Drive, Work, Purge

I did it dear readers… I rented a motorbike. In fact I not only rented it, but I have been driving it around for days. Seems there is no boundary too logical or sacrosanct for me to not cross any longer – what has become of me?
Count the passengers...

I have been cruising throughout Ubud at all hours of the day, I even carried home a box so big I had to sit on it and while this may seem a small accomplishment when you consider that Indonesians carry everything from entire families to airplane propellers (I swear I saw this) on their bikes, this was big for me. In fact it bordered on reckless.

The bike has given me some much appreciated freedom and has introduced me to some fun new Indo-isms. Like buying gas from anywhere. Many houses and pretty much all stores have a petrol rack out front where fuel is stored in jars, the most popular vessel for this is the Absolute Vodka bottle. These easily identifiable jugs filled with pale yellow fuel can be seen everywhere.
Fuel is heavily subsidized here, which allows me to fill my tank for around $3.50. Oh the joys of being in a country with a favorable exchange rate! For just slightly more than $100 US dollars you get $1,000,000 Indonesian Rupiah. I am a multi-millionaire in this country!!! Why just the other day the woman in front of me at the health food store was short of cash for her bill so I gave her 1000 rupiah. Look how generous I am, just throwing out 1000’s left and right. Okay I know it was just a dime in US money, but it felt GOOD.
Also, I have learned that you can get away with anything in this country as long as you either beep your horn first, or erect a sign that says hati-hati (be careful). For instance, want to cross four lanes of traffic while carrying three generations, two prized fighting cocks and your annual rice crop? No problem, just smile and beep three times.
Want to redo the walkways in front of your home? No problem, rip the old ones up leaving the cavernous water ditch below uncovered and simply place a hand-painted hati-hati sign about five feet before the sidewalk ends. As there are no street lights around, be sure to check the ditch in the morning for evening strollers who either can’t translate hati-hati, or could not see the ample 2x3 warning post-it in the dark.

I have been asked to assistant teach a private yoga retreat in Ubud next week. It is the kinda retreat where well-ish-to-do women (primarily) come for a week, do yoga and go on a bunch of cool tours to the volcano, rice fields, temples, and this is all topped off with days at the spa. The man who runs these (he does one every other week) broke his foot and has asked me to basically show the poses to the students and help with adjustments.
The retreat organizers have also asked me to write an article about my experience and submit photos for their website. For my labors I get to attend the retreat events – I’ll be staying at their resort, eating all my meals there and I even get paid a little. Life is sweet.

In other good news I seem to have contracted some vicious intestinal bug leading to my spending my first full day ever on the loo. This has resulted in a drastic and rapid flattening of my belly just in time to be a yoga model. Funny how the universe provides.

Of course this diet is not without it’s challenges, like I keep running out of toilet paper, I feel like I am throwing away money by eating, and the charcoal tablets Wayan gave me only seem to make my belly do slightly less frequent summersaults. But, I am dedicated to my practice and if this is what I need to do to look the yogi part, then so be it. That is assuming I can get off the pot in time for the course.


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