I’d intentionally shouted them all lunch. Because I’m kind hearted and whatnot.
Eventually we decided that even if we waited out the boat the rain wouldn’t stop and so gave up on the island beach. D’mitry was quite disappointed seeing as I was going to take his picture frolicking along the sand and in the shallows. Perhaps another time. So we boarded the bus once again and faced another dilemma: what now? We had hired the bus for a full day and it wasn’t even 11am yet. Eventually the bus driver said he knew a good place to take where we would still be able to swim and so we spent another hour traveling to the mountains.
This is how we ended up at a water park, and not an overly fantastic one at that. After the bus driver had driven what was a very long way by Indonesian standards we felt obliged to at least give the park a try so we paid the entry fee and made our way to the pools and slides. Not only was it still raining but the rain had actually become heavier. So we laughed and splashed our way through the park, D’mitry tucked safely and soundly in my backpack, dry and comfortable while I began to wonder why I had showered that morning. Upon finding the pools and realising they were in fact rather unimpressive we all huddled under one of the slides,trying to wait out the rain. And that is how beach day became huddle under the water park slide away from the rain day.
But life is much more fun if you make the best of everything. So when the rain didn’t die down we splashed our way back towards the gate via dodgem cars. Surprisingly the only undercover amusement was rather empty, but then again clueless foreigners are probably the only people dumb enough to go to a water park in torrential rain.
Beach frolicking will have to wait for another day. D’mitry still has a plethora of adventures to enjoy in the meantime.