Bali Boy Braves the Waves!

Superstitions run deep. Bodies of water harbor entities, not all benign, and on this island elaborate rituals are enacted to keep those restless spirits in their place. So swimming is not an altogether comfortable idea for many Balinese people. But today we went to the beach. It’s the supposedly hidden one, off the beaten track, hard to access. The trail appears to drop off into nothingness.


Counter to intuition that told us to continue following the path forward, there’s a door in the side of the wall. I missed it the first time. The trail grew narrower, and narrower, steeper and steeper, until without mountain climbing gear, I wasn’t going another step.

P1100225Feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland jumping down the rabbit hole, we retraced our steps, found the opening and passed through. It was still a steep descent to the beach, but once there we found the place almost deserted.

P1100193With the exception of a pair of sleeping beauties.

P1100198Today was to be special. Our friend, Nancy, was going to teach Wayan how to swim. But as we settled in at the local warung and ordered our favorite drinks, it was clear that the waves were unusually high and rolling in with astonishing speed. So we sat. And we watched. And we sat some more. We sat and watched while people arrived and congregated on the sand in front of us. The sarong vendor hawked her wares. The beach masseuses found willing victims.


And still we sat. We ordered coffee, then  lunch, then more lunch, then more coffee. The waves crashed on.


By late afternoon, Ketut was looking significantly bored with the whole affair and I was making going home noises when all of a sudden, Wayan jumped up, stripped off his jeans, and headed to the water. There was no swimming lesson, Nancy had gotten over that idea real quick. But Wayan cavorted, splashed, sputtered and played, and emerged at last with a very large, very happy grin. And the rest of us…well, we did what we do best…we watched.

Nazi Yogini

I’m usually pretty mellow. Take things in stride. Make it work. Last night’s Restorative Yoga Class tested my limits. Some people just shouldn’t teach. From the get-go there was a weird vibe in the room. I can only describe it as tension. Nobody seemed at ease. About 20 people turned out for the class and we were seated expectantly on our mats. The instructor began by saying that she had nothing really planned, we would just “let it go where it will.” Well, that’s fine, I do that all the time. Nothing alarming yet. But soon it was clear there were issues. Her manner was condescending. Her suggestions came across like commands. There was no easy flow. It was a painful.

Then, in the middle of who-knows-what, she wanted us to do some partner yoga. Nobody was even remotely interested. She lost a couple of people on that one. They exited without even putting away their mats. My flesh was crawling and I seriously wanted to bolt! But my eyes connected with the young woman next to me and we managed to do the partner thing that was being required. Somewhere in the midst of it all I had the blinding flash of insight that it probably wasn’t all about the teacher. Some of this discomfort was about me. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. That’s what it’s all about, right? Self-discovery. I’ll work on the ‘me’ part later. Right now I just want to go on record saying that she was one really terrible yoga teacher!

It was finally over and I ran.

This morning dawned bright and clear and I headed out to Early Bird Yoga. There was a fabulous instructor! Lovely class! My faith is renewed.

Tonight I by-passed Nazi yogini’s class and opted for a luxurious massage at lovely Pertenin Spa instead. Smart move! Then stopped at Atman Kafe for a Vietnamese Chicken Salad and some great people watching.

After two, blissfully pleasant hours in the Cafe, listening to conversations in five different languages, I left for home. It is a spectacular night and my pathway is well lit. I can hear music playing, children laughing,and some confused nocturnal rooster crowing.

The moon, flanked on either side by stars, illuminates the night sky.

I know, no one in paradise should be allowed to complain. Sorry. I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening!

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