I was in Pelabuhan Ratu the other weekend with the Little Lady who thought she'd spend a grand or so to come up from Australia and see me for the weekend. I guess when you live in Canberra, you'll do whatever you can to get away.
We'd just pulled into town and were meandering our way along the coast looking for somewhere to find some lunch when a guy on a speeding motorbike suddenly appeared to our right driving in the middle of the lane going the wrong way banging on our window and yelling "Maerot, Maerot".
It doesn't sound like any Indonesian word I know, so I start running through the 15 or so Sundanese words I know to try and find a match. He seemed so excited about whatever he was yelling I was beginning to get a little worried. "Bridge out ahead", "new bombing in Jakarta", who knows?
Our driver seemed unpeturbed, waved him off and we moved on. We had a bite to eat and made our way to the strangest hotel in the world.
After booking into our room, a flourescently coloured canvas dome on a 20 metre high pole out at the end of a 5 metre long, 1 metre wide bridge from what the owner claimed was the highest free standing wooden structure in Indonesia, if not the world and comforted us by assured us that "no architects or civil engineers were involved", I wander down to the car to tell the driver that he can go for a wander if he wants because we're going to be there a while.
As I get down there, he and one of the caretakers are laughing about something.
yang tadi teriak-teriak tuh, anu, teriaknya "Mak Erot". Dia mo anterin kesana
the guy that was yelling before, he was yelling "Mak Erot". He wanted to take us there.
Eh, apaan tuh
Um, what's that?
Mak Erot, orang sini. Pernah denger?
Mak Erot, she's from around here. Have you heard of her?
Oh, Mak Erot. Gah pernah, kenapa dia?
Oh, Mak (Grandmother) Erot. Never heard of her, why?
Dia bisa gedein barang
She can make things bigger
Make things bigger?
Iya, barang... Anu, barangnya laki-laki.
Yeah, things... Um, men's things
Iya... Anu, kemaluan. Ah...
Yeah... Um, the, uh, private parts (lit. the shame). Um...
Ah, barang... Uh, gimana ya?
Oh, things... Uh, how does this work exactly?
Well, she massages it. (makes motions not unlike the milking of a cow)
Diurut? Sama Mak?
Massaged? By a grandmother?
Iya. Katanya laku dia.
Yeah, word is she's pretty busy.
Terus? Makin gede, barangnya?
So? It actually gets bigger?
Iya. Tapi nggak bagus tuh, nggak alami. Paling dua, tiga hari kembali lagi
Yeah, but it's not really good, not natural. After two or three days it goes back to normal.
Apa nggak sakit? Kok diurut aja bisa makin gede?
Doesn't it hurt? She just massages it and it gets bigger?
Ya, kasih minyak, trus diurut.
Well, she puts some oil on it and massages it.
Anak-anaknya banyak tuh, di Jakarta. Tapi banyak yang palsu juga. Ini yang asli
Her students (lit. children) are all over Jakarta. But lots of them are fake. This is the real one.
Well... If you're looking for something unique to do next time you're in Pelabuhan Ratu. Keep an eye out. The guy's who know the way are near the first bridge when you're driving along the beach after passing through the town.