Perth today 8 to 20.. m m m m m…. (degrees that is).
Bali today? 25 to 30 mmmmmmmmmm!!! I don’t know how to insert smiley faces into a blog, but I would insert one here if I could!
We have arrived!! Well, we arrived yesterday and we are acclimatised totally, already. Peter is learning the language and I think by the end of our stay he will be speaking it fluently. He is a linguist, after all, and soon to be multi by the sound of it!
Arriving at Ngurah Rai we knew what to expect, having read the advice on Trip Advisor diligently every day and being coached by my one friend who has done this too many times to count – run. When you land, as soon as the ‘fasten seatbelts’ sign deluminates (according to Urban Dictionary this is a word) – RUN!! Run down the aisle of the plane, run to the VOA counter, run to the immigration check line and then STOP running. Stop running and stand in line in the humidity with all the people who you just outran, behind all the runners from the plane that landed five minutes before yours. Stand there, chat to the other runners you met as you ran and watch and wait for your chosen line to start moving – any kind of movement – keep waiting, then realise that out of six choices of line, you (actually your husband) has chosen the one line that is different from the others. It DOESN’T move!!
Keep chatting (mainly about how the line isn’t moving), then move lines and try not to be embarrassed that you are the last one to make it through. But, hey, you are at the front of the runners from the flight that has landed since your’s! You’re a winner after all. So, from time of landing to time of arriving at hotel, even after all that waiting, is probably less than two hours. I can handle that!
Oh, the emotions that sweep through my heart when I arrive in Bali!! They go way back to that first time stepping off the plane on Christmas Island as a 13 year old. The humidity, the heat. It has a smell. It is alive. It is incomparable and I love it, like people love snow! It is me. It feels like ‘coming home’!
We arrive at our villas after a short taxi ride. Our driver is so sweet. We chat and his English is so good. He only works from the airport, so we won’t see him again. This is how it is in Bali. It is an island of these beautiful people – ‘island people’, who are friendly and happy and never afraid to share about their families, themselves, their language, their food and whatever else you wish to pry from them in that short trip on crazy, crazy, dirty roads. This is their island and they love it more than we ever will be capable of. We are their guests and they treat us that way. I don’t think we are worthy.
Our villa – part of the Sun Island Boutique Villas property, opens onto our private garden with our own little pool. Peter is in heaven. We are in heaven and this little place is really beginning to grow on us!
So, what do we do the minute that big wooden gate closes behind us? We strip off our travelling clothes, marvelling at how these clothes were so inadequate just three and a half hours ago in Perth in winter, and we put on as little as possible and lie in the sun and swim in the pool and yes, as I said, we are in heaven!
We head out later, on one of my ‘planned’ excursions. You see, I have planned this trip. Bali is my place. Japan is Peter’s place. This time I know the lie of the land and I am the tour guide. Yes, so anyway, we walk up the street to Bintang supermarket to stock up on water, buy a bowl for our kaki no tane, hunt for chocolate and mixers to have with our duty free Tropical Fruits Absolut. As we head up Jalan Raya Seminyak I see the restaurants I have read about and planned to visit – so close. Hmmm, I think, this is going to be too easy. Yes, that thought actually did occur to me. We were in the little bank branch, almost across the road from our villas, exchanging our Aussie dollars for rupia at a rate of 8130 rupiah to the dollar and I had that exact thought.
Our dinner on the first night is as planned by tour guide extrordinaire – Ryoshi Japanese. We loved it, as I knew we would and there it was, almost on our door step. Mixed sushi and tempura. Pretty safe, I know, but so cheap and so fresh. I know we will go back, but I have so many other places planned (she whines). It is now 7.45pm and I have a feeling we’re going to eat late tonight. Just somewhere close. I wonder where that might be?
Plans – shplans…
My only ‘must do’ for Bali is in progress, I am happy to say – the remodelling of the old jewellery! Here is the updated ‘before’ photo.
I quickly realised I could go crazy with the ‘remodelling of the jewellery’. When I looked around Mayang for inspiration and ideas, with Peter’s help, mind you, it became obvious that very little wasn’t going to inspire us. It also became obvious that this could turn into a very expensive venture, so I decided to be rational about it, rational and controlled and responsible. If I could insert a ‘pursed lips’ smiley here I would.
I can’t wait to show off the finished product – CAN’T WAIT! It is my 45th birthday present, don’t forget. Peter and I both agreed on the design and we are both extremely excited waiting to see the finished product (which we can pick up on the 18th, so stay tuned). Ummm, actually there are two things being created from the ‘ashes of jewellery past’! Well, once it’s all melted down, it would be a waste not to make a couple of things, wouldn’t it??
OK, just quickly wrapping up now. We returned to our villa about 2pm, ate sates and rice for lunch, with our mixed tropical fruit punch (no, not our flavoured Absolut!) then luxuriated beside our little pool, me catching as many rays as possible and Peter as much shade as he could (as he happily dozed off for an hour). From there we just seemed to drift onto our computers and that’s where we’ve been ever since – editing photos from today, returning an email or two. I had to let someone know I couldn’t attend a meeting on Sunday coz I’m in Bali. Sooooo sorry… and reply to my friend concerned about us catching dengue fever and rabies and you know, before we arrived I was worried about all sorts of things, but now that we are here, they couldn’t be further from my mind. As are many thoughts from last week. They are vapourising one by one as the minutes tick on in our tropical little haven.
My only thought now, at 8.15pm is ‘will we have the gyoza and the sashimi tonight at Ryoshi?’