about losing virginity and becoming a mother in the same day.

The past few weeks have been the Balikpapan routine, which literally means “not a lot of impressive stories”. To give you a better idea, my life’s recent highlights were:
– finding a bookstore with books in English (including four or five I am willing to read)
– having my first beer in Indonesia (Anker, it’s okay, but not worth the giggles of all those alcohol-abstaining Indoes. They were certain my face was a bit more red than usual after I finished that one bottle… of 5%…)
– putting my feet in a pond and having tiny fish eat whatever they can find on those. It’s a form of therapy and it tickles like craaaazy (I liked it though)
– being invited to Starbucks, and thoroughly realising their coffee really is quite dull
– more or less figuring out Indonesia’s law system, or better: figuring out its inadequacy
– landing an unexpected job (awesoooooooooome)

durian, a fairly small one, and not too strong either.

Anyway, all of that until two days ago. Two days ago, I lost my durian-virginity. That’s right, for the first time I ate that fruit everybody makes a big fuss about. The fruit that’s not available in Belgium, because it stinks too much to go on a plane. The fruit I even saw on the forbidden-signs in Bangkok’s Tube. The fruit a person either loves or hates.
I was given a mild one for starters, kept all the advice in the back of my head (“Imagine you’re about to eat sweet cheese!”) and popped it in my mouth. I’m not hooked (yet?), but I like it. So durian season started in Samarinda and sellers have made their way to streets of Balikpapan. We saw them on our way to KWPLH – the Sun Bear Sanctuary of Sungai Wain Protection Forest. We were going there, not for the bears, but for their cat house. That’s right, next to five Sun bears, KWPLH takes care of more than a hundred abandoned cats. And I happened to be in the possession of two tiny kittens, left behind in a cardboard box somewhere on my morning running route, screaming their lungs out.

Anne-Marie, the Sun bear/cat vet, dryly told me she was unable to take care of two such young kittens, but how about giving me a bottle and some pet milk?

…So now I am a mother of two.

One is about 2 weeks old, the other maybe a week (yup, that means they’re from different nests). One is a boy, one is girl; one has a full tail, one has a half tail (it’s something genetic to Bornean cats). They need feeding every two to three hours, day and night. They sleep on a hot-water-bottle wrapped in my sweater. They go everywhere I go.

… At least until they’re a few weeks old.

Wish me luck.

The smallest one (half-tail). Simultaneously holding, feeding and photographing kittens is not very easy.


2 responses to “about losing virginity and becoming a mother in the same day.

  1. Way to go Lien!

    Even though the title of your post made me think about other stuff… 🙂

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