I HAVE A FRIEND WHO WROTE HER PhD DISSERTATION ON “HOARDING” in literature. Apparently, there are characters in literary fiction—and the real world—who have a problem collecting things, but more specifically, tossing stuff away. I may be one of them.
Cut. Cut. Take five: Fade to black.
The first few sentences above, before we cut to break, began my attempted post for last week’s Photo Challenge prompt: trio. I had decided to write a simple, short piece, 500 words. However, it got away from me. It began to ramble toward infinity, ran off on tangents, returned to some vague point about threes. It drifted away from “hoarding.” Then, ran off on other tangents about collecting sacred waste. It ran so far away from “trio” that I don’t even know where it’s heading now, probably nearing quadruples. So fine, making lemonade here, again.
If there is a rule in cyberville that says I can’t post a week late, or that I can’t combine the photo from last week’s prompt and transition it to next week’s prompt, or pretend that by using this week’s prompt in a sentence instead of actually addressing that prompt, then I guess the WP police will be knocking on my door any time now. In my defense: I do believe there is at least one transition here.
Long stories short:
The knife on the left wrapped with green twine: Indonesia. Bali. Perhaps 2001. A trek in the jungle with a guide who made that knife and wooden sheath. He used it to cut our way through thickets of vines. He sliced open coconuts, he slit the skin of snake fruit. More than once, he had killed snakes with that knife, but we saw no snakes on that trek. The blade is not stainless steel, but easily holds a razor sharp edge. The “clip” on the back of the sheath that holds it to his belt is made of deer antler. I eyed that knife hanging from his belt all day long. I think I might have some kind of “thing” for knives. After the trek, I offered to buy his knife. I paid the price he asked, didn’t even try to bargain. I acted like what the Balinese call tourists who visit from Japan; it’s not a pejorative term, it’s a just-what-is term. They call them: “Japanese.” Because the Japanese will pay any price asked, and never lower themselves to bargain. There are three prices of goods in Bali: local price, tourist price, Japanese price. I paid Japanese price.
The scythe on the right: also Indonesia. Maybe 2009. I was living in a little joglo from Java. Every day Ketut worked in the rice paddies outside my place. He wielded this blade like Luke Skywalker. It’s a simple tool, but very effective to trim a rice paddy. Again, I paid Japanese price.
I usually bargain for purchases in Indonesia. It is expected. It’s their culture. It’s a “when in Rome” kind of thing. But sometimes, maybe, I just feel a little …um, perhaps… Japanese. Or, generous. Or, responsible. Or, simply—what’s the word—grateful.
The knife in the middle is from Timor, an island lying at the east end of the Indonesian archipelago. It may have been 1990. There is a lesson in bargaining for a lower price to be gleaned here. And something about endangered trees. I’ll tell you that story another time, when I can write more than 500 words.
You can find other entries to DP Photo Challenge here: Transition
You can find other entries to Lucille’s Photo Rehab here: Photo Rehab