Above is a photo of my car, a 12-year-old Kijang. That’s a nine-foot longboard racked on top and a stand-up paddle board inside. The SUP board fills the car. I have to shove it to the side to give room to work the gearshift. This is how my car always is, ready for me to jump in and go surfing.
The other week, I was working on a story when I got an text message from my warung lady at Serangan that “ada ombak, orang sedikit” (being a smart entrepreneur, she has all her regular clients on speed dial). The Word of the Warung Woman had spoken, so I jumped in the car and drove the fifteen minutes to Serangan. The surf was marginal, to be honest, but there was a high tide roll in up the reef that would be something to do on a stand-up, for the exercise at least. I lathered sunscreen and put on my trunks and went to get the SUP out of the car…only it wasn’t there. Neither was the longboard on top. Then I remembered. The builder doing some renovations at the house had borrowed the car the previous day to get some stones and he’d taken the boards down. I’d driven all that way without even noticing the SUP wasn’t in the car with me.