dearest friends far and near!
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 ((-;
the trip was spectacular – linda and i spent most of the time reading books in our beds overlooking the dramatic coastline. that’s what we do when no one chases us around. we stayed in a stunningly beautiful permaculture place Ngalung Kalla – with amazing owners and resident goats, a sheep called owen, a filly named destiny, guinea fowls adopted by chicken, 4 generational pack of dogs, cats.. paradise! we watched frigate birds and sea eagles, walked around the tidal pools and long empty golden beaches.. no wifi, no signal, no mirrors in the bathrooms.. and no electricity in the night. the beauty of milky way was indescribable. i don’t remember ever feeling so rested. not sure if it was because of the absence of the male part of our family though… but even dan managed to wobble there for our last 2 days! (-;
in june we, as many of our friends here in bali, had made our plans to go overseas. we hadn’t been ‘home’ for 2 years and felt it was time! perhaps unsurprisingly we were all terrified of taking the PCRs, not because anyone was scared of covid or actually getting sick but because we were worried about our trip abroad or school closure. and sure enough, cases started to pop up like crazy – many of the super healthy teenagers tested positive. chaotic last weeks of school, in many cases delayed departures and in my case few more grey hair and wrinkles – and we were on our way west!
it was so cool to be in europe after such a long time! the best part of course was seeing our family and friends. it was a bit of a shock for us country bumpkins from the rice paddy homestead to face the big city and its complexities (drunks, homeless, junkies, traffic, countless malls with overabundance of stuff, too much noise and lights etc) but after a few days we adjusted. it was also quite weird to get tested all the time and show the test in many places (we only needed that in bali when traveling off the island) but we survived! dom enjoyed pride week on the river island and a bit more independence. however he didn’t enjoy staying in our apartment and made us all FULLY aware of that. we all loved going to the art shows and theatre. Prague was great but visit to the eternal city was definitely one of the highlights. we loved Rome!
the only shadow cast upon our stay was an abrupt change in Indonesian government policy – in spite of being residents we were suddenly not welcomed back unless vaccinated. it took us by surprise (in retrospect i really don’t understand how we could have been so dumb..) and we spent a few weeks agonising over the solution. as a result we stayed stuck in europe much longer than we intended and missed the start of school. i’m not going to go into details on this but let’s just say getting vaxxed was definitely one of the most difficult decisions of my life and i still feel sick just thinking of it )-; on the other hand because of our prolonged stay i was able to make it to one of my best friend’s wedding which was an unexpected treat and i enjoyed that immensely!
anyway, after a long summer we were finally ready to go – together with our 25 kilos of overweight (mostly in luggage ;-), piles of paperwork necessary to travel and a blindingly high bill of pre-booked quarantine hotel in jakarta. somehow we have accumulated too much luggage – i think the fact that both kids became shopaholics while one felt a need to take suitcase full of fluffy toys might have to do something with it. the flights were uneventful apart from the moment when linda suddenly remembered, somewhere between doha and jakarta, that she had a few cannabis face masks in her suitcase.. well it would be a boring life if we didn’t have these sudden emergencies! the quarantine was a great time to rest after all the excitement of europe, overcome the jet lag and just let our souls catch up with our bodies. if it wasn’t so expensive i’d actually love to do it again!
finally in september we were very happy to be back in bali. school was open and much more was happening – for kids as well as for parents. a big year for all of us – dominik is graduating in june and linda is in the last year of middle school – high school here she comes! we visited some beautiful places in western bali and in java. kids celebrated their birthdays – asking for tarot cards, scented candles, crystals.. such Ubudians! linda had half of her birthday cake stolen by a monkey that jumped on the table in the middle of celebration – life in tropics! our small town has always something to laugh about. yesterday someone was asking for advice on ‘laws and regulations in indonesia’ forum. the question was – is it legal to bring your crystal pleasure wands with you.. let’s just say the answers were priceless! or dan coming home from his investment group meeting a few weeks ago telling me how one of the members was advised by his spirit guide to sell.. well looks like the spirit was right!
i took an incredible course with my lovely friend and teacher lucy. i really don’t like doing things ‘online’ but it was amazing – connection with beautiful women, inspiration for daily life, really fantastic book and podcast recommendations.. i felt inspired and nourished to the brim. check her out if you feel you need a fix.
we had a great christmas/NY time with friends, celebrating life and overeating – which i’m still recovering from! the best part was our short sailing trip to komodo national park with our wonderful friends from Wunderpus Liveboard diving with sharks, mantas and turtles on the amazing reef. indonesia is an incredible country. so grateful to be alive.
love to you all and let me know how are you doing!