hello there, greetings from rainy bali! in my home country we have a saying that goes something like “stepping into shit brings good luck”. who wouldn’t want to be lucky?!? as we were getting ready to welcome 2021 we started to smell a really bad smell around our house. it was not exactly ’shit’ smell but more kind of like decaying algae one.. anyway, on the 1st of january we discovered that our septic tank was overflowing and had to call a guy to empty it. what can bring more luck than being knee deep in shit on a 1st day of the year? i have high hopes, 2021!!! so far, the year hasn’t disappointed me, serving me a baby cobra in the shower on my birthday, really unexpected guests and a few other delightful surprises.
let me backtrack a bit though, because last time you heard from me was july 2020. we have been really well here in bali. healthy, at least physically. school opened in august which was a great relief – both for the kids and the parents. it operates in a different way at the moment, masks, protocols, learning pods, no parents on the campus.. which is not great but i’m eternally grateful for what is. the digital addiction of the kids was getting out of hand. and the cabin fever was raging. restaurants, cinemas, beaches and gyms are open too. protocols yes but the common sense seems to prevail so far.
due to covid border restrictions we haven’t had many human visitors lately (the ones who braved it and made it were a very nice addition to the quiet ubud life though!) but it seems like the animal kingdom decided to compensate us for this sad situation. one quiet night i was suddenly woken up by dan excitingly yelling at me – common, wake up, we have a – and he used a word i have never heard before – here…
it’s already july and this is my first message of 2020. i’m sure many of you have felt the timeless quality of the year so far – having no idea what day of the week, month, planet we are on. i was often so confused i had no idea who i was – and who my housemates were!!! i think we just shouldn’t count this year when celebrating our birthdays next time.
let me start at the beginning. first time since we moved to bali 4 years ago we decided to stay in indonesia for the long december/january break. just to travel around a bit, try out the new house that after three long years has been finally finished and enjoy the hassle free holidays – by hassle meaning traveling back and forth to europe, changing tropical climate for freezing temperatures etc. little did we know that by doing so we missed our last chance for a long time!!
anyway we had a nice time, discovering all the secrets of our new house – for good and for bad. the house is absolutely charming and sweet, there were only a few hiccups to be solved – like a tree falling on our roof on my birthday (the biggest present i ever got!!) or the ants raining on us all one lovely january morning. later we found out these two unforgettable experiences were directly linked – the poor ants were peacefully living on a tree but then crashed through our roof and after few days decided they wanted to explore.. resulting in a little hitchcockian experience.
dear friends near and far, sending you heaps of love from hot bali! the rainy season is long overdue and i am starting to feel a bit – well – dissolved..
it’s been a while since i’ve written – but honestly, nothing extra exciting has been happening. the volcano has calmed down, occasionally puffing just a tiny bit and earthquakes are so small we hardly notice them! all snakes seem to have moved to my friend audrey’s garden (who recently moved to bali – so maybe that’s some kind of a rite of passage?) and i’m living happily ever after in my house. only a bee decided to build a nest in linda’s pencil sharpener ((-; sounds boring i guess.
summer seems to be so far away i can’t even remember what i did. being happy in prague doesn’t come easy to me but i have been blessed with the best company imaginable and i laughed so hard i had sore stomach muscles half of the time (-; miss you girls!!!!
sitting in our prague appartment, indo music blaring from my comp – downloaded for educational purposes of course – with a/c on, i can’t stop thinking of how bizarre life has become – i spent last 10 months in tropics, without using a/c one single time in my house – only to arrive to central europe to switch it on. super dry and hot, prague being good 15’ C warmer than ubud, all the asphalt and cement just making the heatwave much worse.. but still happy to be here, also happy knowing i won’t stay too long (-;
nothing really big happened during the last 3 months in bali – pretty much business as usual. while i stayed at home the rest of the family travelled a bit. dan and linda had an amazing time skiing in japan in april – powder snow and sushi, onsen and blossoming sakuras. dan also joined dom for a school service trip to the indonesian island of rote – where they dived with huge oceanic mantas and dom learnt about conservation. not too bad to be a parent volunteer for a trip like that! finally dan went on his ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ motorbike trip to mongolia with an incredible group of friends. you can watch a short shot by one of them. looks like mongolia is a country to visit!!!
meanwhile i enjoyed the quirks of our island and had my share of kids – 1-2-3, in different number and configuration.
mt. agung erupted every couple of days but luckily nothing major. couple of times our garden, pool, bikes etc were covered in ash but so far not too much drama.
following linda and her temporary brother kaleo, dom also became a certified diver and interestingly finds observing the tiniest sea creatures most relaxing. now i’m the odd one out – honestly, nothing better than sitting with a book and cup of tea whilst the rest of the family boards a boat and off they go for a day of diving.. ((-;
we still enjoy the nature (outside – and – inside our house..) – beautiful wasps started to build a nest in linda’s wardrobe and couple of bats decided they wanted to ‘hang-out’ – literally – in our bedroom. can you imagine my surprise when i woke up very early in the morning hearing some squeaks.. and realised that it’s not only the mosquito net hanging from the frame of my bed – but also a pair of bats! as they keep coming back regularly, linda named them cleo and king tut and i must say it’s been one of the nicest experiences to have these two little creatures as my new pets. just wonder if now i’m officially a witch…
dearest friends, i have been more out of bali than in bali in the last 2 months. i love travelling but – being part of green school community – it has become increasingly more difficult to ignore the consequences of my actions. some of my amazing fellow co-parents (apparently those who have more understanding of number science than i do..) took time to calculate their carbon footprint and inspired me to do so too. the results are very depressing. an average green school family’s carbon footprint is roughly the same as 32 balinese people. so yes, they do not have any waste management to speak of and some of them might be throwing their rubbish on the floor or down the river but we are much worse for the environment, air travel being the biggest culprit of all. the answer is a complete change of lifestyle and i must admit i’m not ready for it as yet. my account balance might push me in the right direction sooner than later but luckily – and again big thanks to more enlightened and diligent friends – there are some little ways to help the planet. i’ll share more at the end of the post, now back to my travels – with guilty conscience!
it has been a while since you heard from me. in the meantime i managed to be in bali, prague, italy, prague again and then finally back to bali – times both joyous and sad, sometimes both at the same time – but definitely following each other like inseparable friends. it should be no surprise that bigger the joy the harder the fall – but somehow i still get surprised by duality ((-; anyway i would always take surprise over dullness – not wise but.. (-;
now i’m really happy to be back on the island even though i can hardly use my right hand – and hence comes my first bali warning. yes we have venomous snakes here (like the blue krait in our garage the other day..) and we have dengue fever but – we also have these vicious little buggers – tomcats aka rove beetles. i warn you – if you are lucky to see them (i wasn’t) don’t touch them. they do not bite, they do not sting but alas – they release this liquid (basically they piss on you i would say although that might not be the actual case) that acts like acid. i only felt something pricking me on my neck so i touched it – and apparently managed to spread it all over. in couple of hours i had blisters, burned skin, swelling.. all the yummy things! there is no cure and i’m not going to die but man it itches. and hurts. there are two positives though – it didn’t happen to one of the kids (as we would surely have to call a helicopter knowing him and his pain threshold..) and – i have increased my empathy because now i understand how it feels to really want to jump out of your skin, wishing to cut your arm off, banging your head against the wall just to ease the pain. new admiration to all the people who suffer from skin conditions!
as the island gets hotter & hotter and the landscape drier we are waiting for the rainy season like never before! yes it’s nice that our personal belongings are not getting mouldy for a change, our clothes actually dry up after washing and the dogs (and us..) do not stink of wet hair/old castle but still – may the rain come!
since my last writing it has been two months of relatively quiet bali life. still learning new skills daily to cope with asian reality – like carrying a birthday cake on the motorbike, fishing a snake from the pool or getting a scorpio out of dogs’ water bowl to name a few. or removing sea water from the engine..
both dan and i ticked off an item on our midlife crisis list – motorbikes bought. i’m enjoying my snail pace around the town and backroads of ubud while dan rides a bit more on the wild side – volcanoes, beaches, paddies and forests. sounds super ecological to me.. his brand new bike has already gone for on ocean dip – not sure if that was intended ((-; he finally launched his online project and we are all holding our breath to see how that goes!Continue reading “Waiting for the Rain – #17”
hello from beautiful albeit slightly shaking (and shaken) bali my dear friends!
the european summer passed by really quickly. in the midst of all complains, joys, sorrows, chaos and fun i realised how lucky i am to be a part of both worlds – spectacularly intense bali and more subdued yet funny europe. it takes a lot of energy to live two lives (as my many expat friends can – wherever they happen to live – surely testify!) but ultimately it feels very enriching. and enchanting (-; thank you all for being part of my many worlds!!!
just before leaving prague i’ve out of the blue committed myself to a year-long study of the dark corners of human soul (considering my family history i certainly have a lot of experience in that respect) so probably will be coming ‘home’ a bit more often in the following 12 months. tell me if you want to hang out. and i can practice on you (-;
we left behind hot and dry europe and 4 star wars later landed in my 4th home. bali here we come.
it’s been a while since my last blog and i’m kind of wondering whether to write at all in my current moaning state (-;
but let’s start with something positive! may and june where pretty good. there were so many events at school that at some point i actually felt like i was living there.. i think most parents can attest to this end of year frenzy. i was especially intrigued by the final project of the green school middle school (including dominik) – the so called quest. kids are engaged in a project of their own choice for couple of months and finally at the end of the year (and their middle school life) they present it in a TED talk style. i was absolutely amazed by the whole grade 8 class and their presentations – and especially by 4 local kids who were invited to join the project and did it with a great aplomb. the topics where super interesting, ranging from ecological/sustainability projects (like making surf fins from rubbish, creating non-toxic eraser from natural rubber etc) to deeply personal quests (how to deal with the death of your parent, self-hate etc) and the deliverance astonishing. dominik dedicated the project to his love of books – if your kids are interested in books and would like some recommendations you can check out his website: Wonders of Reading
the ceremony to finish the middle school was very moving and definitely one of the reasons i love green school – listening to khalil gibrain’s on children didn’t leave one eye dry! a little reminder if you haven’t read the prophet for a while..
and high school life here we come.. can’t believe i have a kid that goes to high school! can i feel any older than that???
hello again from bali! what’s new? it’s super super hot and no rain at all for a change, two kinds of termites arrived to munch on our house, it looks like the lice never left us and there was a small volcanic eruption few days ago.. i think that’s pretty much it!
i feel like everybody was here in the last couple of weeks so maybe i don’t need to write anything? never-ending stream of visitors, friends, distant family members, friends of friends.. the island is full of tourists again, perhaps time to get out for a while. all this social life is killing me and recently i found myself going to bed at 8 pm.. pure exhaustion! anyway lovely to see you all (-; who’s next? if any of you are considering a move to an exotic location.. beware!!! for those of you who are thinking of coming here and not sure where exactly to go, here are a few insights on travel (and of course a gross generalisation and entirely my opinion). distance of 30 km means nothing in europe. you can’t say the same in bali – the roads are narrow and were built when no one could have imagined the amount of traffic that is around today. people always go somewhere, ceremonies block the roads daily. that makes 2 most popular (from the green school parent perspective as the school is directly in the middle) towns in bali – ubud and canggu – seem to be much further from each other.