Waiting for the Monsoon

The Approaching Storm
  |  Gorp.com

Before we leave, we visit a restaurant for a drink and a quick meal. The woman who sold us coconut brings curried rockfish on a plate of white rice. I don't have money, but Alli picks up the tab.

I can't understand what he says to the fisherman and workers in the restaurant, but I'm sure I hear the word "monsoon" at least a dozen times. I look at the sky—still cloudy. A good sign, I assure myself.

When we returned, I came to the restaurant deck to write this letter. Monsor, the young owner who built the restaurant and bungalows, joins me. He's one of the few people that will stay through the storm. He'll watch his property and keep the Moonlight open for eight or ten brave locals who don't have anywhere else to go. Everyone else is packing up their businesses and heading to the mainland—many to Kuala Lumpur for the luxuries they've forsaken for island living.

Monsor rolls a cigarette of sweet tobacco in a palm tree leaf. The Japanese toilet cleaner writes down his address on Monsor's Christmas card list and jumps on the only boat leaving today. He's carries nothing but a small bag and the clothes he's wearing—having sold everything else months ago.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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