Words by Travis Ferré
The journey to Indonesia with your best friends is both luxurious and grimy. At times you’re trampled and sweating and gawked at on buses in Kuala Lumpur, eyes bulging out of your face with hopes of finding a toilet that isn’t just a porcelain hole in the ground to catch your ill-fated airport Burger King lunch. At other points along the journey, you’re showering in Singapore’s Changi International Airport lounge using expensive soap between chewing sushi samples, sipping Tiger beers and gawking at the stewardess team for Emirates. It is a stark contrast; similar to the one you experience boarding a 70-foot luxury yacht that is parked inside the tiny, nostril-stinging Padang harbor. These trips leave you confused and ambivalent. Humming in anticipation and excitement, while pondering the perplexities and intricacies and interactions of the human experience on this strange planet we live on. To go surfing!
Kolohe is quiet. But sitting shotgun and filming the chaos and traffic of the streets of Padang on his Super 8 camera. Kolohe is a talented lens man, but has quit broadcasting that since he starting wearing sports jerseys.
Whizzing past the surfboard-stuffed mini van are entire families of five on single scooters, carrying scrawny dead chickens ready to be de-feathered, butchered and cooked for dinner. One of Kolohe’s best friends, Ian Crane has a shit-eating grin he can’t wipe away. It’s his first time in Indonesia and all this is too much. The anticipation. The fun. The unknown. Kolohe is calm and pretty much knows the way through the hectic city of Padang to the boat he’s been on so many of these trips.
We board the boat around 8 p.m.. Jet lagged and filmy with travel debris.
Kolohe Andino is passed out on the couch. A sprawled out mess. Limbs across the cushions, upside down, straw blonde hair draped over the leather. One leg up high on the headrest. We just boarded the 70-foot boat called the MV Addiction but we’re still docked in the harbor waiting for Taj Burrow to arrive. We’re melting from 28 hours of travel but all sloppy smiles because Taj is coming.
At dinner that night on the boat, cooked perfectly by Andy, the boat’s chef, we all binge on stories of Taj’s influence. Trying to evacuate and purge some of our infatuation with our hero who would be boarding soon.
“Remember that scene in Montaj when he kisses that chick in France?” We all remember everything. Every close heat. Every movie section. Every interview. Every psyching smile. Hand placement. Every board. Every wave.
“Taj just texted me,” Kolohe announces at the dinner table. “It says: Better be staying up to have a Binny with me! Yew!”
Even Kolohe’s dad Dino is getting in on it. “He’s fucking Taj Burrow. Taj Burrow you guys!”
We finish the purge and everyone melts away to rooms. Well, everyone except for trip grom, photographer Quinn Matthews, who sleeps out in the front room with the boat’s crew. But everyone else.
Captain Dickinson prepares the boat for departure out to the Mentawai Island chain where we will tear for the next 11 days at sea. Away from everything except surfing. And friends. With a cooler full of Bintangs and Pocari Sweat and an amazing crew to cook and hangout with, everything dialed. Just waiting for Taj to arrive from his late flight.
Taj finally arrives somewhere around midnight. The crew helps him board the boat and store his gear. He walks into the boat’s living quarters to find Kolohe on the couch. Waiting up for him to have that Bintang. Completely passed out asleep, the sprawled out grom of old. Taj loves it.
Continued in Part 3 or read the entire story in What Youth Issue 9, on sale now.
Act Natural, our film project with Kolohe Andino will be out in 2015.