It’s an ordinary morning in Ubud. My homestay is busy but not intrusively so. Ibu Wayan is doing laundry. Pak Made is watching football. The couple on the opposite balcony are drinking coffee, occasionally clinking their cups on their saucers. But somehow, amid the tranquility, something is happening.
My drying thong is being stolen. STOLEN from under my nose. And I don’t even see it. I’m still tapping, tap, tap, tapping. The couple are still clinking, clink, clink, clinking, as my thong, the one I’ve put for want of any other form of clean clothing on a little drying rack right next to me, is making its way away from me, without me even knowing.
To this very moment, I still have no idea where my thong is. One minute it was there, the next it was gone. The case of this mysterious underwear disappearance is baffling, because I maintain that if a man had come past with such ill intention I would have seen him, would have turned my head or at least seen his grasping fingers work their way around my thong from the corner of my eye. But I saw nothing. No one. One minute it was there; the next it was not.
And I’m having to wear my bikini bottoms. Again.