Most lunchtimes I walk the 10ish minutes from my office in Audian to the suburb Lecidere, which sits just back from the beach road. It’s a busier suburb than Audian, with more cafes and lunch options, and if I don’t make lunch plans with a friend I’ll often run into one anyway.
Today I walked down, trying to decide where to eat. I’ve written before about my favourite, Lili’s warung — a point-point Indonesian restaurant where you can get a heaped plate of rice, vegetables and tempeh for $3.50 and a smile. I also like the new cafe called the Spa, which serves the pumpkin-feta wraps and single-origin long blacks you’d expect in a lunch joint in Perth or Melbourne. But today I went to Agua de Coco, a tiny, Portuguese-run cafe that serves $1 coffees and Dili’s best sandwiches.
Every afternoon I pass the pulsar guys and the high school students in their long blue skirts and shake my head no at the flashing lights of crawling taxis and meet the silent, staring eyes of older men sitting out the front of kiosks on the way down. I hit Lili’s first, but today continued past, turning left at Eastern Burger, telling the pulsar guys drooping in the shade that I’d come back with change, pushing open the door of the shop and swooping inside with a relieved sweaty sigh. There are two customers in the cafe and I know one of them — my new backgammon coach — and I join to share sandwiches and conversation and rousing optimism. Ok, see you Friday, coach. Back out in the sunshine, I head towards the supermarket to buy fruit and cold water, and spy a friend exiting Lili’s. We exchange smiles and I cross the road, returning with my water to see the friend’s colleague emerging from the Spa. A dash back across the road, a hug and a hello kiss, exciting news volleyed back and forth across the footpath as another new friend and his mother grin their way past, all mirrored sunglasses and toothy white. SO much to tell you, we need to have lunch, oh my gosh yes PLEASE, Lili’s soon?! — then over to Eastern Burger for pulsar (dollar lima la iha, ok, uh, five $1s please then?) and a hike back up the hill to Audian under the baking midday sun.
Back in my still, quiet office now, cooling down in the air conditioning and enjoying the last few minutes of my lunch break. I live in Farol and work in Audian, but days like today, Lecidere feels like home.