Rizal Tanjung as a Grommet

Photo by Sebastian Rojas

[Ketut] Menda gave me a board, Pica fixed it for me and Switra took me surfing. We were always going surfing, or if we weren’t surfing then we were talking about surfing.Till we fell asleep at night we’d talk about surfing. Every weekend we slept in the shop. We’d wake up at six, clean the shop, wipe the floor and all the shelves, and then at 6.30 we’d run to the beach. There were no walls then between Bali Barrel and the beach, it was all mud and grass and coconut trees, so we could run straight to the beach. Then we’d surf all day and go home starving, and on the way home we’d steal papayas and mangoes and cut them open with the fins of our boards. Our teachers at school looked at us weird because of our red hair and dark skin. And usually on Monday morning during the flag-raising ceremony in the schoolyard we couldn’t look up and sing the anthem because our eyes were sore and our noses were full of water from all the surfing we’d done on the weekend. We had such good times. I was happy then.

– Interviewed by Alex Leonard