Batu Belig

My flight back to Bali was ridiculously early and I was far too tired for making big decisions. So I sent a text to Pande, had him meet me at the airport and deliver me to a bungalow I had spotted while house hunting last month. My intention was to crash there for a day or two since it was out of my long-term price range, and find something a bit less luxurious for the remainder of October.
Funny thing luxury… one you’ve tasted it, it’s hard to give up. So I did some rapid-fire rationalizing… decided I could afford the whopping, and heavily bargained for, 350,000 rupiah a night price tag and unpacked my bags. This place costs more than three times what my flat in Ubud did, but it has a few major selling points that Sunrise Villas lacked. Chief among the upgrades is proximity to the ocean, I am less than a block from the beach, in addition to my very nice enclosed bungalow, I have an open-aired palapa for lounging and practicing yoga, the pool is five steps from my front door, I have air conditioning, wireless Internet and TV for keeping tabs on politics back home. And, this place is located directly between my two jobs.
Once Pande dropped me off I fell promptly asleep, lulled by the air con and content in my high-thread count sheets. When I woke it was already dark out. I strolled down the road to the only warung (restaurant) I knew how to find from my place, and was unpleasantly surprised to see it packed. Apparently no one else in Batu Belig knows how to find any other warungs either. I asked for a table and quickly realized this place was a bit too popular for just strolling in at 8pm and expecting a seat. A nice looking man walked in behind me, he had been smart enough to make a reservation and was immediately seated.

Hunger took over and I resorted to desperate measures, I walked up to that man’s table and asked if I could join him. He smiled and granted me a seat. We exchanged pleasantries and each went about scribbling in our notebooks, he journaling about his day and me trying to layout a class plan for my first day of full-time teaching.

When our dinners arrived we chatted a bit, I learned that he is from France, Bordeaux to be more precise. He was a very nice man and I enjoyed the company. After we were done he asked to buy my dinner and I let him. Then we said our goodbyes and I went back to my luxury bungalow. That’s it… no kissing, no flirting, nada, just a nice man, who allowed me to join him and who bought me dinner. What a wonderful way to come back to Bali.

- Ludo, Merci du dîner. Très gentil de vous avoir rencontré
The next morning I rode my rented motor bike the five minutes to my new ‘office’ and taught my first of this month’s many classes. Desa Seni is a beautiful resort in the rice fields of Canngu. It caters to those looking to refresh, detox, and cleanse while basking in the Bali sun. My first class had five students and went very smoothly. I love teaching and really can’t believe that I am a yoga teacher in Bali.

Later, I visited my other job, where I took a class from the man I am alternating teaching with. It was a real treat to take a led class for the first time in almost a month. All together I am teaching seven classes a week, darn near full-time – if you consider an hour and a half a day full-time work.
Tuesday the rainy season arrived. I woke up at 6am to a steady downpour. By 8am the goldfish pond in front of my bungalow was flooding, by 9pm the edge of the pool was indiscernible from the rest of the flooded courtyard.

When I got out of my evening class the road in front of the studio had about a foot of water covering it, complete with current. The security guard, a big strong man, made me hold his arm while I crossed, lest I be washed away. My cab ride home was more like being in a hovercraft than a Nissan Altima, if the tires ever actually touched pavement you could have fooled me.

From my steamy window I could periodically see poncho-laden scooter riders parting the water with their tires. My newfound scooter bravery ends at riding in the rain – but I must applaud the pluck of someone who is willing to wade, waddle and float their bike during the rainy season here. In fact, I applaud all of the scooter riders of Bali – not rain, nor impossibly heavy, unbalanced loads, nor lack of skill can stop these unsung heroes from continuing on their chosen paths. These ingenious minions could really teach us a thing or two about bailing wire, sheer disregard for person safety and the futility of speed or weight restrictions on doughnut sized-tires.

With no reservation to guarantee me a meal, I ordered in delivery, watched some mindless American TV with Indonesian subtitles (my only hope for learning the language, I’ve decided) and fell asleep nice and early. It’s amazing how fast we can adapt when we are swaddled in Egyptian cotton.

1 comment:

MissT said...

where abouts is this whats the name of the hotel/bungalow called??

Begin at the Beginning

The Beginning

What do you want to do? A seemingly innocuous question, and yet one that has become the bane of my existence over the last six or so months....