Memories of Bali

I should note that this was originally posted in 1998.It’s good to be home.
Emily had went to Bali a few days earlier, as she had business and both my son and I still had school. On Christmas Eve we got to the airport and boarded our flight to Bali.

Like the song goes … “the weather started getting rough. The tiny ship was tossed. If not for the courage of the fearless crew …”We made three passes over the Island of the Gods, but it wasn’t meant to happen.
The rain was buffeting our sturdy craft. It was impossible to see anything, and then the peanuts ran out.
Well next thing you know … ol’ Wayne’s back in Surabaya.And Boy howdy, was I ever happy about that. I peppered the air with cries of gosh golly and dad burn it. I’m not happy.
Emily is waiting at the airport for me and her hand phone is obviously not working. My hand phone has previously given up the ghost.Now I’m using a phone card and trying to find a compatible phone. I find one , unfortunately it’s sandwiched between two phones occupied by men talking louder than seems necessary.
I can’t hear a bloody thing. I’m trying to explain the situation to my mother-in-law. She’s a nice lady who I communicate quite well with in person, yet her English doesn’t exist, my Indonesian is poor, the connection sucks and the surrounding noise is unbearable.
Well, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas at the top of my lungs, I compliment their country and their courtesy and I wish them on their way. My son thinks dear old Dad is ready for a new sport coat in that lovely wrap-around style.
Finally I get through. Everybody’s okay on that side. We waited in Surabaya’s Juanda airport for an hour and a half. Finally the plane boarded again. It was now 10:00pm. The flight to Bali is about 35 to 45 minutes. Bali is a hour ahead of Surabaya.
We arrive in Bali at 11:40p.m. Bali time. It’s drizzling. The taxi driver asks for Rp40,000. I decline.We walk out to the taxi booth and buy a voucher. We pay Rp 26,000. Christmas Eve passes in the back of a taxi.We arrive.
My wife is at work preparing a shipment of fruit to Hong Kong. I am now a fruit packer. By 12:00 p.m. Christmas day the fruit is packed and on it’s way. We shower, eat and almost everyone sleeps.

Me, … I’m wired. The rest of our merry band has fallen asleep. The nanny and the cook are watching the kids.The next day the lost sleep will catch up with me. I take a long walk. We were in Denpasar, Bali and it’s hot. I walk for an hour and come back drenched in sweat.

Christmas night we head to Jimbaran.

Jimbaran beach is a long strip of seafood restaurants. You order your food fresh. You pick a table. On the beach if it’s not raining, under the tents if it is.On a clear night the sound of the surf, the smell of barbecued fish and the majesty of a star-filled sky conspire to bewitch even the most cynical traveler.
The day after Christmas I sleep until 11:00a.m. I’m still tired when my two nephews and my niece wake me.Chinese-Indonesian children do not play outside and are generally spoiled. I’ve brought some cartoons with me. The VCDs keep them occupied for half an hour.
We head to Kuta that afternoon. We don’t go to the bars or the shopping malls. We find a relatively quiet beach and play in the surf. My son, who’s eighteen, seems more interested in the spectacle of topless women who frolic close by. My head may have turned one or two times.The surf-kissed sand has been rendered almost mirror-like. The sky is a rich blue with traces of white clouds. Gradually the blue becomes purple and the sun is a descending red ball. Pale pinks and rich oranges dominate the fading palate. A tropical sunset is beautiful and abbreviated.
In fifteen minutes it is dark. The stars are brilliant.Aside from a few moments of temper, the week passes uneventfully. We watch videos on New Years’ Eve. Two days later we hop in the car and head to Lovina.We’re going to see the Dolphins.
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Author: duplezwrites

I have been in Asia since early 1996, and have taught in local schools, universities and language schools in South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and China. I was director of studies at language schools in China and a secondary school administrator in Indonesia. Along the way, I've been a teacher-trainer in Korea, China, Thailand, and Indonesia. More importantly, and I hope more efficiently, I've been a husband, father and grandfather.

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