Attempt to Break and Enter Thwarted

The approach to the Indus Restaurant’s broad staircase flanked by two lions, and the grand rotunda with a full-winged Garuda, awes me. It’s the same every time.

Tonight a friend is treating me to dinner at this elegant site. We sweep past masterpieces of Balinese art in the yawning gallery space and pause before descending the second flight of steps. Overlooking the vast, grand restaurant itself, I suck in the magnificence of the view. It’s not only the stunning decor, and it is stunning, but the vista just beyond the terrace makes this a one-of-a-kind experience in the Ubud area.

We’re escorted to a table by the rail overlooking the Campahuan River Valley. Just as menus are placed in our hands the rain starts.

We’ve come early on purpose. There’s a lot to catch up on. So we scramble to a grouping of cushy settees under shelter of the roof to wait out the downpour with a couple of cocktails and an appetizer. My friend has a Margarita. I opt for a benign little number called Killer Coconut.

P1090263The combination of Bicardi Rum (75% alcohol) and Midori Liqueur (20% alcohol) makes my head hum.

Hours later, after a satisfying meal of chickpea curry, raita, chapati, and a shared caramel custard reminiscent of creme brulee, a band sets up. Seductive Latin rhythms begin and professional dancers hit the floor. Entranced, my eyes follow the sensual interplay between the stiletto-ed beauty and her alluring Don Juan. The first number ends and a second begins, slower this time. But when the music starts for the third set, the dancers’ eyes scan the audience for guinea pigs. It’s our signal to leave.

The downpour has slowed to a mist. We catch the shuttle to Casa Luna, a sister cafe, then disembark to walk the remaining distance home. At the corner we part ways. It’s still early and Taxi? or Massage? queries ring out as I pass holding my long, swishy pant-legs at mid-calf to avoid the sludge.

At last I turn off Monkey Forest Road and slosh the muddy lane, breathing a sigh of relief as I round the corner to see the familiar garden lamp and the stairway to my home.

At the top I drop my umbrella on the landing and use both hands to fish the key out of the coin pouch in my billfold. Coin pouch…coin pouch…? I unceremoniously dump the entire contents of my purse and verify the unhappy truth. No coin pouch. No key.

Ketut has a spare. He left earlier for a day off with his family in Kintamani but maybe it’s hanging with the other keys in his kitchen. I hurry back downstairs. Mindful always of the security of his beautiful B and B, this door, too, is bolted.

My mind spins. How tough can it be to pick a lock?  I try a bobby pin, a nail, a random piece of wire, my hands sweating in the sticky night. But nothing makes the door spring open.

Okay, so lock picking isn’t one of my skills. What about the window over the stairs? I could slide my feet along the ledge…grip the insides of the frame and hoist my body through the narrow…very narrow…opening.

P1090266From the landing it appears to be my best option. I move a few steps down and grasp the sill while hoisting my left foot to the ledge. The right foot follows suit. I’m suspended over the stairway and the bottom of the window is still above my bustline. I can do this, is the last thought before I remember Killer Coconut. Could my judgment be just a tad bit impaired? Are my reflexes all they should be if I start to lose my balance? But that drink was hours ago now, followed by curry and dessert. Surely the effects have worn off? Surely the alcohol is out of my system, all 95% of it…! A wave of vertigo crashes over me and I remember that I’m terrified of heights. My body goes weak and shaky. Get off the ledge you idiot! 

The right foot searches for the step. I stare straight ahead, afraid to look down. Ah! There it is! I creep back to the landing and ponder my momentary lapse of sanity.

A quick check of the clock on my cell phone says it’s now 10:45 p.m., too late to enlist the help of a neighbor. I descend the stairs to the terrace and consider other possible points of entry. If I stand on the bench and…

P1090267or maybe the roof to the kitchen window…

P1090268or a ladder…I think there’s one in storage….I check storage and there are three ladders, all far too short.

P1090270The truth settles over me. My house is secure. I can’t break in and neither can anybody else without equipment and advance planning. In the midst of this inconvenience I feel happy about that.

The room that Jessa and Dan occupied until this morning is unlocked. There’s a king bed with a satiny-soft duvet. I let myself in, lock the door, and draw the curtains closed. A hot shower leaches any remaining energy from my pores and I exhale exhaustion as I pull the blanket over me. A quick text to Ketut: Forgot key. Door locked. I’m in the blue room, lets him know not to be surprised when he finds an unexpected guest in the morning.

Light seeps in as the cacophony of dawn erupts. Where am I…oh. Right. Just then there’s a polite tap on my door. I slide it open and peek out to the grinning face of Ketut. Good morning! he says. Then, in his finest schmoozy-guest voice, You want breakfast?


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sharon
    Mar 06, 2015 @ 05:28:19

    Love it! Also loved spending an evening together at Indus. It is really a magnificent setting and I’m happy we were there long enough to not only catch up a bit but to hear the music. Yes, it was time to leave. Brilliant you got to be a guest in your own home!



  2. smalltowngirlsmidnighttrains
    Mar 06, 2015 @ 06:57:10

    This story made me smile! I’m heading to Bali in a few weeks…probably not gonna try the Killer Coconut. 😀



  3. Lottie Nevin
    Mar 07, 2015 @ 15:32:42

    Killer Coconut! I want one, and I want it NOW! Happy to hear that your home is burglar-proof. I’m SO fat that there is no way that I could have even squeezed a thigh through that tiny window. I’d have had to take the whole darn thing out….where do you keep your hammers and chisels?! 😀



  4. writingforselfdiscovery
    Mar 07, 2015 @ 16:57:34

    Hammers and chisels…let me see…! I do have a fancy little hammer with rosemalling on the handle, pretty blue flowers, and Ketut giggles every time he uses it. I finally bought him a manly hammer and he hasn’t requested mine again. Chisel? There’s one about a meter long somewhere around here…wouldn’t begin to know what to do with it! Sounds like you’re far more advanced in breaking and entering than I am! Lottie would have gotten herself into this house, I’ve no doubt!!!



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