Hi all – I know that I have been an absolute derelict about sharing our journey here in Bali, but thanks to your encouragement and requests, I am trying to get back to it. Sorry for my lack of discipline. More on that in an upcoming Cocktail, but for now, I want to update you all on . . . well MONTHS! So, after long trips to Sumatra and Australia (more on those later), and with the impending rainy season, we moved from Canggu on the southwest coast, to Sanur on the southeast coast.
The difference is surf-oriented. As the winds change during rainy season, the swell changes and creates waves on the east coast while diminishing them on the west coast. But for me, the difference is all spiritual! For me, Sanur feels like what Paris or Bohemia (Prague) must have felt like back in their art-filled days. It is loaded with artists finding their way, sharing their experiences, collaborating and expressing. I have gotten involved in a Christmas choir, an improvisational dance class, and I will be working with some musicians in the new year to potentially create music for voice and gamelon!
As in Canggu, we are only about 400 yards from the beach, living in the Mertesari neighborhood. This is considered to be a retirement expat area, yet I have met plenty of young people. Canggu’s focus on partying and ‘finding yourself’ is Sanur’s focus on being grounded and getting things done. This suits me much better and I have met many more friends here. We have found ourselves in a little ‘community’ of 8 houses. They are duplexes, and as with all things Bali, the shared wall comes with an open apex, so sound travels across the ceiling. Luckily our neighbors are two sexy women in their late 40s. They are fun, and I love their Tibetan singing bowl and the wind chimes they play every morning!
The rainy season is upon us, but it is truly not much different from July and August in the southeast US. You simply get your outdoor activities done before 2pm or 3pm because the storm will come and rain you out. The lucky thing is that the sun rises here at about 5:45am so there is plenty of sun time for activities. And the sun sets about 6:30 so evening rains make for a calming, cleansing night on the veranda. Of course, this is an outdoor world, with open walls, al fresco bathrooms, and scooters – so you must learn to deal with the humidity and mosquitoes, and eventually you will get wet while scootering or cycling. Sadly, my Baggalini purse is not water proof, so I have taken to stuffing it in a water-proof bag while on scooter or bicycle
Critters are everywhere during rainy season! We found a scorpion in out bathroom in
Canggu just before we moved, and our neighbors found a snake in
their yard – and sent him in our direction! But they share their hunting cat, so it’s all good. Our favorite critter is a very large gecko that lives in the eaves of our house and eats our outdoor bugs for us. Sadly, he also has a designated poop spot just above my clothes basket (they do not change course on this!) so I had some clothes cleaning to do before moving the basket!
With regards to the cultural experience. We are solidly in ex-pat territory, and I am a little ashamed, but I really enjoy it. Our group of neighborhood friends all enjoy and respect the Balinese culture, so it is the best of both worlds. And I have learned that if I bike to the non-beach side of the by-pass, there is a lovely Balinese community to get to know. Many of our neighbors work with the locals, and when I took a recent spill on wet tile (a rainy-season hazard), my British neighbor Sarah brought over a bag of Hindu offerings so that I could appease the Gods and Demons and be safe from now on!
Today we are officially at the 6 month mark of our 1 year visa, so it is time to earnestly get to work determining our strategy for post-June. We both agree that the American culture is not one that sits well with us. We are really enjoying the peace, acceptance, and lack of aggression and violence that is here. But, we may have no choice but to return . . . more on that later.
Finally, a wise friend once said to me, “don’t wait to do something perfectly, just get started” – and in the spirit of that, I will attempt to post every day until New Years – not a long post or a well-written story, but simply a communication to those of you who are interested. Please register your interest and encouragement by commenting or asking questions on my posts.
Thanks for pushing me back to this and love and courage to you all! Selemat Hari (Blessed Day!)