After the dream…what?

Sometimes I feel almost normal. I wake up without hyperventilating. The sunrise is splendid. Roosters crow and doves coo. The aroma of my neighbor’s coffee prompts me to brew my own. The beans are organic Kintamani Arabica and they’re almost gone. Mental note: order coffee.

By this time I have a plan for the day. I’ll take a walk.

Trust me, it’s a plan. For three months I barely left my house. Now there are a few – very few – cafes opening and I’ve begun to venture out. First there was Monsieur Spoon for coffee and almond cake. I was a bit traumatized – can you tell?

Then a daring evening out at Mingle.

So far so good. This week I tried Tropical View, a picturesque restaurant overlooking a rice paddy next to Monkey Forest. The nachos were great.

Perhaps you’ve noticed a consistent theme…

No people.

Today my walk took me along Monkey Forest Road. Normally at 2:00 in the afternoon this time of year the sidewalks are crammed with tourists and exhaust from cars and motorbikes inching their way along Ubud’s narrow streets clogs the air. COVID has changed all that.

There wasn’t a single moving vehicle on this stretch, and I was the only pedestrian.

It takes a fair amount of numbing to manage the silence without feeling like a dream has died. So many dreams. I tell myself to enjoy the peace while it lasts only to remember the article I read that said recovery may take two years.

That’s a lot of peace.

It isn’t just here. Ubud is a snapshot of the rest of the world. As I walked I tried to imagine how I could force a positive spin on this situation, at least for Bali. There are thousands of unemployed who are in desperate need of the basics for survival. Some have gardens so food for them isn’t a worry. The ingenuity of others has spawned new services. But for the vast majority…

As I passed the soccer field I had my answer. If there’s no work, there’s an over-abundance of one commodity: time.

Plenty of time to fly kites.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ERWhittington
    Jun 17, 2020 @ 00:28:21

    Just wanted to say thank you for your blog. I really enjoy your updates. Bali is a special place for me and it’s wonderful to get an insight. So strange to see those empty streets though. Stay well!





  2. Carol
    Jun 17, 2020 @ 05:53:39

    I have a friend in Manila and one in Bontoc Philippines and it seems it is the same there. I’m in Texas and things are really moving here, but few eating out. Hoping normal will appear soon.



  3. Shelley Immel
    Jun 18, 2020 @ 10:15:28

    I very much enjoy your writing and observations about this time we are in and sharing. The Covid-19 has forced us all into a shared experience that was on no one’s bucket list! I’ve shared this posting with other women friends of our cohort and their daughters so you may get inquiries.

    I,too, have started to open up my bubble a tiny bit but have not ventured out to cafe since most are not open except for takeout in my area of Oregon and now we’re having large daily increases in Covid-19+ cases-recently some of highest counts since this pandemic began being tracked in Oregon. So, I will continue to be cautious and not leave home without my mask, and avoid crowds of any kind.

    One year ago today, I retired from decades of paid work, and I am so glad that is not something I need to worry about it or stress over like those much younger than me. I have so many blessings.

    Enjoy your day 💜



    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Jun 18, 2020 @ 14:17:58

      Congratulations, Shelley, on joining the ranks of the retired. And thank you for commenting on my latest post and sharing it with your friends. This is an adventure none of us bargained for, whether we live in the U.S., Europe, Indonesia, or just about anywhere else in the world. Never have so many people experienced such life-altering events simultaneously. On the one hand, I’m awed. On the other, like everyone, I’m trying to figure out what this new reality means for me, and that in itself is a full-time job! Stay well! I’m wishing the best for you.



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