Bali and Beyond – #21

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..

the only way to survive the heat
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!!!!

now i just returned from a week at muay thai camp in thailand. i’m sitting here reading the last sentence again and again and not understanding it at all. what? how? why? if somebody told me 10 years ago, 5 years ago or even a year ago that i would enjoy kicking and punching for 4 hours a day, i would just incredulously laugh. i have never liked doing sports of any kind and until i discovered yoga 15 years ago i hardly ever moved (apart from dancing on a table in bars maybe..). is this the midlife crisis? yoga in the last 12 moths followed by qigong, kung fu and now muay thai? i have no clue but what i know  is that i enjoyed every second of it. sweat, pain, exhaustion, my own clumsiness, laughing like crazy because i simply cannot get it right, even the running.. ok maybe that’s going too far. i could never possibly enjoy running. but what i like most of all is how doing something like this simply shatters all ideas i have of myself. it’s like i have to deconstruct my personality completely. who is this woman? i like to think of myself as (finally.. after all those crazy years..) a calm, balanced, mostly content person. non-aggressive, non-confrontational and just generally mild and boring (-; and here you go! thanks to all who made this happen (-;
how much joy can a proper kick bring (-;


in great company (-;
dan had a rather wild time with a bunch of trips too – some crazier and less thought through than the others. riding around the craters of java volcanoes with his mates (1 broken leg..), island hopping on bike – ferries, waterfalls, beaches, flat tyres in the middle of nowhere.. and finally shipwrecking on a remote island with a bunch of friends – no coverage, lost property but luckily no (serious) injury. i wonder what comes next.
on the way to the island of java
calm before storm
thinking about it maybe i can blame all the craziness and need to escape on living with a teenager? i know we have all been there.. but still.. facing all the mood swings, orientation swings, grumpiness, anger, stink, mess, dirty dishes, wrappers, dirty clothes, swearing and THE MUSIC!  i mean i’m happy he doesn’t listen to pop but death metal?!? what have i done to deserve this.. (-; anyway i love him and i love my life. and he is doing so well at school. reading his report the other day made me cry. i must have done something right.
a rare moment of disconnect to connect
the tweenager is still acting (mostly) normal so no complaints there.  she loves being in middle school, wears my clothes (as i sometimes wear hers..) and generally enjoys life. her dogs, her cat, her movies, her friends, her dance. not the heat so much. i think she is dreaming of moving to moderate climate.
so grownup and so childlike at the same time
dancing and celebrating Saraswasti, the godess of knowledge, music, art and wisdom
as a family (in spite of all the age induced odds) we have managed to visit a wonderful island of sulawesi. beautiful trekking, rafting and nature that at least some of us enjoyed a lot. some of us had earphones 24/7, ate chocolate without sharing and pretended not to be there at all. for me the most interesting was the encounter with toraja people and culture. intricate burial customs were truly fascinating – it’s a norm to have your deceased ‘living’ with you for a while – even a year or two – until you manage to prepare a proper funeral. the funeral usually includes a huge ceremony, many relatives traveling in from all corners of the country and a sacrifice of buffaloes and pigs (the number depending on your social status). kids refused to attend and i lasted for about 5 minutes but it was fascinating to see the long dead grandma sitting there amongst the mourners. less so i enjoyed the sight of the animals )-; in any case it makes me wonder how we in the west are very quick to bury – literally as well as figuratively – our loved ones. no fuss at all. and i also loved a family member – a teenage boy – wearing a “fuck you” t-shirt to the family funeral. it shows some things are simply cross-cultural.
amazing toraja houses (and my amazing daughter ;-))
buffalo (post funeral..)

i think that’s it from me for now – please let me know how you are or come to visit! we have had some repeat offenders here recently.. from prague, barcelona, dubai, holland.. always great to see you guys!

and talking about the absence of snakes i just had to shoo neighbour’s cat away from a baby cobra..

wishing you all merry christmas if you are celebrating and as ram dass said – “if you think you are enlightened go spend a week with your family”!

love and light,


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