today i saw four bright blue kingfishers – three on my dog walk and one from the bedroom window. it surely must be a sign but of what? maybe of a thriving ecosystem.. google search says they are symbolic of freedom, courage, adventure, and balance. it also says a lot of highly unlikely bullshit. let’s see!
so much has happened in the past 12 months that i don’t know where to start – broken foot and damaged shoulder, graduation and start of university, graduation and start of high school, lost dog/found dog, extra dog joining the pack.. moving houses, visiting new places and returning to some amazing ones, seeing friends and family in prague and bratislava, trekking the highest mountain in bali, cohabiting with a monitor lizard, getting older (but not wiser), welcoming some dear dear old friends in bali, you name it!
in spring we revisited our friends in Ngalung Kala on the mysterious island of sumba. the rugged beauty of this island is indescribable. peace, connection with nature, inspiring people.. little did we know that this was going to be our ‘quiet before storm’ moment for a while!
dan and i also managed to ascend mount agung, the most sacred mountain in bali, the one which at the same time happens to be the active volcano that kept us grounded and under cover for a while 4 years ago. great trek, great views, super sore ass..
it has been a while! sitting at my desk in our living room with no walls listening to the super loud cicadas and distant sounds of dogs barking (mine are sleeping on a sun bed catching their daily dose of vitamin D) i’m thinking of what you guys are doing. social media sometimes sucks but i got a glimpse of some of you skiing, walking in the fantastic forests of Massachusetts and Vermont, putting on more and more layers or enjoying yourselves on beaches, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, your kids and pets… we are missing you – AND the winter – a lot! i also see a lot of judgment and divisiveness on various topics and that just makes me wanna have a digital detox. time for vipassana!
i wonder which detox is easier – the physical or the digital. my panchakarma last february was great, especially once it was over! let’s just say the last five days were much better than the first ten. it made me miss india a lot, although here in bali we have a fantastic Ayurvedic place which i highly recommend: Amrtasiddhi. dan followed in my footsteps and did his detox too. he came home 10 years younger (-;
last year was pretty good for us, with school and bali mostly open and chilled. we decided to explore Indonesia a bit more and chose the mysterious island of Sumba. some of you might remember that dan visited this island in the past with a bunch of friends. chain of unfortunate events (including the forbidden cave curse) resulted in a spectacular shipwreck that everyone thank god survived, more by luck than anything else. so we were really looking forward to go! Sumba hasn’t disappointed us. first dominik refused to go. then, dan had a (minor) motorbike accident. the day before the intended departure dan had an epic fall head first in a little river while running. no injury though. then linda had a panic attack while having a pre-flight covid test. on the way from testing.. dan (who never falls) fell into a ditch and destroyed his toes and a knee.. and i was listening to my favourite podcast by Dr. Svoboda – the topic was ‘omens’… so the question was – what is Sumba trying to tell us?!? we spent the evening stressing about it. doesn’t Sumba want us? is it a sign we shouldn’t leave dom on his own? by that point it was clear dan can’t go, so is it safe for linda and i to go alone? Sumba has quite a reputation – most assassins in Indonesia are apparently born there – not entirely sure if this info was in any way relevant.. you can imagine the discussion. i think we really live here too long because there was no rationality in our decision making process. at the end another pangolin visited our garden and i took it as a good omen! off we went the next morning. i also felt it’s good to show linda that we don’t always need a man with us on our exciting travels ((-;
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.