Five And Two Diet
25 August 2019
One of the great challenges of the cruising life, or, given my previous blog entry, voyeuraging, is sticking to a sensible, healthy diet.
Breakfast is under control. For us, porridge meets the needs of our/my latest dietary pursuit, the "wholefoods, plant based diet"; talked into it one night by Dr Buchanan,
over beer and salt and vinegar potato chips oddly enough. Not only will the wholefoods and plants keep off the weight but it actually reverses the effects of a previous bad diet..... of beer and salt and vinegar potato chips.
However, like all my great-ideas-at-the-time, pursuit of this lofty goal has been frustrated by the near continuous, back-to-back supply of Indonesian local government sponsored feasts.
In Pasarwajo we, the remaining "rally people" were cordially invited to the seventh annual Festival Pesona, Budaya Tua Buton. Having done a few gala lunches and dinners by now we kind of know the general theme and modus operandi. First, there's the early start, all of us powering ashore in our little dinghies in a nautical version of the daily commute, arriving at the dock, as requested at half eight or maybe nine o'clock. "That's not early" you may cry but believe me, when you've been up since four fifteen, woken by the dawn chorus of the competing mosques' call-to-prayer, thundering around the anchorage, broadcast on perhaps the world's worst sound system, you'd share our pain and my tinnitus.
We then hang around with our guides* for an hour or so while the things that should have been organised a couple of months ago, or even the previous night, get organised. Well, more like shuffled about a bit then magically, it all comes together and our transport arrives.
Once aboard we are launched into the virtual reality world of a video game, Grand Theft Auto or such like. Choosing a side of the road is a matter of personal preference, dependant on factors like the amount of shade or if one of the drivers relatives lives on that side of the road. As for the million or so scooters, they and their riders are considered as bumpers in a pinball machine and I am left with the mental image of scooter occupants hanging from the branches of roadside trees swept aside by our bus trying to make up the lost hour. At night, lights are entirely optional and many drivers seem to try and slip through the traffic entirely unseen.
Somehow we get there and are welcomed as honoured guests. Locals who got there early and managed to get seats with a nice view are quietly shown the door / turfed out and us lot take their place. To be honest, that's another of my poor attempts to keep you, the reader, amused. The reality is that the locals fall over themselves to give us their seats and welcome us. It's as overwhelming as it is generous and a bit embarrassing. But everyone is happy and the payback is a couple of hundred selfies with the delighted, smiling ex seat holders.
Then; grubs up. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, some days, all three is presented. Cassava in its many forms, rice, boiled, , fried or rolled and steamed in banana leaves, tiny fish, big fish, lobsters and, if you're really unlucky, as I was yesterday, an item that you're not sure whether you should stamp on it or eat it. Most of the food is good but for me, one of the rally's less enthusiastic experimenters in local cuisine and without intending to be rude, sometimes it takes on the mantle of a dinner in a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
It was therefore something of a relief to find ourselves in a small eatery in Bau Bau the other day when I could get on with my five and two diet.
Five doughnuts and two coffees.