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Living a story of Joseph Conrad!

Here on the Celebes Sea, it is ten at night. The sun has long gone; the sky is bright with a million stars as we track along the path of the Milky Way. I am lying on a simple mattress, on the open foredeck of one of the many ferries that ply the islands between Sulawesi and Mindanao. Above me, solitary meteors shoot through the high vault of heaven.

The diesel engines thrum deeply as a soft breeze sweeps over the deck, a trace of salt sea brought to my lips. We have just left two islands behind us; now we sweep northwards into the open sea. An Indonesian girl sings the refrain of a song she half remembers; the night is dreamily smooth, a glimmering light reflecting from the curving bridge behind me brings great serenity.

How wonderful the world can be, from a humble position on a simple mattress on the foredeck of a steamship in the Celebes Sea, sailing amid the stars in the dark heart of night.

First published on August 17, 2012 on Reveal Indonesia Facebook Page