I should note that this was originally posted in 1998.
It’s good to be home.
Emily had gone to Bali a few days earlier, as she had some 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 handphone is obviously not working. My handphone has previously given up the ghost. Now I’m using a phone card and trying to find a compatible phone. I find one, but 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 sports 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 10:00 pm. The flight to Bali is about 35 to 45 minutes. Bali is an hour ahead of Surabaya.
We arrive in Bali at 11:40 p.m. Bali time. It’s drizzling. The taxi driver asks for Rp 40,000. 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 its 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 11:00 a.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 frolicking 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.
Last episode we left for Lovina to see the dolphins.
Along the way, we pass the site of Gunung Agung’s 1963 eruption. The devastation was massive and thousands died. The Balinese believe that this was because prayers had been interrupted. Now the boulders, once part of Gunung Agung’s crown, are strewn about, but they are covered with lush vegetation. It was another example of nature’s power to repair itself.
I was reminded of a walk through Canada’s Algonquin Park.
Granted, it probably doesn’t need to be said that it certainly wasn’t similar terrain. A picture from the early years of the last century showed a devastated mountain.Trees, and earth torn away to run a rail line through. Then in the fall 0f 1995, I walked down that same path and tall, healthy trees shaded me. Waist high grass surrounded me. I was shaded by mature pines. Nature will right itself, once given a chance.
Now I stood in the lushness of Gunung Agung’s revival. Gunung is the Indonesian word for mountain, and the center of Bali is a spine of mountains. Many of them are still active volcanoes. As late as 1994 there have been eruptions. They don’t call the Indonesian archipelago the Ring of Fire because of the hot food. We arrived in Lovina. We looked at one place. They wanted RP 300,000 a night. That’s the price of a luxury hotel in Surabaya.
We found the Hotel Padma. We paid Rp 120,000 for each of two rooms, barely enough for myself, Emily, her sister Suzy, our son Adryan, Suzy’s three kids and a family friend. So, it’s guys in one room, and women in the other. The pool was clean large and warmed by the sun. We ate a large dinner and turned in. At 5:00 a.m. we were up and by six o’clock, we were in two traditional boats heading out to see the dolphins. We were about 20 minutes out when the first small pod appeared.
They surfaced, played about and were gone – only to reappear in another area. This went on for half an hour or so. Then a larger group appeared. The two groups surfaced, dived, disappeared, raced the boats and delighted their audience. It is impossible not to feel a little like an alien watcher, privileged to witness a very personal kinship with nature.
The surrounding mountains were mist-cloaked shadows at the water’s edge. The water was black in the pale early morning light, briefly disturbed by our bright-coloured boats and the sleek gray bodies that danced and dived around us.
Then it ended. We had spent almost two hours watching. It was impossible to tell who was more excited, the adults or the children.
After breakfast, Adryan and I went snorkelling. A reef lay about halfway between the shore and where we watched the dolphins. Again, we were in a traditional boat. A narrow canoe like craft with twin outriggers, a small (5.5 horsepower) outboard motor and an inverted, triangular-shaped, lanteen sail that also serves to shade our driver/guide as he naps. We don masks and flippers and enter the now blue waters. Colors explode around us. Angelfish, rainbow-hued fish, blue neon tetras and unfortunately a few too many jelly fish. We moved location twice. Adryan managed to find a French coin. Once cleaned, it was revealed as a 1995 coin, but still a find. I had to rescue it from the pool bottom later that evening, so the excitement of discovery was obviously short-lived. We stayed two days then headed back to Denpasar.
We flew home that Saturday.
Late or early
Customer: Oh, did I wake you?
Mechanic: Did you wake me? Who is this?
Customer: You’re fixing my car.
Mechanic: Do you know what time it is?
Customer: It’s late
Mechanic: Or early – depending on how you look at it.
Customer: I’m sorry. I didn’t know …
Mechanic: Okay. What do you want?
Customer: I’m at the airport and I don’t have a passport.
Customer: It’s in my car.
Customer: My passport. I left it in my car.
Mechanic: And …
Customer: I need it. Can you bring it to me?
Mechanic: Are you insane? I’m a mechanic, not a courier.
Customer: Could you have it sent here?
Mechanic: What time does your flight leave?
Customer: At 5:30.
Mechanic: It’s – it’s 4:40. I don’t have enough time to get to the garage and get your passport to the airport.
Customer: But I’ll miss my flight.
Mechanic: Why don’t you take a later flight?
Customer: I don’t know? …
Mechanic: You’re not going to make it. It’s too far.
Customer: Why is it too far?
Mechanic: First I have to get to the garage; then I have to open up, and then I have to find your passport in your car. Next, I have to call a courier and wait for him to arrive. Finally, the courier has to get to the airport. The fastest that’s going to happen is two hours.
Customer: Two hours?
Mechanic: I think we’re really looking at three or four hours …even if I can find a 24-hour courier.
Customer: What should I do?
Mechanic: I think you should reschedule your flight.
Customer: Reschedule? … for when?
Mechanic: If I were you I’d reschedule for later in the afternoon.
This is a good chance to try an activity on intent and inflection. Call a student aside and tell them to be happy when they read, tell the other to be angry. Next time try one sad and one happy. Try energetic and really tired. Ask the audience to judge how effectively the speakers communicated. Don’t let the audience in on what the subtext is all about. With time, they can identify things for themselves.
Today the world lost a rare gift. It wasn’t that Ali was an Olympic champion(he was), It wasn’t that he was the greatest professional boxer(he was), and it wasn’t that he was an eloquent and engaging speaker(he most definitely was) Muhammad Ali was the rarest of individuals in that he said what he meant and he backed it up. Ali was the epitome of grace under fire and of follow-though.
Muhammad Ali born January 17, 1942 – died June 3, 2016
Top ten reasons to Teach English
1. You can’t sit on the couch all year
2. Eventually The Kardashians is going to be cancelled
3. There is no new Star Trek franchise
4. Somebody has to do it
5. We can’t all work in retail
6. How many times are you going to apply at McDonalds?
7. Mom and Dad need a life
8. The girl next door is not ‘playing hard to get’
9. Someone is your graduating class needs to get a job
10. If you lived here, you’d already be home
Top ten reasons to live in the tropics
1. You’ll be there when the first coconuts come off the line
2. You could get a real suntan
3. People still won’t understand you, but you won’t care
4. Seasons? Who needs ‘em!?!
5. Sand gets in some interesting places.
6. Tan lines are better than …
7. Do you like shoveling snow?
8. Because you can
9. You will believe a man can fry
10. Fresh fruit
Top ten reasons to work overseas
1. You could use a change of scenery
2. Telemarketers won’t call
3. Something to talk about to your grand kids
4. Something to talk about on your next date
5. Get a date
6. Get off the couch
7. Disneyland is the most exotic place you can imagine
8. You need to update Facebook
9. Indonesia is not just a menu selection
10. Experience three kinds of Java (coffee, the island, and coding language)
Top ten reasons to leave home
1. Mom needs to change your sheets
2. Dad wants to have that talk with you
3. Uncle Bill’s off the wagon again
4. It’s better to have a housekeeper
6. Oprah’s going off the air
7. Even Dave is moving on.
8. Your passport needs love
9. The grass is greener on the other side
10. Get tagged in some interesting photos
Top ten reasons to be a teacher
1. Respect and some money
2. Sometimes you’ll actually feel like a star
3. You can make a difference
4. What are you saving all that language for?
5. You need some experience
6. Are you experienced?
7. You have to learn grammar someday
8. We can’t all be on American Idol
9. It’s a great way to meet people
10. You’ll enjoy it
Top ten reasons to see the world
1. It’s changing
2. It’s an interesting place
3. If you stand in one place the world will not come to you
4. It’s there
5. You’ll be amazed by what you see
6. You’ll be amazed by what you hear
7. You’ll be amazed by what you feel
8. You’ll be amazed by what you taste
9. You’ll be amazed by what you smell
10. People will be amazed by you
Joining the TEFL course in Indonesia, Surabaya
For those candidates joining our next course please contact us by
email or phone to arrange accommodation and airport pickup.
Also indicate when you’ll be arriving so we can have accommodation prepared.
Call +62 31 7317352
Call or text +62 081 703 284 155
Call or text +62 087 851 964 031
Yours sincerely,Wayne Duplessis
Presents TEFL Course & TESOL Course
Welcome to TEFL in Indonesia
TEFL Indonesia Teaching practice for November 2013.
Our teaching practices are conducted in local schools,orphanages and Children’s homes.
TEFL Indonesia graduates for March 2013
TEFL Course Schedule
Surabaya,East Java USD 1,500 (excluding accommodation)
- USD 1,790 (excluding accommodation)
- Accommodation: USD 150 – USD 250
Please contact us with any more questions
- Tefl Training in Indonesia
Java is one of the most beautiful places on the planet,
and still possesses a wealth of natural and cultural wonders.
Join our TESOL Course in Surabaya, Indonesia or in Bali
With a wide variety of social and cultural activities, water sports and other
activities, vibrant nightlife, delectable Indonesian cuisine, friendly
people and close proximity to an abundance of teaching opportunities,
Surabaya and the surrounding areas are sure to have what you are looking
for in a learning location.
TEFL means Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and it’s a certification that is required by learning institutions to teach abroad.
The current demand for teachers is huge.
Upon completion you will have the credentials required to work or Teach English Abroad as a teacher in non-native English speaking countries.
No previous teaching experience or specialist qualifications are required.
The only requirement is fluency in English.
Copyright 2007 TEFL Indonesia. All rights reserved
Designed and maintained by Wayne Duplessis –
Contact TEFL Indonesia with any more questions
Fitness and other ludicrous fantasies
Saturday, May 10, 2008 2:57 PM
I’m trying to get back to some semblance of fitness.
My little guy is a bit young for organized sports, although the older son did play basketball and football in school.
Myself, the occasional hike and a light workout.
We have a rowing cycle and some dumbbells. amazingly enough, they do get used.
We were in the mountains last weekend. Still sporting a nasty bruise. A sudden rain hit and I went sliding off the side of the mountain and bounced off a couple of trees. I think the local foliage came off worse than me.
All the best,Wayne,Emily and Wyatt