Hello. I'm back! Bali was incredible. We stayed at a small hotel with gorgeous gardens and a swimming pool. Stuffed ourselves silly every morning with the buffet breakfast (did someone say four omelettes?) and ate out every night. People came and cleaned the room every day. And someone else did the laundry. Paradise I tell you. I didn't want to come home - not one bit!
Some of my highlights were learning basic Bahasa Indonesia, meeting my parents' friends, seeing ancient temples, eating delicious curries, walking along the beach at sunrise, hanging out at the pool with my girls and not really doing much of anything. I kept a journal but that was about it. The book I took to read remained unopened and I chilled out. So good!
While I was having a massage at the beach, the girls learnt to make the palm baskets which are used for offerings by the Balinese people. The little baskets are filed with flowers, some cooked rice and perhaps incense, a cigarette or a lolly in a little packet. They are then left, for who I'm not sure. Spirits, gods, ancestors? The little birds certainly love coming to peck at the rice.
One night our hotel had a gala evening with Balinese dancing and a delicious barbecue dinner. We sat at tables set around the pool and lit by candlelight. It was magical watching the expressive faces and movements of the dancers as they danced on a stage set over the pool. Earlier in the day I had watched two men sitting outside my hotel room, making decorations for the stage from plants. I'm not sure what the plant was but the decorations were stunning. Everyone here seems so good at using knives to make beautiful things.
Being out of my usual routine, seeing new sights, sounds and smells was amazing, It was so good to be back in Asia. I love the noise and the colour. The seeming chaos and the life spilling out on to the streets. It feels somehow more alive than home where everything is neatly put away behind glass.
Can't wait to go back!