Several months ago, while visiting the beach towns of Pangandaran and Batu Karas on the south coast of Java, we learned about the legend of Nyi Roro Kidul, the goddess who rules those seas. In the beach town of Pelabuhan Ratu, a local hotel has a room set aside for her, outfitted entirely in green, her color. Indeed, you dare not wear green at the seaside, for fear of incurring her wrath and being pulled to a watery grave.
One night we were relaxing on the beach at Pangandaran, sipping some Johnny Walker Red among the fishing boats with Russell and a fellow Indonesian teacher named Tony. Denise remarked that she smelled flowers. Tony looked at us strangely, and said that smelling flowers was the first sign that Nyi Roro Kidul was coming.
Shortly after that, one of us mentioned that we saw lights in the water. We were completely unaware that this was the second sign that Nyi Roro Kidul was coming until Tony told us. He also mentioned that the third (and final) sign was actually seeing her castle rise up out of the water.
Sure enough, way out on the water, a raft floated by. It had a green tarp pulled over it, with a glowing light inside, that could easily pass for the castle of a sea goddess.
Thankfully, none of us were were pulled out to a watery grave that night.